Horsecross Arts is one of the latest organisations in Scotland to offer classes for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

The creative organisation and charity behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre will deliver weekly Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland classes starting on Monday 23 September.

Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland is a joint initiative managed by Dance Base, Scotland's National Centre for Dance and Scottish Ballet, Scotland's National Dance Company, and delivered in partnership with Parkinson's UK.

Run by specially trained tutors, the classes are designed for people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers. The classes are suitable for people with no dance experience and will develop confidence and creativity, whilst addressing Parkinson’s specific concerns such as: balance, flexibility, coordination, gait and social isolation. Sessions are followed by a social café.

Meghan Bidwell, Dance Health Manger, Dance Base said:

“Dance Base and Scottish Ballet are delighted to bring our national Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme to Perth together with Horsecross Arts. We look forward to connecting with even more people during this exciting period of expansion and are grateful to our funders for supporting this valuable work.”

Alison, Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland participant said:

“Music, I find, cues my feet, creates the bridges between my brain and my limbs, recalibrates my skewed proprioception, restores my balance, my fluidity of movement and grace. When I go into the dance class, for that hour and a half I am a Dancer, not a person with Parkinson’s. I park the unwanted visitor at the door and dance, and feel lovely.”

In Scotland, there are estimated to be 12,400 people who live with Parkinson’s, and this number is set to increase over the next 25 years. Dance can help people with Parkinson's physically, mentally and socially, aiding mobility and improving overall feelings of wellbeing. Established in 2015, the Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme supports those with Parkinson’s to experience the benefits of dance and creativity, improving balance, spatial awareness, confidence and fluidity in movement.

A grant of £295,000 from Paul Hamlyn Foundation has enabled Dance Base and Scottish Ballet to expand the ground-breaking Dance for Parkinson’s programme across Scotland. This funding broadens access to people living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers nationwide.

Scottish Ballet and Dance Base are establishing new regional hubs in three locations, working with local partners including Horsecross Arts in Perth, Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre in Peebles, and Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling, bringing the total number to ten across Scotland. These new hubs will be funded for 18 months.

Open to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers, Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland Perth classes take place in The Space, Perth Theatre and the Norie-Miller Studio, Perth Concert Hall from Monday 23 September until Monday 16 December. For further information on how to take part contact Horsecross Arts dance development officer Peter Royston on 01738 477730, e-mail

Monday 16 September 2019