Dance for Wellbeing

DANCE FOR WELLBEING

Commencing 5 February, 2021!

Dance is integral to the maintenance of our physical, cognitive and social wellbeing, and Belco Arts is delivering some highly respected dance for wellbeing programs at both Tuggeranong and Belconnen Arts Centres. These classes are designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s, Dementia and other conditions, and take place throughout the year.

Classes run during the ACT School Terms, for 8 weeks each:

Term 1 | 5 February – 1 April
Term 2 | 3 May – 25 June
Term 3 
| 26 July – 17 September
Term 4 | 18 October – 17 December

Dance for People with Parkinson’s

Tuggeranong Arts Centre
Wednesdays 11:15am – 12:30pm

Belconnen Arts Centre
Tuesdays 1:15pm – 2:30pm

“So glad I discovered this wonderful dance class – it always makes me feel better.  It is fantastic!”

Parkinson’s Dance Group performing THE PINK PANTHER, Photography: Lorna Sim

Parkinson’s ACT and Belco Arts 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, 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 additions  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, 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 over 60 communities around the world.

Dance for Everyone

Belconnen Arts Centre
Fridays > 12:00pm – 1:00pm

“Excellent program and very professional teachers – and a lovely group.”

This is a weekly dance class 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 and wheelies if required.

Dance for Everyone, Photography: Lorna Sim
Dance for Everyone, Photography: Lorna Sim

Dance is a unique vehicle, naturally combining multiple approaches to movement and exercise, confidence building and an improved quality of life.  The class 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 guest tutors.

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.

Dance is a unique vehicle, naturally combining multiple approaches to movement and exercise, confidence building and an improved quality of life.  The class 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 guest tutors.

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.

General Information

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 wheelchairs 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: $100/person/8 week term, or $15/class. Companion Card holders receive free admission for a support companion.

Registration: here  Just click on the class you wish to do, and follow the links.

Tutors: Led by Program Coordinator Philip Piggin, the team includes Deborah di Centa, Amy Macris, Jane Ingall, Jacqui Simmonds and guest tutors, from Australia and beyond.  For further information visit the website here.  

Program supported byBelco Arts, PACT, Canberra Theatre Centre, Lorna Sim Photography, Ausdance ACT.

More info: Philip Piggin, Dance for Wellbeing Program Officer, via email or on (02) 6173 3300.