Dance is integral to the maintenance of our physical, cognitive and social wellbeing, and Tuggeranong and Belconnen Arts Centres are pioneering such programs right here in the ACT. Dance for Wellbeing classes are designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis and other conditions, and take place throughout the year.
Classes run during the ACT School Terms of 10 weeks each:
Term 1 | 4 February – 12 April
Term 2 | 29 April – 5 July
Term 3 | 22 July – 27 September
Term 4 | 14 October – 20 December
Offbeat – Dance for People with Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s ACT, with Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Belconnen Arts Centre, presents a weekly dance program in the ACT specifically designed for People with Parkinson’s. Enjoy the fun and challenge of working your brain, your body, your memory and your imagination in this fun-filled session, and make a heap of new friends. Participants will be led through a carefully planned program of appropriate, enjoyable and challenging dance activities, and will be taught by a team of highly experienced and dedicated dance tutors.
For people with Parkinson’s disease, rigorous dance classes led by trained teaching artists are becoming internationally recognised as an important, beneficial and welcome addition to the portfolio of exercise and therapy interventions. By approaching movement as dance students, not as patients, persons with Parkinson’s can focus on PD-specific concerns like mobility, balance, rhythm and flexibility in an enjoyable, social and communal environment. Dance classes create an environment emphasising expression, creativity, engagement and positive relationship building.
The Dance for People with Parkinson’s program started as a single collaborative program between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group around 2001. Over the past 17 years, Dance for PD has pioneered an arts-based approach that is being adopted by dance companies and schools, Parkinson’s groups and healthcare organisations in more than 60 communities around the world.
Classes held at:
Tuggeranong Arts Centre – Wednesdays 11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Belconnen Arts Centre – Tuesdays 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
“So glad I discovered this wonderful dance class – it always makes me feel better. It is fantastic!”
Vivacity! – Dance for People with Dementia
This joint initiative between Dementia Australia and Belconnen Arts Centre is providing the first regular dance program in the ACT for people living with Dementia, and their Carer. Classes include a variety of different dance and movement activities seated, standing beside a chair, and then moving independently if appropriate, always to fabulous music. Classes are led by the inspiring Dance for Wellbeing teaching team with occasional guest teachers, and are always attended by members of the Dementia Australia (ACT) team.
Research clearly validates the importance of regular exercise for healthy ageing, and dance wins the prize! This class will work your body and your brain, with music and laughter to accompany us all the way. Vivacity! is not ‘dance therapy’, instead it is aimed at providing a dance class that offers a gentle workout for the brain and the body, resulting in positive emotional responses, increased mobility, elevated quality of life and opportunities for relaxation for both people living with dementia and their Carers. Scientists have discovered the neurological benefits of dance and movement, and it has been found that the mental coordination that dance requires activates several brain regions which can strengthen neural connections and can improve memory.
Classes held at:
Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Tuesdays from 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Belconnen Arts Centre on Wednesdays from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
“Music and actions chosen with care to maximise involvement and whole body awareness, fitness and skill development…… Very fun!!”
Please note: People with Dementia must be accompanied by a Carer throughout the class. For more and enrollment for Vivacity! please contact Dementia Australia (ACT) on (02) 6255 0722
Coverage of Vivacity! – Dance for People with Dementia by 9 News.
Those living with dementia and their carers have the chance to take part in a special arts program being launched at the National Portrait Gallery.#9News | http://9News.com.au
Posted by 9 News Canberra on Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Ricochet – Dance for All
Ricochet is a weekly dance class at Tuggeranong and Belconnen Arts Centres, designed for adults with and without physical and neurological challenges, who want to keep their body and brain active and healthy, regardless of their mobility, skill or age. Come and feed your body and spirit with music and movement, be physically and mentally inspired and stimulated, have fun, meet some new friends and feel good! People who experience Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, RSI, Arthritis or other various challenges are especially welcome to attend, with Carers if required.
Dance is a unique vehicle, naturally combining multiple approaches to movement and exercise, confidence building and an improved quality of life. The class you will experience is made up of an hour of gentle exercise to music. Approximately half of it takes place sitting in a circle of chairs, with progression to standing and moving around the space as appropriate for each dancer. You will be guided through a carefully planned program of dance activities by the dance tutors, with occasional guests from Australia and overseas.
How important is it to exercise as you “mature”? According to the National Centre on Physical Activity and Disability, USA: “In addition to improving overall health, cardiovascular fitness, range of motion, and flexibility, exercise can help one increase energy, improve balance, manage spasticity, decrease muscle atrophy, and better perform activities of daily living.” Studies have also come out in recent years that show exercise is critical in preventing cognitive decline, is central in lifting depression and overall mood, and may even delay the progression of the disease, and all within a friendly and supportive social environment.
Classes held at:
Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Wednesdays from 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Belconnen Arts Centre on Fridays from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
“Excellent program and very professional teachers – and a lovely group.”
Importantly: Please wear clothing that is comfortable and suitable for moving in, wear light shoes and do bring a bottle of water. For more information contact Philip Piggin, via email or on (02) 6173 3300.
Both Arts Centres have fully equipped dance studios, with stunning views over their adjacent lakes, and are fully accessible.
No previous experience is necessary, and everyone, including family members and friends, is welcome to participate. Walkers and wheel chairs are very welcome!
Please note this is not a social dance class, and it does not require you to come with a dance partner. People with Dementia should however be accompanied by their Carer.
Wear clothing that is comfortable and suitable for moving in, wear light shoes and do bring a bottle of water.
Costs: $5 per person, per class. Pay on the day. Companion Card holders receive free admission for a support companion.
Tutors: Led by Program Coordinator Philip Piggin, the team includes Deborah di Centa, Gretel Burgess, Jane Ingall, Jacqui Simmonds and guest tutors, from Australia and beyond. For further information visit https://www.belconnenartscentre.com.au/programs/dance-for-wellbeing/
Program supported by: ACT Health, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Belconnen Arts Centre, PACT, Dementia Australia ACT, Canberra Theatre Centre, Lorna Sim Photography, The National Health Co-op, Ausdance ACT.
More info: Philip Piggin, Creative Program Officer, via email or on (02) 6173 3300.