Dance for Parkinson's Australia wins Active Community round

Published on 29 November 2018

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With a buzz of chatter, bursts of laughter, and music from Mozart to Neil Diamond, a group of 20-30 people from all walks of life, each week meet in Rozelle’s community hall to share their love of dance. There is tea, biscuits, a weekly catch-up, and a special bond.

"The Dance for Parkinson's classes really are quite special,” Rozelle dance teaching artist Cathie said.

“We put music on and we create a dance sequence that helps their motor skills in a really fun and stress-free environment.”

For nearly three years, each week Christine has attended Dance for Parkinson’s Australia’s classes in Rozelle, and found herself swept off her feet with new friends and a new community, “a community of caring” as she calls it.

“In the real world we might never meet one another and yet we come here every week to this beautiful hall, with fantastic teachers and there's something so strong between all of us.” Christine said.

Dr Erica Rose Jeffrey, director of Dance for Parkinson's Australia brought the program to Australia from the United States in 2012. Since then, the program has grown to 35 locations around the country.

Dance for Parkinson’s Australia won the 2018 Active Community round in Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World program and received $10,000 to help expand their program into regional communities.

“We have classes in the capital cities,” Dr Jeffrey said. “However, we are very interested in expanding to the regional areas, because we know that not everybody is able to come to the locations where we currently hold classes.”

“We were very interested in applying for Sunsuper's Dreams for a Better World grant, because we thought that it would give us an opportunity to grow our existing programs, sustain what we have, but also provide new opportunities and develop our teaching networks.”

Grand Finalist wins additional $10,000 grant

After being named the Round Three winner, Dance for Parkinson's Australia pitched at the 2018 Dreams for a Better World Grand Final and received an additional $10,000 grant to help make their dream for the Parkinson's community Australia-wide come true. Now with $20,000 in grants, Dance for Parkinson's Australia is ready for their dream for regional communities to take shape.

Contact Dance for Parkinson's Australia if you are interested in volunteering or joining the group in your area.

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