Behind the Scenes

Sheridan Centre for Elder Research

A group of women taking part in a ballet-based applied research project through the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research.

Since 2003, the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research at the Trafalgar Road Campus has conducted more than 60 research, evaluation and design projects that directly benefit and empower older adults and their families.


A prime focus of the Centre is research aimed at understanding how participation in art activities enhances quality of life and promotes healthy aging. For example, memorizing sequences of movements engages a variety of cognitive processes making dance an activity that engages both the body and the mind.

Results of the Centre’s ballet-based project included:

  • An increased level of flexibility, balance and lower-body strength.
  • An increase in positive mood and overall levels of exercise participation.

The project led to the development of a customizable dance curriculum suitable for older adults of all ages and abilities. A core group of participants in a dance applied research project still meet on a regular basis at a local community centre to dance and socialize. The Centre’s latest project looks at the effects of dance on the management of Type 2 diabetes.

Read more about the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research.