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Festival of Politics
19-23 August 2024

Monday, August 19, 2024

Dementia – the power of dance and personalised playlists

Time: 1:45pm to 3:15pm

In partnership with Healing Arts Scotland

Healing Arts Scotland

£7.50 full price and £5 concession

Book tickets for Dementia – the power of dance and personalised playlists now *

Event description

The arts have powers to positively impact people living with dementia without posing negative side effects or risk. Research demonstrates that participatory art forms empower the artist in everyone, moving beyond a diagnosis and offering a window of expression, creativity, and joy, taking the whole person into consideration and improving quality of life for people living with dementia and their families.

Join the panel to discuss the science behind the power; the first-hand experience; and how carers and families can also benefit.

There will be a 15-minute taster dance session as part of this panel. No dance experience required.  

Chair: Jeremy Balfour MSP, Convener, Cross-Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing


Festival of Politics panellists

Michael Timmons is Executive Director of Playlist for Life: a leading UK music and dementia charity. Michael has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and over 10 years’ experience in the voluntary and health and social care sector working to drive change in communities. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Patients Advocacy Service at The State Hospital, a service providing advocacy to people detained under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Michael is a musician and has performed across the UK and Europe.

Magdalena Schamberger is a creative collaborator, theatre director, consultant and teacher. Magdalena is the founder of Hearts & Minds, the arts in health charity, and has worked creatively with people living with dementia for over 20 years. She uses physical theatre and a cross-arts approach to create highly visual performances. Magdalena is committed to meaningfully engage with theatres and communities by offering training to organisations, theatre staff and artists of all art forms.

Lisa Sinclair is the Senior Dance Health Manager for Scottish Ballet. Scottish Ballet’s dance health programmes provide wellbeing support to people living with neurological conditions, long Covid and health professionals. Lisa originally trained as a professional dancer at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and worked for many years as a dance artist.

Willy Gilder is a former BBC journalist and practicing artist who lives with Alzheimer’s. He now focuses on painting, drawing and campaigning on issues he is passionate about. Willy is also involved with ECRED (Edinburgh Centre for Research on The Experience of Dementia).


All Scottish Parliament event locations:

  • are accessible by lift or level access, and venues are accessible to wheelchair users
  • welcome guide dogs or other assistance dogs

Some venues are fitted with induction loop facilities.

Please contact us in advance if you have any access requirements.  

Further information on accessibility at the Scottish Parliament.

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