“All the participants appreciated that Ann-Marie incorporated music that they loved – gospel, opera, Greek – if they expressed an interest during the class. Ann-Marie is definitely spot on with our memory care group, incorporating props and lively music to keep everyone’s attention. One participant said she knows they are exercising, but Anne-Marie does it in a way that makes it fun. ‘I love what Ann-Marie does, matching the music to movements…and just making us feel good!” - Jones-Harrison Residence, Development Director
Ann-Marie Loushine-Thomsen has a degree in modern dance from the University of Minnesota, and over 20 years of experience teaching ethnic dance and movement classes to diverse ages and skills. With a Project Imagine/NEMAA educational grant to work with the elderly and dance, she is one of the Minnesota trailblazers in elderly creative dance movement. She has shared her enthusiasm with the elderly for over 15 years. This includes senior residencies, assisted living, day care and memory care.
Ann-Marie studied at L’Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier, France and earned her degrees in Education (with honors), French and Dance at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She continually studies dance and pedagogy and maintains her state teaching license. She was honored by Governor Perpich for Outstanding Dance Arts Programming, and has been awarded multiple National Endowment for the Arts and State Arts Board Grants.
This residency engages elders in creating movement and exploring new movement possibilities for this stage of their life, in a fun and safe environment. The residency focuses on having the elders create abstract movement based on their memories. The class engages minds, builds friendships, explores creative movement and exercise, and produces an overall fun, uplifting experience for the elders. Through connecting elders' memories to movement, the residency engages the elders more fully in the movement and allows them to explore new types. Ann-Marie uses key selected words and music to inspire their movement.
Everyone remains seated throughout all the movement. Ann-Marie leads the discussions, warm-ups and stretches, as well as guiding the movement explorations. This provides individual creativity and expression while exploring personal movement capability in a safe environment.
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