Louise Marshall, Producer, Dance & Accessible Arts Projects has written a great blog on the Dance for Parkinson's project that takes place here at Eden Court. Read to find our more about this amazing project.
I first came across Dance for Parkinsons when I attended some sessions at Dance East in Ipswich, where my mum was a volunteer. In many ways the class was just the same as any other community dance class, with a range of short exercises building to longer phrases, accompanied by live music. There was a range of abilities in the class but everyone was dancing, enjoying themselves and the atmosphere was joyful.
Not long afterwards, Inverness became a hub for the Dance for Parkinson's Scotland project, delivered by Scottish Ballet and Dance Base. This enabled me to get specific training and participate in more Dance for Parkinsons sessions to gain experience before starting delivery at Eden Court. These sessions started in March 2018 and have been running every week during term time since then. We have a great group of regulars, and others drop in when the can.
What’s different about the classes is that all the content is developed to support the well-being of a person living with Parkinson's. This includes physical aspects, such as improving balance, maintaining muscle strength and increasing neuroplasticity in the brain. Equally important is emotional well-being, so the class is very sociable, aims to build confidence, and has plenty of opportunities for enjoyment and success. But we don’t talk about Parkinson’s – we leave that at the door.
We use a lot of imagery and creativity in the session, so that everyone can dance to their full ability. There are no rights and wrongs. We also have lots of laughs, and very importantly, the session is followed by a cuppa and cake.
It’s movement, it’s friendships, fun, and exercise of course which helps keep me mobile. The movement, especially to music, helps a lot with my mobility.
It’s very good for the mind, having to sing or move your feet at the same time – using coordination, along to the music. We’re not just swinging our arms about. There’s a reason we’re swinging our arms!
New participants are always welcome, along with family and/or friends.
For more information contact Louise Marshall, Producer: Dance & Accessible Arts, Eden Court Engagement.
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