Marking Time

By Libra

Dancing for Parkinson

“I never thought I would be in a ballet class”, said G, a man in his mid 60’s.
 
“ Neither did I,” I said.
 
Well, here we were in the Macrobert arts centre, our paths having crossed.
 
He had Parkinson and I am a member of the older dance group.
 
And we both found ourselves taking part in a new project, Dancing for Parkinson, organised by Scottish Ballet.
 
This was the first class in Stirling and our group of twenty were a mixed bunch of volunteers, like myself, working alongside “dancers” (we must not call them Parkinson sufferers), and their carers.
 
 
As volunteers we had absolutely no idea what to expect but afterwards we all agreed it had been quite an experience, and an enjoyable one at that, also a sobering one as we encountered, for the first time, Parkinson sufferers and saw first hand the positive effect that dance and music had on them giving them confidence and self-esteem.
 
This confirms the growing recognition now that the arts can be used to help people with a whole range of conditions from Alzheimer’s and stroke to Parkinson.
 
Scottish Ballet was a pioneer in this field when they launched the first  Dance for Parkinson programme in 2015 working with Dance Base in Edinburgh.
 
And yesterday the world’s largest study into the impact on mental and physical health that artistic interventions can have has been launched by King’s College London, with £2m funding from the Wellcome Trust.
 
That must be good news.
 
   
Photo: dance artist/teacher Julie Symmonds with volunteer dancer Eva Dallas, on work experience.
Links: Scottish Ballet 
Dancing and health

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