Dance for Parkinson’s classes have been taking place at Dance Base since 2010. As a result of a ground-breaking partnership with Scottish Ballet and thanks to collaborative work with other national and international partners and significant support from many funders, there are now classes offered across many cities and towns in Scotland.
Dance for Parkinson’s classes first take place at Dance Base, run by dance artist Mo Morgan in partnership with Parkinson’s UK Edinburgh Branch. These classes are later run by dance artists Jen Cunningham, Rhiana Laws, Christina Liddell and Sophie Younger.
Dance Base and Scottish Ballet teams come together and set out their ambition to expand Dance for Parkinson’s provision in Scotland.
A pilot year of Dance for Parkinson’s classes begins. This involves Scottish Ballet starting up new Dance for Parkinson’s classes in their studios in Glasgow and Dance Base continuing their regular weekly classes in Edinburgh.
Dance for PD® run training for dance artists and musicians in the methodology and approach to Dance for Parkinson’s classes.
Funding is secured from Paul Hamlyn Foundation for Dance Base and Scottish Ballet to partner and deliver a three-year national expansion programme to grow Dance for Parkinson’s classes in ten locations across Scotland.
The Steering Group – made up of Dance Base and Scottish Ballet staff alongside people living with Parkinson’s and arts, health and community workers, is formed to support the development and direction of the national expansion programme.
Evaluation from the pilot year of activity is published.
The Dance for Parkinson’s national expansion programme begins. This involves two phases of 18-month periods of work to support new Dance for Parkinson’s classes to set up. Dance Base and Scottish Ballet work with partners across eight localities in Scotland (in addition to classes taking place in Edinburgh and Glasgow)
Phase One involves starting up Dance for Parkinson’s classes in: Aberdeen, Dundee, Greenock, Inverness, Kilmarnock.
Phase Two involves starting up Dance for Parkinson’s classes in: Perth, Peebles and Stirling.
In March, the Covid-19 pandemic forces all classes to stop immediately. During 2020, Dance Base offer a range of pre-recorded classes on Facebook (these are still available) and Scottish Ballet run live-streamed classes via Facebook Live. After a few months on Facebook, live classes move to the Zoom platform. Some other classes in Scotland are able to continue online, whilst some cease completely during the lockdown periods.
Further funding is awarded from Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support another year of activity, to mitigate the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Online training for dance artists and musicians is delivered by Dance Base and Scottish Ballet, featuring guest speakers with a range of Dance for Parkinson’s experience.
In-person classes resume during the year for most of the Dance for Parkinson’s classes that started as a result of the national expansion programme.
In March, artists, musicians and staff from arts organisations across Scotland come together for a one-day gathering to celebrate the success of the national expansion project, and discuss next steps.
In September, a two-day introductory training workshop delivered at Dance Base for dance artists, in collaboration with Dance for PD®, to expand the pool of trained dance artists in Scotland.
Scottish Ballet launches their National Centre for Dance Health in January, which includes their Dance for Parkinson’s classes. The following month the extensive evaluative report from the national expansion programme, by Dr Bethany Whiteside (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Emma Smith, is published.
March sees Dance Base secure funding from Scottish Power Foundation for another 12 months of Dance for Parkinson’s classes in Edinburgh and to further support classes across Scotland.
The Dance for Parkinson’s national expansion programme was funded by: Dance Base, Scottish Ballet, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Baillie Gifford (Scottish Ballet Dance Health partner) and Parkinson’s UK.
We are also thankful for the support we have received across the life of this programme from: Nancie Massie Charitable Foundation, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Foundation, Bank of Scotland Foundation, The Rayne Foundation, RS MacDonald Charitable Trust, Cairn Energy, the Elizabeth Frankland Moore & Star Foundation, J & JR Wilson Charitable Trust, WG Edwards Charitable Trust, Cruden Foundation, Barrack Charitable Trust, Mrs Gladys Row Fogo Charitable Trust, The Robertson Trust, and The Agnes Hunter Trust.