Learning any kind of dance is beneficial for the mind, spirit and body of anyone, from two to 102, says Somerset West Dance for Parkinson’s new teacher, Laurette van der Merwe, who leads these fun, creative, joyful, healing, brain- and body-connected classes each week.
Dance for Parkinson’s South Africa is a non-profit organisation offering specialised dance classes for people affected by Parkinson’s, as well as those with other mobility challenges.
Started in South Africa in 2016 by Julie Symmonds, this unique, and lively programme is based on the 2001 New York collaboration between Mark Morris Dance Group, and the Brooklyn Parkinson’s Group, who together founded Dance for PD.
The mission of the programme is to provide the Parkinson’s, and the mobility disorder community with a creative dance, and movement programme, that uses the aesthetics of dance sequences to stretch, and strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, contribute to aerobic stamina, and improve overall stability and balance.
All classes are choreographed to include a wide range of music, imagination and collaboration, says Laurette.
“Fitness is a subsidiary aim, but not the primary goal. Our dancers leave our classes feeling well again. To quote a dancer in a class this year, ‘Learning to dance again, as adults with Parkinson’s, is a chance to return to our bodies, to be true beginners again’,” says Laurette.
In South Africa, Dance for Parkinson’s registered a non-profit company.
All donations, which are very much welcomed, are tax-deductible.
Dance classes are held on every Thursday, from 10am to 11am, at the NG Church Hall, corner of Gordon and Cloetenberg roads.
Caregivers and family members are welcome at all the classes.
Future venues are in the pipeline, and for more information, contact Laurette on WhatsApp at 068 536 0587.