I am Rebecca (Becky) Nixon Barraclough and I own a business called Sit and Dance with Becky DBA and Becky’s SeniorSit and Dance LLC
I am a Mother of five Children, and a grandmother to twenty. I have been married to my wonderful husband Mark for over 42 years. I have a degree in Physical Education, and Dance from Brigham Young University, graduating with a B.S. degree in 1972. I have taught all kinds of dance, aerobics and exercise to children and adults for over 43 years. I am certified with AFAA, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America specializing in Senior Fitness.
My program consists of doing exercise and dance in a chair for seniors and others with stability issues. What makes my program different than any others is that I use original music, familiar songs, and Big Band artists, of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s as well as Classical Music, Movie Soundtracks, Country Music, Folk Music and Popular “sing along” songs, they remember from the past, as part of my curriculum. With mental visualization, I take them back in time, and imagining that they are dancing with their sweethearts to Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and many more artists and bands from that era. Sometimes we travel to foreign places, and doing an Irish Jig, Folk Dance steps, all from the stability of a chair. I teach at retirement, assisted living, skilled nursing, and Alzheimer facilities.
Each class includes stretching, strengthening, coordination, and agility exercises, as well as exercises to help the brain power, (going across the mid-line of the body), all to the rhythm and tempo of the music. The best part is that the residents find out they can Cha-Cha, Tango, Waltz, Two-step, Jitter-bug, Hula, Foxtrot, Polka, Square Dance, Salsa, and even do the Calypso from their chair.
What is amazing is how long I can get them to exercise. I teach between 30-45 minutes with the motivation of the music. They are amazed when they finish to knowing how long they have exercised. Folks, who came feeling down, or sad, leave upbeat and happy. They love Sit and Dance. There have been major benefits and increases in fitness, and joint mobility for those who come to my classes regularly. My business is a real hit. I teach between 3-6 classes a day, in two counties.
Every day I receive so much benefit, in the smiles, and the excitement from the residents, that I feel rejuvenated and want to help as many as possible. It can go on for generations, with “Sit and Dancing to the Beatles”, and the “Beach Boys”, Etc. and so on. With a generation of baby boomers just moving into the senior title, I know that with my help and God-given talents I can help them become a more fit and happy generation, on, and on into the future.
I know this is an exercise program of the future! Music is the motivation and is what people love! I believe in this program, and that it would benefit millions of seniors, and help them want to exercise, in the safety and stability of a chair, while getting the fitness benefits they need and desire.
MY GOAL AND INSPIRATION
Not only is my goal to train and license others to teach Becky’s Sit and Dance, But also and to produce DVD’s and help the caregiver who are in the trenches taking care of their loved one and working with the Alzheimer Association in supporting Caregivers.
My Dad and Mother lived with my husband and me for almost 3 years from 1997-2000 as my Mother had Alzheimer disease. We were her caregivers. She passed away, from complications, due to Alzheimer disease in 2000. My husband helped, and it was amazing how we could always get her attention and to focus on happy things, when we played Glenn Miller, and other music she was familiar with.
It is so inspiring when I teach at Alzheimer facilities; I get people moving that usually don’t want to participate. I can re-direct those who may be responding negatively. They hear familiar music and get big smiles. One of my favorite parts of my curriculum is “Sit and Dance and Sing” to Mitch Miller and his chorus and orchestra. They love the oldies, like “Harvest Moon” and “You are my Sunshine”. We waltz and Jitterbug and sing. Using multiple activities, helps stimulate their brain power also by going across the mid-line of the body. They also respond positively to “Sit and Dance at the movies” and exercise to “Sound of Music”, or “South Pacific”!
SIT AND DANCE HISTORY
When my Mother passed away I tried many things to make a difference in other’s lives and earn income to help our family. It was 2004, when I decided to apply at an assisted living facility, to be their activities director. I did exercise and dance from a chair. For two years I learned and tried things with the residents, to see what they could and couldn’t do from a chair.
In 2006, I started working for a company as a care assistant, helping the elderly in their homes, as I needed to supplement our income. I offered to teach at one of the in-service meetings at the care giving company showing my program. At the end of the meeting the owner of the business was so excited and praised me over and over. He encouraged me to form a business and put a name to it and spread my services. So I did as he suggested and called the company Sit and Dance for Seniors DBA. This was at the beginning of the year 2006. I found many other facilities who hired me under the umbrella of entertainment, as that is where these facilities have the money to use for fitness.
I was encouraged by the same business owner to produce some DVD’s. I found a friend who had some film producers as his contacts, and they agreed to produce four DVD’s. We formed a company called Sit and Dance for Seniors LLC which was dissolved in 2009. Over 700 DVD’s were sold throughout the USA and Canada. We even had a request from Scotland who watch me on a Karaoke Player.
I was sad that the business dissolved but I just kept plugging along teaching “Sit and Dance with Becky” My own personal DBA Business and have been teaching full time since. There are many who would like me to come in the morning but I have all the mornings filled up. So now with my goal to spread my idea to others to expand the scope and influence of Sit and Dance, I hope to be able to help more seniors reach their fitness goals, and to bring joy and excitement to their lives as the music brings back the memories of the good old days and reminiscing about when they were young and spry.