Briefly, the idea is to carry out and validate a program that combines group lesson of Argentine Tango, with qualified instructors, with a novel concept of home practice, developed with software engineers and companies, which uses virtual reality motion reconstruction. For practice, the captured motions will be displayed with an attractive and interactive interface.
Activity 1: Neurologist +Psychologist +Geriatrist +Scienze Motorie
A. Will identify clear and measurable motor execution and coordination objectives, to be monitored before, during and after 1-2 years.
B. Will design tests to verify the mnestic performances, as well as relational skills, sociability and the objective/perceived degree of satisfaction.
C. Will organize stages dedicated to Tango instructors, aimed to train them on the specific needs and difficulties of the elder. Detailed guidelines will be elaborated, and then used as a manual to harmonize their work.
D. Scienze motorie specialists, as experts in adapted physical activity, to suggest actions to be avoided, or alternative less tiring and more actions.
E. Geriatrists will define inclusion and exclusion criteria, then select about fifty 70 ys.o. healthy subjects of both sexes, with no evident counter-indications or impediments.
Activity 2: Tango instructors, cotacted via dance schools and ANMB
A: will attend a preparatory stage by the psychologists, neurologists and scienze motorie specialists, to be trained on the specific needs and difficulties of the elder.
B: Design a program of about 40 Tango progressive sequences to be taught during the timeframe of the program, in weekly lessons. The sequences will be specifically designed for the elder.
C: During each lesson, a new sequence is motion-captured in 3D using range cameras linked to the kinect technology (or similar). The captured sequence is then reconstructed adopting the teacher as “reference”, and given to the subjects for home practice.
Activity 3: Programmers / Computer graphics / Software or VideoGame company
A: Design a software in virtual reality environment, to captures tango sequences with RGD-Depth cameras and kinect consoles (R) (or similar), and to represent the sequence and its music in virtual reality, using the teachers’ silhouettes as avatar. Annotations on the sequence can be added, to appear during the representation.
B: At home, the subjects are provided with a similar setup, they stand in front of a large screen which projects the “reference” representation and superimposes on it the “personal” representation captured in real-time. The system tracks the correspondence of the “personal” capture with the reference, both in geometrical and in time-frame terms, and provides immediate feedbacks. Subjects can rehearse as many time as they wish, and improve on the correspondence. The software will also keep track of the overall performance and provide feedbacks. Previous lessons/sequences can be recalled on request, to stimulate memorization.
Computer graphic experts, in collaboration with psychologists and Tango instructors create an interactive and pleasant interface specifically designed for the elder, that should be stimulating and based on rewarding.
Activity 4: Data collection – Statistical analyses. Measures will be carried out by means of adequate clinical scales, validated cognitive tests and kinematic analyses, based on wearable inertial sensors for the assessment of gait, balance, posture, etc. A body sensor-based system for movement capture and analysis does not require a complete laboratory of gait analysis, and can be realized in an out-patient environment using 3 small inertial sensors and a notebook. Data are made available across the professionals involved in the study, assuring privacy. Rigorous longitudinal statistical analyses will follow. We expect improvements in the kinematic, cognitive and relational skills. The results will be published in peer-review scientific journals.
Activity 5: Socializing
A: The weekly lessons are held in groups of 6 (max), with a balanced number of men and women, in a dancing school setting. At least during the first lessons neurologists, psychologists and scienze motorie specialists should be present. The instructors make special attention to relational and social aspects, personalizing the activities as much as possible.
B: A monthly dancing afternoon is proposed, dedicated to the subject of the study, for dancing and socializing, with D.J.s and animation. About 10 external experienced dancers (men and women) will attend, named “jolly”. These are selected and instructed as to make them aware of their role: to positively interact with the subjects and be dedicated to their enjoyment, dancing in a simple and effective way. The “jolly” should qualify by attending a mini-stage provided by the Tango instructors, psychologist and neurologist.