Barre raised for dance for Parkinson's

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017

POWER OF DANCE - Queensland Ballet's Dance for Parkinson's program will be showcased on a free online portal to mark World Dance for Parkinson's Day on April 29.

QUEENSLAND Ballet is teaming up a dozen internationally acclaimed dance companies for a world-first online project showcasing dancing for Parkinson's classes.

Queensland Ballet has been at the forefront of the Dance for Parkinson's movement since starting a pilot program, together with Dance for Parkinson's Australia, in 2013. It now runs classes year-round.

Now the leading dance company is joining 12 others from around the world to celebrate World Dance for Parkinson's Day on April 29 with the launch of a dedicated website.

Viewers can visit the online portal and see streamed examples of Dance for Parkinson's classes from 12 cities across four continents.

Queensland Ballet's artistic director Li Cunxin said the weekly Dance for Parkinson's classes held at the Thomas Dixon Centre, Brisbane, are an important way for the company to connect with community and to actively contribute to research.

"We are shining a light on the power of the arts to lift and inspire people," he said. "At Queensland Ballet we believe in the power of dance to transform and enrich lives - our Dance for Parkinson's program is clear evidence of this."

The company's weekly dance class schedule sees around 1500 participants a month taking part in everything from Ballet for Seniors and Dance for Parkinson's to Tiny Dancers.

Parkinson's affects more than 10 million people around the world, with research suggesting that participating in a Dance for Parkinson's program improves short-term mobility, balance, coordination and walking for people with Parkinson's, as well as supporting social inclusion, positive mood and confidence.

Dance for Parkinson's participant Peter Wall said the classes were not only popular, but were also fun and enjoyable.

"The classes themselves are full of laughter and jokes and you look at the variety of people in the room and you find out their backgrounds and what they have done with their lives. It's awe-inspiring, it really is," Mr Wall said.

Other dance companies taking part in the project include English National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group from America and Sweden's Skanes Dansteater.


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