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 informed and inspired by the Mark Morris Dance Group's Dance for PD® program. The program is specially designed to make dance accessible to people living with Parkinson's disease (PD).
Numerous studies indicate that dance is uniquely beneficial for people living with PD - improving gait, posture, and balance (Shanahan et al., 2015). Beyond physical benefits, dance encourages social inclusion and personal and artistic expression. Increased social engagement (Foster et al., 2013) and improved quality of life (Heiberger , 2011) have also been captured in research studying the impact of dance for people living with PD.
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:
Watch the award-winning short documentary to see what happens in the brain of a dance student with Parkinson's.