Dance for Parkinson’s is a group-based treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) incorporating physical exercise, cognitive tasks, sensory experience (music), emotional expression, and social interaction. Originating at the Mark Morris Dance Center New York in 2001, the Dance for PD program offers specialised dance classes accompanied by live music for people with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, family members and friends. Professional teachers integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and choreographic repertory to engage participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration.
Because Dance for PD focuses on the aesthetic movement of dance rather than acting as therapy, participants in class are encouraged to approach movement like dancers rather than as patients. Dance for PD participants report that the classes boost their confidence levels, transform their attitudes about living with a chronic illness, and help them manage some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Consistent interaction within the close-knit dance class helps to combat social isolation and depression while empowering participants with a sense of physical possibility and artistic achievement.
The Dance for Parkinson’s Australia program started at the National Parkinson’s Conference in Brisbane in 2012. The first Australian teacher training workshops were offered in May 2013 in Sydney and Brisbane at Queensland Ballet.
Dance for Parkinson’s Camberwell will present their first dance concert Magical Moments in Movement on Sunday, 29 August. Class members from Camberwell, Hawthorn and Preston will perform with live music and all are welcome to attend. Esther Chu of the Camberwell group says “Magical Moments in Movement aims to broaden the awareness of Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders and give participants a creative voice.”
Choreographers for the Camberwell event are Paris Wages, Katrina Rank and Gabi Stanger. Paris is the first DPD certified instructor in Victoria and has dance experience in USA and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University. Katrina, Director of Education at Ausdance Victoria, has a PhD in Dance from Deakin University. Gabi is a physiotherapist with a Diploma in Dance and Movement Studies from Melbourne University. Special guest cellist Richard Narroway, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Lecturer, is a Sydney native recently returned to Australia after 10 years in USA and Canada garnering degrees from Juilliard, Northwestern University and University of Michigan.
The Camberwell concert – which is supported by the City of Boroondara, Rotary Club of Balwyn and YMCA Victoria – will showcase participants’ abilities and offer audience participation. This first concert promises to be an unforgettable, moving and inspirational experience, so come along and best of all – it’s free!
This first concert promises to be an unforgettable, moving and inspirational experience, so come along and best of all – it’s free!
Venue: Hawthorn Aquatic Leisure Centre, Studio 1, 1 Grace Street, Hawthorn
Date: Sunday 29 August
• Disability access
• Free entry but bookings essential via 0449 058 360
• Light refreshments after performance