2018 Round 3 Winner

Dance for Parkinson's Australia

Making connections through dance and improving the quality of life for Australians with Parkinson’s.

Dance for Parkinson's Australia’s dream is to improve the quality of life of people living with Parkinson’s Disease as well as their families and carers.

This community organisation (auspiced by the ‘not for profit’ Parkinson’s NSW) offers dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease across Australia, where participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.

Dance for Parkinson’s Australia is an established organisation with qualified teaching staff and has the endorsement of medical practitioners and the support of local councils.

With 1 in every 308 people in Australia living with Parkinson’s and 37 new cases diagnosed every day, Parkinson’s Disease is a condition that will touch most Australians in some way.

Some of the key findings of research into the benefits of dance within the Parkinson’s community include: decreased rigidity, improved facial expression, improved stability gait and tremor and improved dual tasking. This is a community that can also feel isolated due to the symptoms of the illness. As the condition progresses, feelings of anxiety and isolation increase.

The program is designed to assist the broader Parkinson’s community - importantly the person affected by the disease but also their families and carers. Besides the physical benefits received through the dance program, our participants are received into an inclusive and welcoming community.

The social aspects of the program after the class allow for information and experiences to be shared between participants and carers. This results in improved quality of life and well-being for all concerned.

A Sunsuper Dreams for a Better World grant will help Dance for Parkinson's Australia expand its current classes and launch ‘live streaming’ classes for people living in regional and remote communities.

Connecting those living with Parkinson’s through ‘live’ streamed classes and monthly live chats with teachers and other participants will reduce alienation caused by the illness and will increase social interaction, inclusion and discussion.

It will also help keep people dancing thereby improving and sustaining their mobility, overall well-being and give them the opportunity to better engage with life.

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