Dance for Parkinson's
Queensland Ballet is working with David Leventhal from the Mark Morris Dance Group, Parkinson’s Queensland, and Brisbane-based Dance for PD specialist, Erica Rose Jeffrey, to introduce Dance for PD in Queensland.
In 2001, Olie Westheimer, founder and executive director of the Brooklyn Parkinson Group (BPG) in New York approached the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) to propose the idea of a rigorous, creative dance class for members of BPG. Olie knew from her own dance background that professional dancers train their minds and bodies to execute difficult movements with confidence, power and grace. In doing so, they develop cognitive strategies that she thought could be naturally beneficial and enjoyable for people with Parkinson’s. Later that year, two MMDG dancers – John Heginbotham and David Leventhal – started regular, specialised classes for people with Parkinson’s.
Within just a few years, the Dance for PD program expanded into other cities in the US and its founding teachers began providing training workshops around the world to enable growth of an international network of Dance for PD practitioners.
Queensland Ballet has received generous support from the John T Reid Charitable Trust to commence a trial of Dance for Parkinson's classes. Members of the community affected by Parkinson’s disease, and their carers, partners and friends, are invited to participate. People at all levels of mobility and ability are welcome. No dance experience is necessary.