Scottish Ballet is spearheading a groundbreaking pilot Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland programme, delivered in partnership with Dance Base.

This initiative is focused on enabling those with Parkinson’s to experience the benefits of dance and creativity, improving balance, spatial awareness, confidence and fluidity in movement.

There is growing recognition that ballet and dance can have positive benefits on both the physical and mental well-being of those with Parkinson's and this bespoke programme aims to make a positive impact on participants' lives and focuses on addressing Parkinson's-specific concerns such as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, social isolation and depression.

The warm and informal Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland classes feature elements of ballet and contemporary dance with a focus on Scottish Ballet’s repertoire. Using the themes and movement from current productions, Scottish Ballet and Dance Base Dance Artists lead participants to develop movement skills with particular focus on fluidity of movement, balance, coordination, expression, posture and rhythm. The classes also include activities focused on problem solving, improvisation, vocal skills, and repetition from memory and multi-tasking, which are all key areas for people with Parkinson's.

For more information on Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland, please contact


If you would like more information about making a donation to Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland please email Alison Thomson or click here to give online.

“Thank you to Scottish Ballet for giving us this opportunity to take part in the programme. Your team has been so welcoming and friendly, we really look forward to Mondays. The time spent in class allows us both to concentrate on the movements, find out how our bodies cope with new challenges and, hopefully, overcome difficulties with movement which can make such a difference in everyday life. The encouragement coupled with a light-hearted approach helps us to gain confidence both in doing the movements and participating with others. Meeting other people between classes is a welcome addition as I find that since chatting to others at this time and getting to know them we are all opening up gradually and are happy to discuss everyday problems of living with Parkinson’s.”

Evie Gillies, Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland participant

The Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland classes launched in April 2016 and are held in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are led by a team of highly trained and motivated staff and volunteers, including members of Scottish Ballet’s Regenerate classes and dance students from Clyde College. The classes feature live music accompaniment.

The Dance for Parkinson’s programme also features a research and medical documentation element, with Scottish Ballet and Dance Base working closely with the neuroscientist Dr Donald Grosset from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. This research element is delivered in partnership with the University of Glasgow, NHS Glasgow and NHS Edinburgh and explores the impact dance and movement has on people with Parkinson’s.

"We are so excited to be launching two dance classes for people with Parkinson's, providing participants with access to company rehearsals, talks and performances. We hope that they will begin to feel a genuine connection to Scottish Ballet, in addition to the many benefits their weekly dance class will provide."

Catherine Cassidy, Director of Education

“I am delighted to head up the research arm of the Dance for Parkinson’s programme, working alongside Scottish Ballet and Dance Base in partnership with the University of Glasgow, NHS Glasgow and NHS Edinburgh.This project is relevant to many aspects of Parkinson’s including fluidity of movement, balance, and personal expression. The research and medical documentation element of the project is crucial as it allows us to further explore and understand the impact dance and movement has on those with Parkinson’s. ”

Dr Grosset, Consultant Neurologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Honorary Professor, Glasgow

Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland is delivered in partnership with Dance Base with support from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Rayne Foundation, Elizabeth Frankland Moore and Star Foundation, J & J R Wilson Trust, The Nancie Massey Charitable Trust, and The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation