Face-to-face events are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 measures. However, there are interim online alternatives from Scottish Ballet and Dance Base as follows:
Scottish Ballet is streaming Dance Health classes via Facebook five days a week, with Dance for Parkinson’s classes on Mondays from 11.30am. To read more about what Scottish Ballet is offering go to https://www.scottishballet.co.uk/articles/digital-sb-health-classes.
Dance Base is sharing a new Dance for Parkinson’s class every Wednesday via Facebook – go to https://www.facebook.com/DanceforParkinsonsScotland/.
Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland Under Normal Circumstances
The sessions are run every Wednesday from 11.30 until 1.30pm in Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU. The last half hour is social time with biscuits, tea and coffee. Sessions are free to attend, donations are welcome..
The aims are to:
- wake up stiff muscles and improve flexibility
- encourage mind-body connection
- improve co-ordination and balance
- increase self-awareness and self-esteem
in a supportive and joyful environment.
The social time at the end of each session is a chance to make connections and feel part of the dance community. Family members and carers often participate in the dance sessions, finding the classes fun and therapeutic for themselves as well as for people with Parkinson’s.
The classes are facilitated by specially-trained dance teachers (Jen Cunningham, Christina Duncan, and Libby Daye) and musician Robert Briggs, with volunteers kindly assisting. The teachers have a wonderful sense of light-heartedness and fun which they bring to the classes. Live music is an essential ingredient, and we have a talented pianist providing the accompaniment, so the music is used flexibly to encourage movement and development of sequences.
Each session begins seated to provide a stable base for warm-up exercises then progresses to gentle choreographed movement around the floor. All sequences are adaptable for individual situations of more restricted mobility.
The Branch has been running this activity since 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 Edinburgh sessions are connected to other classes in the USA and beyond, linking up through the internet and visits.
The class is now being supported by Dance Base and Scottish Ballet, through funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The funding was awarded to run classes, which also have a research element, in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Dr Bethany Whiteside of the Royal Conservatoire, Scotland, presented a review of the Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme at the March 2018 Branch Meeting and you can download her presentation as a pdf file by following this link.
To find out about the Dance for Parkinson’s hubs across Scotland download this pdf document Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland 2019.
For more information please contact Meghan Bidwell, Dance Health Manager at Dancebase, by sending an email to email@example.com.
Thanks to Bob Dickson and BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show, supported by Parkinson’s UK’s publicity guru, Graham Kerr, we are able to give you a taste of Dance for Parkinson’s – just follow this link
Branch Member, Lindsay McDermid, has 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