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Dancing used as a tool to boost morale at Simcoe Manor

May 1, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Busting a move is quickly becoming the new way for frontline workers to boost morale and lift spirits.

Across the country, healthcare workers, long-term care staff, and other individuals who serve on the frontlines are creating group dancing videos to spread some cheer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Simcoe Manor, about 20 staff members gathered in the front parking lot last Wednesday to do the “Cowboy Boogie” to Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up,” while residents and fellow staff members watched.

“It went really well. There were a lot of happy faces, smiles, it had great energy,” said Rosa Athanassoulis, Program and Support Services Supervisor at Simcoe Manor.

“Some of us took the time to practice our moves so we could encourage and lead the others,” she added. “Some did really well and others just danced.”

Athanassoulis said the dance was really well received among residents who enjoyed watching the staff cut loose.

“They get to see us be silly and they like that,” she said.

“It’s a good way for us to get some exercise as well and encourage the residents who watched out their windows to dance along with us,” Athanassoulis continued. “Some of them were waiving and laughing and smiling and overall I think they thought it was fun.”

Personal Support Worker at Simcoe Manor Minerva Findlay, who came up with the idea for the dance, said she’s always thinking about different ideas to motivate staff.

“It turned out better than I expected,” she said. “Now, I think we’re going to do it weekly on Wednesdays.”

Findlay told The Times she’s challenging other long-term care homes in the area to do staff dances as well.

Athanassoulis noted that the dance is an easy way to get everyone exercising and active.

“It’s a great way to be able to get some fresh air and to, again, boost morale and find a different way to work together as a group, as a team,” she said.

As well, the staff regularly play music throughout Simcoe Manor and dance with the residents one-on-one to brighten their day.

“It’s to get staff and residents moving and to bring a smile on everybody’s face during this time,” said Athanassoulis

In addition to spreading smiles, Findlay said all of the physical activity the staff are getting from dancing is going to add up.

“By the time this is over, it’s going to be a very fit staff working here,” she laughed.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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