Rhythmic activities include clapping or snapping to the beat of a song. Stomping or tapping the feet to the beat of a song is also a rhythmic activity.
People may sit in a circle when engaging in rhythmic activities. This can make them more comfortable with movement and the social aspects of dancing. Prompting participants to change their actions from clapping to snapping before encouraging them to stand up can help them become used to the music and the movement of their bodies. Advanced rhythmic activities include basic individual dance steps, such as moving from side to side, and partner dancing.
The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function handbook on rhythmic activities found on the Department of Health's website states that these activities are among the most effective methods for building a communal experience among residents suffering from dementia. These activities benefit patients at all stages of dementia, early- to late-stage. Patients can participate through breath, body movements and eye contact if they cannot communicate or play instruments.