People from all areas who are living with Parkinson’s can now take part in Perth Concert Hall’s Dance for Parkinson’s classes as the classes have gone online during the pandemic.

Running from Monday 21 June until Monday 26 July and then from Monday 16 August until Monday 20 September via Zoom, the new blocks of classes are open to anyone living with Parkinson’s - and their partners or carers can join in too.

The Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme is a joint initiative managed by Dance Base, Scotland's National Centre for Dance and Scottish Ballet, Scotland's National Dance Company. This national programme is delivered in partnership with Horsecross Arts, Perth, as one of ten Dance for Parkinson’s hubs. The charity and creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre is one of three new hubs now delivering the second phase of the programme.

Classes are designed especially for those with Parkinson’s and their families and carers, and online sessions are suitable for everyone. Sessions will develop confidence and creativity, whilst addressing Parkinson’s specific concerns such as; balance, flexibility, coordination, gait and social isolation.

This national programme is funded by: Dance Base, Scottish Ballet, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Baillie Gifford (Scottish Ballet Dance Health partner), trusts and foundations.

The organisers are keen to spread the word about the classes which are one of very few activities in the area specifically targeted at those with the condition.  

Sylvia Dewar who has been taking part in the classes since they first started in 2019 said:

“There is not much around for Parkinson’s, so when I found out about the dance class I thought I would give it a try. I enjoy the classes, the tutors are very exuberant and enthusiastic. It’s clear that they have had training in the symptoms of Parkinson’s. They put a lot of effort into teaching and involving everyone – some people are in wheelchairs but they are all included. It is so worthwhile. Mixing with other people with the same condition makes you realise that you are not the only one in the world with this. It’s not about moaning, it’s about taking part in an activity together, it brings you up. I’ve made good friends through the group.”

Emma Neck, Creative Learning Co-Ordinator (Music) for Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:

“We know from the feedback our participants give that the Dance for Parkinson’s classes are not only of physical benefit, but they are a vital network for those with the condition and those close to them. Being able to share their experiences of living with Parkinson’s over a tea and biscuit after the class is just as important as the dancing itself and we plan to carry on that connection in the online version. However, nothing beats meeting up in the same room and we hope to welcome participants back into the venue as soon as guidelines permit.”

For information and bookings for Dance for Parkinson’s, please contact Emma Neck, Creative Learning Co-Ordinator (Music) for Horsecross Arts by email or call 07943 845097.

Friday 11 June 2021