New Zealand,

Bupa New Zealand resident’s dream comes true as she is swept off her feet once again


Noelene Archer, a resident at Bupa Cedar Manor in Tauranga, New Zealand, has always loved to dance.

A professional dancer in her earlier years, with an assortment of medals for foxtrot framed and proudly displayed in her room, she’s dreamed of spinning and stepping on the dance floor again.

However, this was soon about to change as Bupa New Zealand held its annual Shall We Dance event.

With Bupa facilities across New Zealand encouraged to incorporate dance into their residents’ and clients’ lives throughout the month of July, Noelene’s home at Bupa Cedar Manor took part by hosting its own masquerade ball.

With performances throughout the night, and professional ball dancers in attendance, everyone was looking forward to the event. Especially Noelene.

Introduced to professional dancer, Daniel Wilkes, who previously featured on New Zealand’s Dancing with the Stars, Noelene’s dream soon became a reality as she danced the foxtrot once more.

“It was amazing and truly special watching them dance together. She was gazing up into his eyes and afterwards just could not believe it,” Jane Verry, Care Home Manager at Bupa Cedar Manor, said.

“She kept saying ‘I can’t believe I have danced with a proper dancer again’. It was a very emotional experience for her. I have never seen anyone’s eyes light up so much.”

Jane added: “We take part in Shall We Dance because we have seen over the years how dance affects our residents. Residents that hardly move start tapping their feet, their eyes light up with broad smiles across their faces, and singing fills the room.”

This was certainly the case for Noelene who was still talking about the event days after and fondly looking over her foxtrot medals.

Other Bupa facilities across New Zealand also got involved in Shall We Dance, with some hosting cultural dances and dance lessons as well as inviting local community schools to perform.

Gowns, fur coats, and plenty of pearls was the dress code at Bupa Beachhaven Care Home as it turned back the clocks for a 1920s themed-party.

Bupa Beachhaven’s Care Home Manager, Chris Beckett, said dancing is a great way to bring joy to their residents, especially those living with dementia.

“When music starts playing, everyone - even our residents with advanced dementia - start tapping their feet and singing along,” she said.

“One of our residents, Trish, used to be an actress in theatre. Meaningful events like these are an opportunity for her to relive her dancing days – she sings along and knows every word.”