I associate dance with freedom, back to feeling like myself, my real self—as opposed to what Parkinson’s has done.
— Judy, Participant
Sharing Dance Parkinson’s was created in partnership with Dance for Parkinson’s Network Canada, and is specially designed for people with Parkinson's Disease.
Studies show that the area of the brain affected by PD is also used while dancing (Bar & DeSouza, 2016). Furthermore, behavioral studies demonstrate that dance is uniquely beneficial—improving gait, posture, balance, etc. (Shanahan et al., 2015). But beyond the physical benefits, dance encourages social inclusion and personal and artistic expression, which could lead to benefits in areas of common co-morbidity, such as depression.
In 2013, NBS began to offer a dance program for people with PD in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group's Dance for PD® program in New York, and Dancing with Parkinson's.
Now, along with Parkinson Canada, the four organizations have come together to form the Dance for Parkinson’s Network Canada. Our goals?
- Improved access to dance programs for people living with PD, regardless of physical mobility or geographic location
- Increased specialized training opportunities and professional development resources for dance instructors
- Expand our program offering and classes in communities across Canada
Grounded in research
NBS launched its program in tandem with a study by York University and Ryerson University researchers exploring the benefits of dance for people with PD. The main objective of their research project is to understand both the physical and neurological effects of dance in people with PD. Participants of the Sharing Dance program are welcome to also take part in the research study, but it is not a requirement.
Brought to you by Dance for Parkinson's Network Canada:
Access the Resources
Watch the award-winning short documentary to see what happens in the brain of a dance student with Parkinson's.