Queensland Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme

Queensland Ballet recently joined 12 other international dance companies to showcase its Dance for Parkinson’s programme on a free online portal, created especially to celebrate the global World Dance for Parkinson’s Day on 29 April. Queensland Ballet’s home is the Thomas Dixon Centre down under in Brisbane, holding weekly Dance for Parkinson’s classes which are renowned as an important way for the company to connect with and enrich the local community and to actively contribute to research.

Queensland Ballet’s weekly dance class schedule now sees more than 1,500 participants per month enjoy everything from Ballet for Seniors to Tiny Dancers, the company’s unique programme for developing artistry and creativity in the early years. With Dance for Parkinson’s classes in the mix too, it is clear the company is transforming lives all over. The classes have been extremely popular in Australia, not just for the beneficial results, but for the fun and enjoyment or the participants.

Alongside English National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Skanes Dansteater and others, Queensland Ballet’s electronic contribution to the global celebration reflected on the journey of participant and carer, and the partnership with Dance for Parkinson’s Australia. The World Dance for Parkinson’s Day celebration coincided with International Dance Day, and the online platform meant viewers could see streamed examples of Dance for Parkinson’s classes from 12 cities on four continents.

Parkinson’s affects more than 10 million people around the globe. A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific research from the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and England suggests that participating in a Dance for Parkinson’s programme improves short-term mobility, balance, coordination and walking for people with Parkinson’s, as well as supporting social inclusion, positive mood and confidence. Queensland Ballet’s partnership with Dance for Parkinson’s Australia has been a leader of the Dance for Parkinson’s movement in Australia, since 2013 with a pilot programme and research study.