Moving everyone to tap their toes. Our dance health programme includes three projects that support people living with neurological conditions; Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland, dementia-friendly Time to Dance and Elevate©, for people living with multiple sclerosis.
Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland (DfPS) was launched in 2015. With support from five trusts and foundations we have been able to roll out DfPS to a network of 10 hubs across the country.
‘‘The ballet covers all aspects. It’s the only thing that addresses the whole spectrum - cognitive, the social side, personal symptoms addressed… these are all things you’ll not see in an exercise class’’Participant, Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland.
Time to Dance was a natural next step. In 2017, the Life Changes Trust enabled us to start delivering dementia-friendly classes in Glasgow and tour to care homes near theatres that our professional company perform in. Specialist knowledge of everyone in the room means that we can offer one-to-one support during Time to Dance sessions. We encourage intergenerational opportunities, bringing families and communities together. Becoming dementia-friendly has impacted Scottish Ballet company life in a positive way.
In 2019, we developed Elevate©, a new dance programme for people living with multiple sclerosis.
We are part of wider, ongoing research. All our dance health programmes involve international and community partners across health and dance sectors, including; Founders of Dance for PD®, the Mark Morris Dance Group, New York, Georgetown University Medical Center (Arts and Humanities team) and the University of Florida (Center for Arts in Medicine) USA, MS National Therapy Centre (Revive MS Support Glasgow) and MS Society Scotland.
‘As a total non-dancer, Elevate© has opened my mind and confidence. I feel that my body is responding to the moves, my brain embraces the instructions and wonderful live music. I leave the class with such happiness. I smiled all day’Elevate participant
‘It meant a lot to me that the dance session wasn’t about the participants’ medical identity, it was about dance and being a dancer. The benefits – social and physical - were woven into the dance without it feeling like a set of exercises. Yet the impact went beyond being ‘light-touch’. We are pleased to be able to support this important project, promoting Scottish Ballet’s capacity to meet the needs of those living with a health condition’Director of The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, Rachel Campbell