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How the Octaband® Came to Be Created

I am thrilled to share the Octaband® so that you, too, can discover the enthusiasm generated when using the Octaband®.

My goal as a dance/movement therapist and educator for over 35 years with people of all ages and abilities has been to increase a person’s sense of relatedness to him or her self, others, and their environment. I have been particularly fascinated by experimenting with ways of moving which build and then focus energy. The child in me loves to play with the elements of rhythm, dance, music, and color, and the artist / dancer in me loves to shape those elements.

It was while leading dance / movement therapy groups with older adults with dementia that I noticed the effectiveness of the image of group leader as hub of a wheel and the interactions between the leader and group members as spokes of that wheel. I wondered if group members would be able to interact with each other more directly with less intervention on my part if I created a prop to manifest that image. You could say that I reinvented the wheel. That was the Octaband®'s beginnings.

Originally developed as a dance/movement therapy prop, it is being used with great success by music and expressive therapists, recreation therapists, activity directors, occupational, physical and speech therapists, special ed and music teachers, social workers and team builders. It has been especially effective with children with physical disabilities, autism, Aspergers, ADHD, and special needs, with older adults and people with dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, and both children and adults with developmental disabilities.

- Donna Newman-Bluestein, Octaband Creator