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English National Ballet

Dance for Parkinson’s – a positive intervention for health, wellbeing and community cohesion

What we do

English National Ballet’s (ENB) Dance for Parkinson’s programme was inspired by the work of Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD. Since initiating the programme in 2009, ENB’s approach has been artistically driven, encompassing the practice and repertory of ENB. The programme includes a structured training programme for practitioners wishing to engage in dance and Parkinson’s, providing a model for practice, professional development and cultural engagement. ENB’s model has been rolled out nationally; weekly classes take place in five UK hubs, reaching over 1,000 participants.

In 2011, ENB commissioned research into the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s, led by Dr Sara Houston, University of Roehampton. This provided the first longitudinal evidence of the impact of the programme over three years, examining the long term benefits, physically, socially and to quality of life and wellbeing.

On the strength of the research and evaluation, and as a result of the project’s collective impact, ENB has secured funding from both independent funders and the West London Clinical Commissioning Group.

The project provides a practical and therapeutic outlet for people with Parkinson’s and their carers. The ENB’s Dance for Parkinson’s symposium in October 2015 reiterated the evidence base and value placed on the project by all stakeholders and highlighted an innovative approach to supporting and improving the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

Davey Thomason, Associate Director, Community Services Programme Team, NHS Central London Clinical Commissioning Group


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