Attention Aged Care Workers

Are you a Facility Manager, Occupational Therapy Assistant,
Activities co-ordinator, Activities assistant or Carer?
Do you wish you could do more to improve the physical health
and quality of life for the people you care for?



Dance has been proven to be the one of the best forms of exercise for older people with improvements in mood, balance, agility and quality of life.

rgb Bupa in their ‘Shall we Dance’ Report said this:

There is considerable and emerging evidence of the benefits of dance as an exercise option for older people. However, too often policy makers in Government and beyond are overlooking the contribution dance can make to the welfare of older people, often concentrating on less inclusive exercise and sports-based activities…. We believe that organisations that provide dance activities for older people in the community, in care homes and hospitals, can make a major contribution to better physical and mental wellbeing of the growing numbers of older people in the population”(1).

What are the benefits of Dance? 

Well for starters it’s FUN! It’s also an enjoyable social activity. It encourages conversations and lifts the energy of everyone participating AND dancing always involves music which is one of life’s most precious gifts.

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Studies have shown that dance based activities can improve an older person’s aerobic power; muscle endurance; muscle strength; flexibility; static balance; dynamic balance and agility; gait speed and reduce the rate of falls. (2)

Alzheimers Association of Australia have conducted studies examining the benefits of  Wu Tao for people with dementia. Results showed a reduction in agitation and improvements in quality of life for participants. (3).

You can read the research here.

In response to these positive findings, Michelle Locke, founder of Wu Tao and Registered Nurse has developed a specialised Stretch Dance Relax™ program for people who may be experiencing physical challenges, cognitive impairment, dementia and other symptoms associated with aging or disability.  

What is the Stretch Dance Relax Program and how does it work?

The Stretch Dance Relax™ program is an easy to implement, non-pharmacological way to improve older people’s quality of life and is particularly useful for people suffering the symptoms of dementia.

A Stretch Dance Relax™ session consists of easy warm-up exercises, self directed massage, gentle dance movements and relaxing meditations.  

As a psycho-social intervention Wu Tao’s Stretch Dance Relax™ program brings laughter, joy and fun to residents and their carers.  Therapeutically, it improves physical and mental health, improves sleep and induces relaxation.

thumb__DSC0050_1024Take a moment and imagine a group of your favourite clients.
They’ve had a long week of sitting around.
They’re dealing with their on-going health issues, missing family and looking a bit low.
You bring them together and guide them through a gentle dance process to beautiful music
that gets them smiling and laughing in 5 minutes!
They swing their arms around, dance the cobwebs out of their bodies
and deep breathe like there was no tomorrow.
40 minutes later they are sitting quietly, peaceful expressions on their faces,
as they listen to your guided relaxing meditation.
When they open their eyes they are beaming with gratitude and warmth.
They are so grateful for the opportunity to share this place of joy and fun with you!
You can see it in their eyes…..They are happy and relaxed again.

This is what happens in a Stretch Dance Relax ™ session! In a group session it’s a fun way to reduce stress for both residents and carers. It improves relationships and connection between people and generally increases levels of happiness and well-being within a group.

The program can also be used very effectively with individual clients. It’s particularly useful as a therapeutic intervention with clients who may be displaying agitation and anxiety. Significant improvement has been observed in many clients exhibiting difficult behaviours such as wandering, yelling, non-compliance and aggression.

wisdom picStretch Dance Relax™ Certified Training Course

What’s involved?

The training to become a Stretch Dance Relax™ facilitator can be done online or at by attending a 2 day training program. It ensures you have all the practical and theoretical skills to effectively deliver a Stretch Dance Relax ™ program to your clients individually and in a group environment.

Course Content

  • Introduction to Wu Tao Dance and the Stretch DanceRelax™ Program.
  • An overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine healing principles.
  • Discussion of recent research and benefits of dance and music therapy.
  • Learn the format for a Wu Tao Stretch Dance Relax™ group session
  • Learn best practice methods for implementation.
  • Review recent case studies
  • Learn how to use the program with individual clients.
  • Learn specialised visualisation and relaxation exercises 
  • Learn when and how to use personalised music therapy with clients.

What will you gain from doing the course

  • The skills to deliver the Stretch DanceRelax™ Program to your clientele
  • The ability to devise individualised movement programs for client
  • Knowledge of how non-pharmacological tools such as dance can help reduce client anxiety and improve mood.
  •  Insight into the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to health
  • A beautiful method to help restore the well-being and health of clients.
  • Increased physical energy, emotional balance and inner peace for yourself
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something positive and therapeutic for your clients

Online Training Delivery

  • The online program consists of a series of lessons which you can do in your own time at home or in your workplace. We support you to stay on track with the course, by sending you regular lesson emails and we are only a phone call or email away to help with any training queries.
  • Your training package includes comprehensive resource materials which includes DVD’s, music CD’s, and a workbook manual to help you to successfully learn and implement the Stretch Dance Relax™ program.  This is posted out to you after your enrolment is received.

These resources are also available as downloads through your private online learning portal.

  • A certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the training program.

Course Cost

$450.00 ex GST

Your investment for this course which includes the complete training online, the audio, video and workbook resources, and personalised mentoring.

Q & A

Q. I’m not a very good dancer will I be able to learn the movements?

A. You don’t need to be a good dancer to teach the movements, however, it will take some practice to learn the sequences. They are easy to learn and most people have no difficulty with them. However, if you get stuck or find it difficult we can arrange some skype face to face sessions with your tutor to help you along.

Q. How long does it usually take to complete the course?

A. The course takes approximately 1 to 3 months to complete, however you can take as much time as you like.

Q. Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?

A. No, you can take as long as you need to, though you do need to complete all components of the training including the 4 case studies to successfully complete the program and gain certification.

Q. How could I get my money back if I don’t like the course?

A. We’d love to hear from you if you don’t like the course and will do what we can to remedy any problems from our side. However, if you find the course is not for you, then return the course material and resources in good condition within 15 days of receiving it, with a letter of withdrawal. We’ll send you a full refund minus 10% for admin costs.

Q. I live in the USA, UK, Asia, Canada, etc. Is the course suitable for me?

A. Yes. We currently accept International students as well as Australian students for the online course. However, there are no 2 day workshops for international students at this stage.

Q. How can I contact my tutor or Wu Tao head office?

A. The tutor assesses your work and can help you with any course problems by phone or email. Upon completion of your assignments, email or post them to your tutor.

If you have an urgent query about the course or an administrative problem, you can phone and talk to a course manager at Wu Tao Head Office during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we will ring you back the next day.


1. Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review Keogh et al 2009
2. Shall We Dance? Bupa UK 2009
3. Exploring dance as a therapy for symptoms and social interaction in a dementia care unit, Duignan 2009