Dance and MS

Hello,

I am a dancer, dance teacher and currently an MA student. I am looking into dance and creative wellness, primarily into dance and Parkinson’s and the impact dance is having on people’s lives. How can it alter one’s outlook? What new skills can it bring people? How can it change how a person feels about themselves? What aspects stand out and what makes the classes successful? I am interested in this sector of dance as a whole and gaining knowledge on future possibilities of utilising my skills.

I attended a workshop in Berlin not long ago where the classes are designed for those with Parkinson’s/ MS/ Dementia/ other neurological conditions and so my interests span quite far.

I wondered, does anyone have experience of dance? I haven’t managed to find much at all in terms of dance classes for MS (there is more in Europe) but any information would be really appreciated. I would love to know anyone’s opinions on the topic, any reservations, any thoughts to future expansion etc.

Many thanks!

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Hi,

Although I don’t have any experience of dancing, I have spent the last 12 months learning Tai Chi, which has parallels.

I decided to enrol after finding conventional physiotherapy exercises ineffective. Tai Chi is much more structured and requires not just physical but mental effort in order to achieve the ‘Form’.

I have benefited from this, more cerebral, approach to movement as I have improved my mobility. It seems to me that by learning new ways to coordinate movements I have, necessarily, created new neural pathways that are bypassing old, damaged ones.

I have PPMS and am aware how my disease has progressed in the last year. However, over the same period I have achieved greater flexibility and range of movement than I had twelve months ago.

This isn’t a cure but it will keep me out of a wheelchair for a bit longer.

Regards,

Anthony

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Hi, I used to love dancing and miss it terribly when we go to something like a wedding or party. I wish there was a suitable dance/movement class that I could do now to improve balance and flexibility.

Like Anthony above, I turned to another form of movement to do my best to stay as fit as I can. I did a regular yoga class for 11 years before giving up a few weeks ago because I can’t manage to keep up with the others. However, I am trying very hard to be disciplined and to practise from home. The reason I mention this is because at home I do yoga to music and try to make it ‘flow’ almost like a form of dance. I feel much better for it.

Gill

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