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Dance for people living with Parkinson's
Dance can provide a relaxed and sociable environment for people living with Parkinson's to exercise both body and mind

“….I’ve identified about eight or ten words to describe what we’re doing: imagination, creativity, language, colour, music, rhythm. And I’ve not come across anything, anything in my diverse life, which combines all those things. The breadth and depth of what is going on downstairs [in the studio] is significant.” 

“I feel released from the Parkinson’s, in more control of my body and with friends.”


Participant quotes: English National Ballet, Dance for Parkinson’s: An Investigative Study 2 - A report on a three-year mixed methods research study by Dr. Sara Houston and Ashley McGill MSc, April, 2015 with Prof. Raymond Lee, Katherine Watkins MCSP and Cameron Donald and Pavilion Dance South West, Parkinson’s Dance class feedback 2015/2016
Why dance?
There’s an increasing appetite for dance these days and the broad ways it benefits our health and wellbeing. This is felt by people of all ages and physical abilities. One group that now attaches particular value to taking part in dance is that of people living with Parkinson’s.

A growing body of evidence points to the real physical, mental and social benefits experienced by people living with Parkinson’s when they dance. For example, research into English National Ballet’s (ENB) dance and Parkinson’s programme, published in 2015 by Dr Sara Houston of Roehampton University, concluded that dance as a group activity can:
  • Encourage feelings of inclusion and positive social interaction
  • Promote a sense of community that is particularly meaningful, motivating and energising for people living with Parkinson’s
  • Aid fluency of movement
  • Help people with Parkinson’s communicate and express themselves

An Introduction to Dance for Parkinson's, Summer School 2016, photos by Rachel Cherry
Blog


Alison Williams of Edinburgh University, describes herself as a late-onset academic; having got her Doctorate at 66, just after her Parkinson's diagnosis, in 2012. To help mark Parkinson’s Awareness Week (10-16 April) we asked Alison to blog for us on the importance dance plays in her life with Parkinson's...
Find a class

Find a Dance for Parkinson's class in your area using the Google map below. Click the pin close to where you live to find out more.

For class listings in your area, see the area headings at the top right of this page. Click on your area to find a list of classes near you.

If you can't find a class in your area, please contact us and we can let you know if there are any planned for the future.

Dance classes and groups run throughout the UK. They are usually open to friends and carers, as well as people with Parkinson's. It's always best to contact the group leader before going to your first class.

An Introduction to Dance for Parkinson's, Summer School 2016, photos by Rachel Cherry
Are you a dance artist looking for professional development?
If you are a professional looking to find out more about teaching dance to people with Parkinson's, click the button below to find further information about:
  • Professional development - classes and workshops
  • Research
  • Further reading, links to articles
  • Useful contacts; and
  • the Online Learning Programme
UK Dance for Parkinson's class map
With support from

Contact us
If you run or know of a class that isn’t listed on our map you can contact us at parkinsonsdance@communitydance.org.uk 

For other contacts and to get in touch with us see contact us