World Sight Day – Walking sticks to star in dance

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Dunedin-developed Victa Viz sticks will be highlighted by the Ageing Gracefully dance project on World Sight Day next Thursday. Six dancers, including project facilitator Kathryn Olcott, walking sticks – designed to improve the visibility and safety of visually impaired pedestrians – during performances in the Octagon (1pm) and the Dunedin City Library (5.30pm).
The dances are part of a busy programme planned for Dunedin’s first celebration of World Sight Day. Ms Olcott said the dance – set to Louise Armstrong’s My Walking Stick – had been choreographed by Ageing Gracefully co-facilitator Suzanne Renner and rehearsed in the group’s weekly classes. “Using the Viz sticks in the dance adds a fun element and also helps to highlight their importance as a mobility and safety aid for people with visual impairments,” Ms Olcott said. The Ageing Gracefully project, which began in March with the support of Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ), was created in response to research suggesting dancing could help ward off dementia and improve cognitive ability in all ages.
Performing at World Sight Day marks the end of the classes for this year. They are set to resume in February.