Movement for Parkinsons

Movement for Parkinson's

Movement for Parkinson’s is based on a world-renowned programme called Dance for PD that encourages participants to “explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative”.

Movement for Parkinson’s meets for weekly classes every* Thursday starting at 10:45 am until 11:45 am. 

CLASSES WILL COST $2 PER PERSON – a gold coin donation that goes to Parkinson’s Northland.

This class is taught by Aligned Movement owner, Alyssa Farrand who attended the Dance for Parkinson’s training workshop in Wellington in September 2019. She has an extensive background in dance in both the commercial and theatrical whelm and specialises in fitness and rehabilitation.

This is an exciting opportunity for all Northland Parkinson’s members and their carers to try a different way of exercising and most importantly, have fun!

Learn More About Dance for PD

About the Dance for PD programme from this excerpt taken from https://www.danceforparkinsonsaustralia.org/about-dance-for-parkinsons/:

“The Dance for PD program, which originated at the Mark Morris Dance Center in 2001, offers specialized dance classes accompanied by live music for people with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, family members and friends. Professional teaching artists integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and choreographic repertory to engage participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration. Because Dance for PD focuses on the aesthetic movement of dance rather than acting as therapy, participants in class are encouraged to approach movement like dancers rather than as patients. Dance for PD classes provide a social environment for participants to interact with other community members, and to share a positive, stimulating activity together with their partners. 

Participants report that the classes boost their confidence levels, transform their attitudes about living with a chronic illness, and help them manage some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Consistent interaction within the close-knit community of the dance class helps to combat social isolation and depression while empowering participants with a sense of physical possibility and artistic achievement.

Professional dancers, with their many years of training and experience, are movement experts by nature, and their knowledge is extremely useful to persons with PD. They know all about stretching and strengthening muscles, and work every day with the issues of balance and rhythm. Most importantly, dancers know how to use their thoughts, imagination, eyes, ears, and touch to control their movements.

Dance for PD classes engage thought, senses and imagination in the service of movement. Teachers encourage participants to use images, narrative, and musical input to hone control over how they express themselves physically. Active demonstration by professional dancers inspires participants to recapture grace, while guided improvisation fosters creativity.

Teaching artists integrate movement from modern and theater dance, ballet, folk dance, tap, improvisation, and Choreographer Mark Morris’ work to engage the participants’ minds and bodies, and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration. The program emphasizes dancing for dancing’s sake. It is an aesthetic experience that focuses on developing artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, social isolation and depression.

  • Classical and contemporary technique training taught through a progressive warm-up builds strength, flexibility and coordination skills
  • Improvisation and aesthetic interpretation stimulate creativity and the imagination
  • Choreographic repertory and new movement sequences help participants develop cognitive strategies
  • Circle dances, line dances and scene work foster social interaction and create a sense of connection and community
  • Strong musicality informs every aspect of the class so that melody, structure and rhythm guide and inspire participants’ physical and emotional exploration and expression
  • Families, friends and caregivers are welcomed and included in all class activities to foster mutually positive perceptions and relationships.”

*Please note there will be no class offered the days of the monthly Parkinson’s Northland meetings.

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