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Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland

Face-to-face events are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 measures.

During restrictions, Dance Base and Scottish Ballet have been offering online alternatives. At the beginning of July 2020 they announced they will be continuing to offer an online programme until December, with a few small tweaks to the platform and the number of classes previously on offer. There is a revised Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland Facebook page created for dancers involved in the DfP Scotland programme to connect and socialise during these challenging times.

Through the Facebook page participants have access to free online classes three days a week. Classes are posted at 11:30am Monday, Wednesday and Thursday by Dance Base and Scottish Ballet, in addition to partners Horsecross Arts, Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, and Macrobert Arts Centre. The classes in the Facebook page can be enjoyed by participants at any time, not just live.

Dance Base also announced a brand new programme of digital dance resources as part of their exciting new project, Feel Like Dancing. For 12 weeks from July 2020, professional dance artists will present new activities for people to do in their homes, exploring different themes, and helping more people to “feel like dancing” together every day. Dance Base is releasing two seated dance classes every week – a short version for a quick energising dance done 1-1, and a longer version for groups to do together. These videos can be enjoyed at any time and accessed here.

For more information, please contact Meghan Bidwell, Dance Health Manager at Dance Base, via

Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland in Edinburgh Before COVID-19

Sessions every Wednesday from 11.30 until 1.30pm in Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU in a supportive and joyful environment. Aims of the sessions for PwPs and care-partners:

  • wake up stiff muscles and improve flexibility
  • encourage mind-body connection
  • improve co-ordinationand balance
  • increase self-awarenessand self-esteem
  • provide social time at the end to make connections and feel part of the dance community.

Classes are led by specially-trained dance teachers with live music provided by a pianist. Live music can be used flexibly to encourage movement and development of sequences. Sessions begin seated to provide a stable base for warm-up exercises then progress to gentle choreographed movement around the floor. All sequences are adaptable for individual situations of more restricted mobility.

The Branch started this activity in 2010 when it was one of the earliest groups established in the UK following the principles of Dance for PD®. The original concept, arising from collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson’s Group in New York, is now increasingly practised worldwide among the Parkinson’s community.

The class eventually became supported by Dance Base and Scottish Ballet through funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Dr Bethany Whiteside of the Royal Conservatoire, Scotland, presented a review of the Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme at the March 2018 Edinburgh Branch Meeting and you can download her presentation as a pdf file by following this link.

By kind permission of Bob Dickson and the Afternoon Show at BBC Radio Scotland you can hear a 2019 interview about the DfP Scotland approach via this link.

Branch Member, Lindsay McDermid, compiled a tasteful short video demonstrating the types of movement involved and compiled from a number of PwP Dance Groups. Watch it here

And here is the Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland own video

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