Dance for Wellbeing: With Parkinson’s
Tuesdays 1.15pm – 2.15pm
COVID-19 UPDATE: All Dance for Wellbeing Classes Now Online
To remain connected during this time, please feel welcome to join our new private Facebook group, Dance for Wellbeing: Community where you can stay in contact with classmates and tutors.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new online classes and Facebook group, please feel free to contact Dance for Wellbeing Program Officer, Philip Piggin, via email or phone (02) 6173 3300.
For people with Parkinson’s, rigorous dance classes led by trained dance artists are becoming internationally recognised as an important, beneficial and welcome addition 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 emphasise expression, creativity, engagement and positive relationship building. No previous experience is necessary, and everyone — persons newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, those with walkers and wheelchairs, family members and friends — are welcome to participate. Please note, this is not a social dance class, and it does not require you to come with a partner.
About the tutors
Jacqui Simmonds (BA, MFA) has been involved in dance education for over three decades, developing, directing and delivering tertiary dance degrees, and in senior management, overseeing student engagement. Jacqui’s approach to teaching dance is underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the body in movement and of the elements of dance, and ongoing exploration of making dance accessible to everyone. She is currently working with Ausdance Victoria to develop a Creative Ageing Skill Set, teaching dance to older people. Jacqui is Artistic Coordinator for Canberra Dance Theatre and Co-Artistic Director for CDT’s GOLD Company. A qualified Iyengar yoga teacher, she also teaches at Canberra Yoga Space.
Amy Macris is an Occupational Therapist, dancer and dance teacher who trained in ballet and contemporary dance from a young age. Amy is passionate about making the joy of dance accessible to all and has been co-teaching CDTeens at Canberra Dance Theatre since 2015. Amy also taught ballet at Canberra Dance Theatre for several years. During 2019, Amy had the opportunity to work with the Dance for Wellbeing program and absolutely loved getting to know the wonderful groups involved.
Jane Ingall is a dancer and performance-maker with a love of connecting people with the dancer in themselves and the possibilities revealed in movement. Since 2005, she has been the Artistic Director of Somebody’s Aunt, a women’s improvisational dance group from the Canberra region. Jane has been teaching and choreographing dance with Canberra Dance Theatre since 2006 and is a Co-Director of the GOLD company. At CDT, Jane started the Parents, Tinies and Toddlers class in 2006 and founded CDTeens for teens with disabilities. Since 2014, Jane has been teaching dance for people living with Parkinson’s, enabling opportunities and performance. She has also developed and conducted courses using movement in learning about group dynamics, communication and body image issues.
Gretel Burgess (M Social Work, BA Communication, certificate in Theatre and Dance) has performed overseas and taught for youth drama companies and dance theatres in Australia, including Canberra Youth Theatre, Canberra Dance Company, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts (Darwin), PACT Youth Theatre (Sydney) and NIDA holiday programs in Northern Queensland, Cairns and Canberra. Groups she has taught include asylum seekers on Christmas Island and the Multicultural Council for Refugees (Darwin). Gretel has spent the last four years combining her two passions, health and the arts, by peer facilitating a STEPS program for adults with stroke and acute brain injury through Queensland Health and facilitating dance and drama programs for both ARC Disability Services for adults and in aged care facility in Cairns, Queensland. She teaches Canberra Dance Theatre’s CDTeens and works as a facilitator for the Messengers Program at Tuggeranong Arts Centre.
Free for online classes
What you need
Please wear clothing suitable to move in and light shoes, and have a water bottle near-by.
Please contact Dance for Wellbeing Program Officer, Philip Piggin, via email or phone (02) 6173 3300.
Part of the Dance for Wellbeing program, an initiative of Belco Arts, supported by Parkinson’s ACT. Thanks also to Musica Viva Australia, Canberra Theatre Centre, Lorna Sim Photography, Ausdance ACT and the National Health Co-op.