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Dancing with Parkinson's

Upcoming Live Streamed Events

Monday, June 1, 2015 (12.30pm CT)
Dr. Stanley Fisher will discuss his research as it relates to Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, he will address the need for therapies that combines physical and cognitive complexity, and how the Dance for Parkinson’s class is an appropriate activity to address these needs.

Sunday, June 7, 2015 (3.10pm ET)
This live streamed performance of L’Allegro Movement Project features members of the Brooklyn Dance for PD® as join forces with young students from The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center to perform a suite of dances based on choreography from Mark Morris’ signature work L’Allegro.

Friday, June 26, 2015
A short video showcasing the performance of dancers in Tuesday’s Dancing with Parkinson’s class at NBS filmed in the studio and at the second annual Sharing Dance Day, May 24, 2015.

Dance for PD®

As part of Canada's National Ballet School's commitment to the community, the Artistic staff is providing a dance program for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) known as DwP@NBS.

PD is a neurological disease that severely inhibits movement, and affects over 100,000 Canadians. Preliminary research indicates that dancing may help alleviate symptoms of PD, and dance programs for this population are being successfully implemented around the world.

To develop our dance for PD program, NBS collaborated with leaders in the field from the Mark Morris Dance Group for PD® program in New York, established local instructors along with Sarah Robichaud the founder and executive director of Dancing with Parkinson's, and researchers from York and Ryerson Universities.

NBS has developed a program that will not only cater to and benefit Toronto's PD community, but also inform scientific research that seeks to better understand the benefits of dance classes.

The main objective of the proposed project is to study how dance is able to seemingly bypass the neurodegeneration occurring in the PD brain and potentially facilitate improvement in movement in those with PD.

Over the course of each 12-week dance program, volunteer participants will be invited to the Sherman Health Science Research Centre at York University to participate in a series of brain imaging scans. These scans will be both structural and functional. Using these scans, changes in brain activity and structure that occur as a result of participants learning a movement sequence set to music (i.e. a dance) will be analysed.

NBS welcomes people with Parkinson's disease to participate in the pilot program and research study. All classes are held at NBS in downtown Toronto and taught by NBS Artistic staff. Interested applicants are asked to speak with their medical provider before registering.

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