Those living with Parkinson’s in Dundee are helping to improve their co-ordination and strength through a fun dance programme.
Dance for Parkinson’s is being led by Shaper/Caper along with The Space at Dundee and Angus College.
Through gentle routines, participants are able to improve their muscle strength, co-ordination and learn how to effectively come out of muscle “freezes” safely.
The weekly classes were designed especially for those with Parkinson’s disease and their families and carers in New York back in the early noughties before travelling “over the pond” when English Ballet delivered the classes.
It has been in Dundee since 2017 with the city one of 10 areas providing the classes.
Shaper/Caper say the classes are suitable for those with no dance experience and will develop a participant’s confidence and creativity, while addressing Parkinson’s specific concerns such as balance, flexibility, co-ordination, gait and social isolation.
Yolanda Aguilar, director of operations at Shaper/Caper, said it is great to see the improvement in participants.
“Scottish Ballet and Dance Base brought the programme to Scotland in 2016 and now Dundee is one of the 10 hubs in Scotland offering the classes and we started just last autumn,” she said.
“It is amazing to see the success in such a short period of time. It has been really lovely.
“As it started so long ago in America the research into the benefits had already been done so we knew it worked and helped those with Parkinson’s.
“It is a very gentle way of getting the body moving and into a rhythm as people with the Parkinson’s sometimes suffer from what are called freezes in the middle of movements, so working on rhythm and co-ordination can help them get out of their freezes safely.
“We also have a live musician at every class and that is intrinsic as they can slow the music down or change the rhythm to help really easily.
“It is very rewarding to see how much it helps them and it is also great for participants who opt to come with a carer as the classes really help them too.”
The classes also act as a social network for locals.
Yolanda added: “The last 30 minutes of the class are spent with a tea or coffee and having a chat with everyone.
“It really has become a sort of social network and you can see everyone exchanging numbers and making plans together so it is great to support that social aspect too.”
The classes are held every Monday at studio four in The Space, Old Glamis Road, from 11.30am-1.30pm.
The cost is £2.50 for people living with Parkinson’s and their carers can attend free.