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Dance for Parkinson's

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

On this page we have tried to present a selection of current, interesting and useful information related to dance and Parkinson's. Our news & views, courses and events, resources and knowledge bank and funding databases include information about or relevant to Parkinson's and can be searched directly.

Dance for Parkinson's at Summer School 2017

Tuesday 25 - Friday 28 July 2017
De Montfort University, Leicester

2017's programme includes two courses linked to professional development in Dance for Parkinson's, suitable for those new to dance for Parkinson's and those seeking to develop their existing knowledge and practice.

Dance for Parkinson's Programme 2017

Introduction to Dance for Parkinson’s, led by David Leventhal, Danielle Teale and the Dance for Parkinson's Network UK - Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 July

Advanced Dance for Parkinson’s, led by artists from English National Ballet and guest tutor David Leventhal (Dance for PD(R)) - Thursday 27 July

For detailed information about each course and how to apply, please click here.

Photo: Introducing Dance for Parkinson's, Summer School 2016 by Rachel Cherry.

Dance for Parkinson's - an inquisitive approach

A professional development workshop for experienced dance artists and practitioners currently working in dance with people living with Parkinson’s

1 April 2017, 9.30am – 4pm

£15 (People Dancing members £12)

Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW 
- The workshop takes place in the LICA building, Rm A28

This professional development workshop brings together three established and experienced dance for Parkinson’s practitioners from Lancashire, Cumbria, and West Yorkshire: Melanie Brierley, Daphne Cushnie and Natalie Speake

The morning sessions will focus on specific elements of each practitioner's approach to dance for people living with Parkinson’s. In the afternoon, people living with Parkinson’s, who attend local sessions, will take part in a class that reflects the morning’s practice.

To book, please call People Dancing on +44 (0) 116 253 3453.

For specific access requirements, or with questions about this workshop, please email

Melanie Brierley
Melanie works in Lancaster and around the NW region as a dance, health, and wellbeing artist at ConsciousBodies using somatic movement practices. Her focus is on supporting connection through the bodymind as a pathway to health and her Dance and Parkinson’s practice also incorporates John Argue’s fascinating work on the ‘Art of Movement’ for people living with Parkinson’s.

Daphne Cushnie

Daphne is a senior neurological physiotherapist and independent dance artist working in Cumbria and she will bring the knowledge from both of these areas to the CPD training event. Daphne’s focus for the day will be on exploring the use of language and movement as an improvisational tool in the context of Dance and Parkinson’s.

Natalie Speake
Natalie is an independent dance and yoga artist working in West Yorkshire. In her session Natalie will explore a themed-based, cross disciplinary workshop using the idea of "freedom" as the thread through her work. She will demonstrate the way that dance, poetry, and song can be combined to create flexibility and diversity in the context of Dance and Parkinson’s practice.

Directions on campus: Travel up the main spine leading into the University, turn left at the first roundabout and go almost to the end of this road and then turn right up the slope. The LICA building is situated to the left and has a small walkway with a pond each side (normally with ducks!). There is parking all along the road leading up towards the venue and it is also possible to be dropped off next to the building.

How to get there

The railway station situated in the town centre has plenty of taxis outside. Here are some local taxi numbers:

  • 848848 Radio Taxis: 01524 848848
  • 32090 Taxis: 01524 32090
  • Coastal Taxis: 01524 60000
  • A1 Taxis: 01524 35666.

In the City: The bus station is situated on Damside Street in the City Centre, not far from the train station. Buses are frequent and services 2, 2A, 3, 4, X4, 42 leave for the University every five minutes on weekdays and most services also stop at Common Garden Street. Additionally, the 4 and X4 bus services run every 20 minutes between the Railway Station and the University (hourly on Sunday afternoons and evenings).

On Campus: All buses drop off and collect passengers in the Underpass, situated underneath Alexandra Square. If you alight there, please follow directions for the Great Hall and then the LICA building.

Online Learning Programme

People Dancing and Dance for PD® have, with the assistance of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK, created an online learning programme designed to help dance practitioners gain some of the background knowledge needed before embarking on practical learning associated with the safe delivery of dance sessions for people with Parkinson's.

Comprised of eight units, the course gives learners essential information about Dance for Parkinson’s core principles, the medical condition, and the effects of symptoms and medication on dance class participants. It provides specific, expert guidance on conducting a risk assessment, cultivating safe practice, establishing inclusive class structure and design, incorporating adaptations and embodying effective teaching techniques. The interactive programme includes video clips and research reports, as well as text and audio resources that make it engaging and fun to do.

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Dance for Parkinson’s Network

Supporting the development of a network

The Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK is a national organisation that supports dance practitioners who work with people with Parkinson’s and their friends. People Dancing is supporting the Network in relation to the development of the Network’s Membership, training and continuing professional development (CPD) processes.

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A film exploring Parkinson's and dance
Dancer, choreographer and Parkinson's movement teacher Pamela Quinn has produced a new short dance film featuring a duet she choreographed for David Leventhal and herself

English National Ballet, Dance for Parkinson's: An investigative study

English National Ballet and Dr Sara Houston and Ashley McGill of Roehampton University
Classes and Workshops

Classes and workshops for people with Parkinson's

A full listing of classes offered to people with Parkinson's (and their carers) can be found at: