June 22, 2018  

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Southern Miss Graduate Students to Host Ballroom Dance at Alden Pointe

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University of Southern Mississippi graduate students Ann Rodio and Alexandria Camp will serve as hosts of a special Pre-Valentine’s Day Ballroom Dance for residents of Alden Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Rodio, a native of Durham, N.C., and Camp, a native of Greenville, Ill., are both graduate students in the School of Social Work at Southern Miss. As part of their graduate research, Rodio and Camp are trying to determine if ballroom dancing can help older adults to retrospectively develop a sense of meaning and fulfillment from their lives as physical limitations associated with aging occur.

The event will consist of at least one ballroom dance session led by a professional instructor. Participants will be basked to complete a survey before and after the dance session. Residents of the assisted living facility who do not wish to participate in the dancing will be invited to observe, as previous research indicates that observation alone can be beneficial for older adults by helping them re-experience fond memories of their youth.

“The main goal of the project is to provide older adults with an opportunity to enjoy the cognitive, psychological and emotional benefits of ballroom dance as a way to help them increase their feelings of trust, independence, creativity, competence, sense of self, intimacy, accomplishment, and fulfillment,” Rodio noted.

Dance lessons and music will be provided by USA Dance of Hattiesburg. Organizations contributing food for the event include: St. Luke Home Health & Hospice; Southern Care Hospice; Forrest General Hospice; Hospice Advantage. Bellevue Florist is contributing flowers.

Rodio and Camp want to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Michael Forster and Karen Adams for their roles in bringing Dance USA into the project; Dr. Susan Hrostowski for advising and supervising the project; and Kathy McPhail and Rhonda Hamil for allowing them to conduct the project at Alden Pointe.