Movement is medicine for Parkinson's dance class

Prance for Parkinson's


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LOOSEN UP: Dancers at the Prance for Parkinson's class at the Baptist Church Hall in Bowral. Classes are held every Thursday. Photo: Hannah Neale.

LOOSEN UP: Dancers at the Prance for Parkinson's class at the Baptist Church Hall in Bowral. Classes are held every Thursday. Photo: Hannah Neale.

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A dance class has people diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease happy and healthy as they swing their hips to music.

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A dance class has people diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease happy and healthy as they swing their hips to music.

Margaret Connor has run the Prance for Parkinsons class at the Bowral Baptist Hall since 2015.

As an occupational therapist and dance teacher Ms Connor has a solid understanding of the benefits the class has for people diagnosed with the disease.

"People with Parkinson's need to regard movement as medicine," she said.

Ms Connor said she was always amazed by the willingness of people to experiment and improvise with different movements to challenge their condition during the class.

"A lot of it is creative movement," she said.

"The classes are not a cure but provide a sense of freedom."

Robin Milne has been getting her weekly groove on for more than three years.

She looks forward to a class full of laughs and happiness with her husband Ken who has Parkinson's.

"The class takes people out of their worries," Mrs Milne said.

The health benefits of dancing include increased flexibility, mobility, mental stimulation and social interaction.

Jillian Gripper said dancing enabled her to engage in physical activity in a non-judgemental and fun environment.

"The class is the happy highlight of my week," she said.

"We feel like we've had a really good workout."

The Loosen Up - Prancing for Parkinsons class is held at the Baptist Church Hall, Merrigang Street in Bowral every Thursday from 1:30pm to 3pm.

Cost is $10 with no charge for carers, friends and family.

Contact Margaret Connor on 0466 166 866 for more information or email margaretvconnor@gmail.com.

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The story Movement is medicine for Parkinson's dance class first appeared on Southern Highland News.

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