A weekly dance class for people with Parkinson's and their carers / family / friends. No previous dance experience is necessary, and all ages and abilities are welcome. The emphasis is on good music, having fun and making new friends.
These classes are for people living with Parkinson's and their partners / carers / friends. They are for any age, and any ability. You don't need to have ever danced before! We use a variety of music and dance styles. We always start the warm-up sitting on chairs in a circle. We do some dance in standing, and some moving around the floor - but all the dances can be adapted to be done seated if needed.
There are over 170 papers on the benefits of dance in people with Parkinson's. Research into dancing and Parkinson's has shown to improve balance, gait (walking pattern) and endurance. Most people also report an improvement in their posture, though this is more difficult to measure. Subjective improvements include improved socialisation, activity participation, cognition and quality of life. Any type of dancing has demonstrated these improvements, and dance has out-performed exercise classes for Parkinson's.
Dance for people with Parkinson's was developed by Olie Westheimer in Brooklyn, New York in 2002 with the Mark Morris dance company. David Leventhal, one of the dancers in the Mark Morris company has been very involved with the programme, and has since collaborated with the English National Ballet (ENB). In 2010 ENB developed a Dance for Parkinson's programme in London. Since then ENB have developed a national programme and courses for dance leaders and health professionals, and have researched the model of dance for Parkinson's with Roehampton University. A network has been developed, (Dance for Parkinson's Partnership UK), and the aim is for every person who has Parkinson's to have access to a high quality dance class in their locality.
Katie and Jackie are Dance for Parkinson's trained dance instructors, and run classes for people with Parkinson's in Exeter. They are both members of the Dance for Parkinson's network, and professional members of People Dancing. Both trained with the English National Ballet Instructors.
Come along and give it a try!