Dance of Interaction Manual

The Dance of Interaction: An Embodied Approach to Nonverbal Communication Training for Caregivers of People with Dementia

The Dance of Interaction: An Embodied Approach to Nonverbal Communication Training for Caregivers of People with Dementia is a train-the-trainer manual. The ultimate goal of the manual and the training is to help caregivers be more aware of their own nonverbal communication style and how their style impacts a person with dementia. Understanding and consciously using an embodied approach will help caregivers provide quality and humane care in such a way that the person being cared for will feel seen, understood, and affirmed. It is designed for dance/movement therapists, psychologically oriented dancers, body-mind practitioners, and care providers with significant experience in both embodied practices and dementia.

It is recommended that trainers undergo an intensive training program of the same name offered by author Newman-Bluestein. Trainers may use the structures presented in this guide verbatim or adapt sequences and scripts to best suit the needs of their trainees.

Reviewer Pattee Russell-Curry observes that the manual may also be useful for training caregivers and staff of other populations, especially those with limited verbal skills. Russell-Curry also finds the manual’s Appendix a clear and easy tool for the trainer. Russell-Curry’s book review can be found in the American Journal of Dance Therapy, June 2018, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 179–182.



Dr. Heather Hill of Yarra Glen, Australia: 

“The revolutionary nature of this manual is that it brings to attention the embodied, relational nature of care, and offers some stepping stones towards changing the way we train for care.”

Dr. Michael Verde of Memory Bridge:

“Newman-Bluestein and Chang’s The Dance of Interaction advances the impelling idea that our relationships with people with dementia begin and end with our bodies’ ways of being with each other. The authors’ clearly communicated vision of intimacy through movement and non-verbal attunement makes this book more than just another how-to guide in the field of dementia care. It is, rather, a way-to-be-together guide. It is a perfectly timely book that animates hope, heralding a way by which life can move through our bodies to a place that dementia can never reach.”

Mindful Book Reviews - Always Be Dancing

By Eve Costarelli
April 16, 2018

“I highly recommend this work and trainings by Donna Newman-Bluestein. An embodied learning approach can be used caregivers, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, anyone who works with patients with dementia and really any specialty group. This approach will make you curious, compassionate and above all authentic, vibrant and empowered to be the best you and the best caregiver. I love this beautiful, compassionate life line!”