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Voluntourism / Germany & the Netherlands

Voluntourism Spotlight: Dance to Help Alzheimer’s Patients in Berlin

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It’s no secret that Berlin is one of Europe’s hottest cities, and certainly most eccentric. An affordable cost of living attracts creative types from all corners of the globe, so it’s no surprise that Berlin boasts some incredibly unique voluntourism opportunities. One way you can give back in Berlin is to help Alzheimer’s patients by dancing with them. Check out the program below and remember to tune in to Peter Greenberg Worldwide this weekend for more information. Plus, don’t forget to check out our archive for all kinds of voluntourism opportunities.

berlin 2If you want to experience local music and practice your polka moves, check out Alzheimer-Tanzcafé, a special experience for local Alzheimer patients, providing memory recollection therapy and self-rediscovery. The Alzheimer-Gesellschaft Berlin believes that music can greatly enhance these therapies. Music can change a person’s mood, manage stress, stimulate cognitive function, and improve motor skills. This happens because music requires almost no mental processing, allowing patients at any stage in the disease to see the effects. The coolest part of music therapy is that people often associate music with certain life events or emotions so, when they hear it, the connection can evoke memories by itself.

As a volunteer, you not only get to dance, but can experience the effects on patients first hand, which can be pretty rewarding. Volunteers are not required to speak German. Luckily, music and dance transcends all language barriers. There are no time commitment requirements, so there is no excuse not to mix this into one of your afternoons in Berlin; it will surely be among your most memorable.

Check out the foundation’s website or send them an email to see when you can join, as additional times vary by week. But the Tanzcafé meets the second Monday of every month from 2-4pm. Monday Dance events are located on the first floor of the Kreuzberg Intercultural family center, but other Tanzcafés have popped up in Spandau, Schöneberg, and Treptow, so if you’re looking for a dance marathon you can check out all four locations throughout the week.

Tanzcafé dance events are only a couple of hours…and they serve tea with cakes before polka dancing begins, in case you need another reason to attend! Check out for more information, and be sure to translate the page into English.

By Courtney Crockett for