World Parkinson's Day

Published on Tuesday 9 April, 2019

Today is World Parkinson's Day and here at Northern Ballet we’re taking the opportunity to spread the word about our specialist Dance for Parkinson’s classes. We strongly believe in the benefits that dance can offer people living with Parkinson’s disease, particularly surrounding physical and emotional wellbeing.

In summer 2018, with generous support from the Evan Cornish Foundation, two Northern Ballet Dance Artists undertook specialist training to deliver Dance for Parkinson’s. Several taster sessions followed before the classes launched in September 2018 for a 12 month pilot programme. These classes have gone from strength to strength as the participants grow more confident to try new things.

'Dance for Parkinson’s has been a great initiative; attending each week has given me a new appreciation of ballet and perhaps more importantly, helped in the management of my condition. Unanticipated benefits include the new friends we have made and the smile which it never fails to put on my face!'
Alan Dunwell, Participant

The weekly classes take inspiration from Northern Ballet’s best loved productions such as The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet and Victoria in a safe and fun environment. In addition to exploring characters and movements from the repertoire, participants are also carefully guided through a range of dance exercises which assist in developing core strength, coordination and confidence. We encourage participants to come along with a friend or companion, and the classes are always followed by time and space for a drink, a biscuit and a chat!

'The course has been so cleverly thought out. To see a class of people with Parkinson’s rise from their chairs at the first attempt whilst swaying like flowers is incredible. And now, at home, if Melvyn has trouble turning around, I simply tell him to be a Russian Prince!

It is so good to be able to participate together in an activity that we both enjoy and the opportunity to meet fellow people with Parkinson’s and their carers at the class is also highly valued.'
Lucille Winburn, Companion

Classes cost £6.50 per pair and take place on Wednesdays, 2pm – 3.15pm at Garforth Squash & Leisure Centre. Find out more by clicking here.

For further information or an informal chat, please call Nicola Phillips on 0113 220 8000 or email

Take a look at Flora Films' video for an insight into the Dance For Parkinson's classes. 

To find out more about World Parkinson's Day, click here

Photo Sara Teresa