Join us in the dance!

If Only I Could… is a celebration of music and dance in the lives of our elders. The shows pairs aged care residents with professional dancers, choreographers and musicians.


Book here

Friday 1 October
Matinee: 11am
Evening show: 6pm

Above all, If Only I Could… is a celebration of our elders, the very big lives they have lived and the very big contributions they have made – and continue to make.

Artistic freedom knows no age

The If Only I Could… show features Tabeel aged care residents and four professional dancers recall, recreate and relive much-loved memories through movement and dance. Tabeel Creative Lifestyle Coordinator Ruth Tolhurst says the residents are thrilled to have creative input into the show.

“The creative process helps them to tap into their memories and sense of fun,” explains Ruth. “By connecting with their memories, residents feel validated – that their experiences happened, and meant something. Our residents are really open to the experience. You can see different sides of people coming out.” For the stars of the show – Tabeel residents – rehearsing for the October 1 show has become a highlight. Tabeel aged care resident Jenny McCue says the dance sessions were a real mood-lifter. “I really look forward to the dance activities. It’s great fun,” she says.


If Only I Could began as an idea in 2018 to pair up aged care residents with professional dancers, choreographers and musicians—to recall, recreate and relive much-loved dances from the past.

The project kicked off three years ago with funding and support from the Australia Council, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Arts Queensland and Ausdance Queensland. It was developed and performed over a two-month period.

Then, with further funding from Arts Queensland and the creative stewardship of director Angela Chaplin and choreographer Lizzie Vilmanis, a public performance was staged at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts—to the thunderous applause of some 200 people.

Fast forward to 2021 and If Only I Could… was originally planned to be performed at QPAC later this year, but COVID-19 made that too difficult. Now it has evolved again and will be performed at the Laidley Cultural Centre, Friday 1 October.

We can’t wait!



“When I was young, I was told not to dance because it led to further evils. Now I’m 90, I’m past all the further evils, so now I can I dance!”

Kevin, Lutheran Services Aged Care Resident


‘‘The music and the memories. It was wonderful to see everyone dancing. You are leaving us with wonderful memories. Watching and participating was terrific.’’

Joan, Lutheran Services


“It shows you are never too old to rise to a challenge, try something new or re-explore something you loved.”

Judy, Lutheran Services Aged Care Manager


*This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland