Senior Embrace


The Big Muddy Dance Company exists to invigorate life through dance.  Through our Senior Embrace program, we do just that.  Our aim in this program is to bring high quality entertaining dance performances to those that may not be able to travel to a theatre to experience this level of talent.  

The company kicked off its senior outreach program in 2012.  In its conception, the program included performances for senior living facilities, later adding dance workshops for early-stage dementia patients and performances to help raise awareness for organizations such as the Alzheimer's Organization.  After what started as a few small ways to give back to the community, the company was staggered with the positive impact our performances were having on our audiences.  This inspired the development of The Big Muddy Dance Company's Senior Embrace program with the mission to consistently bring high quality dance experiences to our senior community.

Now the company is proud to announce its first Senior Embrace tour beyond St. Louis! The “Route 66 Tour”, in partnership with AmeriCare Senior Living.  The company will be traveling to 7 facilities throughout Missouri and Illinois to honor a wider senior community with dance.  Over 25 outreach audiences for the 2015-16 season will experience the Senior Embrace program in St. Louis, St. Peters, Fairview Heights, Rolla, Cuba, Troy, Highland, and O'Fallon.  Thank you to all our sponsors and partners in this project for their tremendous support!

The Big Muddy with volunteers form Safety National, the first official corporate sponsor of Senior Embrace.
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The "Embrace" Experience:

The Senior Embrace program consists of 3 phases, ensuring a lasting and meaningful experience for our audiences:

Phase 1- Each facility is provided with brochures containing pictures and information about the dancers and dance pieces to be performed.  This helps to stir up interest to attend the performance and bring a sense of familiarity to the residents about the dancers and the experience to come.  Posters are also provided to help each facility with promoting the performance and encouraging attendance.

Phase 2
-  The director & dancers arrive 60 minutes prior to scheduled performances to help with set up and encourage the residents around the facility to come see this high quality performance of these very friendly and talented dancers.  Next is a 30-45 minute performance of new and classic dance works, straight from their collection of stage repertoire,  followed by 30 minutes of socializing and sharing between the residents and dancers.

Phase 3-  A music CD of some of the dances performed is given to the Activities Directors so the residents can continue to relive the performance experience and for their listening pleasure.  Finally, the company will discuss with staff members scheduling future performances, family day performances and workshops to continue to invigorate life through The Big Muddy dance performances.

Community Awareness:

The Big Muddy Dance Company offers performances to other non-profit organizations to help raise awareness.  Past performances include the Alzheimer's Association, South Broadway Arts Project, Drea's Dream Benefit, Little Patriots, Girl Scouts of America, Variety the Children's Charity, and more.  


The Big Muddy Dance Company offers a workshop to encourage early stage dementia patients to experience a dance performance, move along with the dancers and if desired, get up and dance themselves.  The workshop was piloted with great success at the "Care & Conquer" conference for the Alzheimer's Association in November of 2013.   

The arts, dance, and cognitive decline:

Dementia and cognitive decline in our older adult population is a growing problem.  Creative solutions and treatments are needed to delay clinical onset and to slow the progression of dementia and memory impairment in older adults, helping them to lead as fulfilling lives as possible.  The Big Muddy Dance Company's Senior Embrace aims to play a small but important role in this creative intervention to invigorate lives of our senior community and their caregivers.

  • Art therapies, including dance, can enhance communication, brain function, and social interaction for dementia patients. (

  • Viewing artistic experiences can provide a trigger for dormant memories and emotions, inspiring conversations among patients who normally struggle to express themselves. (

  • The stimulation derived from an inspirational arts experience can override the stresses of memory loss.  (

  • Viewing art has been shown to have a calming effect on an individual with Alzheimer's disease, promoting relaxation, improved mood, and a decrease in disruptive behavior.  (

  • Art therapies facilitate a closer relationship between individuals with dementia and their caregivers.  It reminds the caregiver that the person with dementia is still there.  (

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