With Parkinson’s

Dance class participants seated in chairs perform dance moves with raised arms

Dance for Wellbeing

With Parkinson’s

1:15-2:30pm Tuesdays

Belconnen Arts Centre
With Jacqui Simmonds and Amy Macris

11:15am-12:30pm Wednesdays

Tuggeranong Arts Centre
With Jane Ingall, Jacqui Simmonds and Debora di Centa

9 February – 31 March 2021

$100 per person

Carers can participate for free when attending with Companion Card holders; please advise during registration if a carer will be attending.

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.


Preview a class

Not sure Dance for Wellbeing is for you? Watch a sample class below!


About the tutors

Jacqueline Simmonds

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

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

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.

Debora di Centa

Debora di Centa is a Canberra-based independent dance artist and choreographer. Debora grew up in Italy and started dancing at a young age. She has extensive training in ballet, jazz, contemporary dance and she is an expert in Laban Movement Analysis. Debora has studied and collaborated in dance works, research and performances with various artists and dance specialists around Europe, US and Asia. She teaches, performs, choreographs, and directs dance events and, since 2016, is leading the Canberra Contact Improvisation community, as well as training pre-professional contemporary dancers at Dance Development Centre Canberra. As an independent artist, she works through her label ISEMS PROJECTS. Her motto is ‘Dance for All!’.


More info

Please contact Dance for Wellbeing Programs Officer, Philip Piggin, via email or phone (02) 6173 3300.

You can find Belco Arts’ COVIDSafe Plan here.

This class is part of the Dance for Wellbeing program, an initiative of Belco Arts supported by Parkinson’s ACT. Thanks also to Musica Viva AustraliaCanberra Theatre CentreLorna Sim Photography, and Ausdance ACT .