Dancing with Parkinson's at St. Joseph's Hospice

by Danielle Teale in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 5th February 2018 we successfully raised £4,000 with 78 supporters in 56 days

Dancing with Parkinson's, a valuable Community Dance Programme taking place at St. Joseph's Hospice in Hackney led by Danielle Teale Dance

by Danielle Teale in London, England, United Kingdom

Support Danielle Teale Dance to continue to provide highly valued, artistic dance opportunities for people with Parkinson's in Hackney.

Danielle Teale Dance delivers an inspiring, artistic, dance opportunity for people with Parkinson's, their partners, carers and family members in Hackney and surrounding areas. The classes and choreographic opportunities that Danielle Teale Dance offers are highly valued and enjoyed by over 20 dancers with Parkinson's, and interest in the sessions is continuing to grow.

“It's very important for me to come to dance for Parkinson's because it gives me a sense that I can do things...I will not be defined by Parkinson's, nothing is impossible and this class has taught me, YES! I can do it"
- Dance participant

"The teacher is pure joy, the helper’s kindness itself, other students are so fun. I love to feel myself moving freely...”
Dance Participant

The programme includes live music from musician Jaka Skapin and is delivered by expert Dance for Parkinson's artist Danielle Teale. Dancers have access to high quality delivery, with other specialists and artists joining the class regularly to assist, support and often as guests. This term, the group were joined by dancers from West End Musical 'An American in Paris', for a demonstration and insight into their work.

The support of St. Joseph's Hospice has meant that the programme has become a highly valued part of the Hospice's community activities offer, helping people to live well when faced with a life limiting condition.

However the programme is now coming to the end of its funding and we need support to keep the classes running for the benefit of the dancers and their families and friends.

£9000 will enable the classes to continue for a year at St. Joseph's Hospice; providing the space, resources, staff and artists necessary for the programme.

  • £6,300 will go towards the artistic delivery of the programme, including the specialist dance artist, live musician, and an assistant dance artist
  • £1,000 will be put towards development of a teachers shadowing and mentoring programme to upskill new artists to gain the experience and skills to deliver dance for people with Parkinson's
  • £1,000 will go towards resources for the class including the space and the tea, coffee and biscuits - an important part of the social time after each dance session
  • The remaining £700 goes towards the management and coordination of the classes, including working with St. Joseph's Hospice for referrals to the classes from local GP's and consultants, and with Parkinson's UK to advertise the classes to their members

Artistic development:
Danielle Teale Dance believes all human beings are valuable and all people are creative. People with Parkinson's are often isolated due to the impact that their physical symptoms can have on their mobility and therefore their access to day to day life. Dancing with Parkinson's at St. Joseph's Hospice is a place where the participants are acknowledged for their contributions as dancers and choreographers in their own right, enabling their voices to be heard and providing greater confidence in their abilities to succeed outside of the class.

Classes offer the dancers an opportunity to contribute ideas and see their movements performed by the others in the class, as well as included in exercises throughout the term. Danielle Teale works with the dancers with an inclusive approach, valuing all contributions and developing material for class that suits each individual dancer's strengths.

"Danielle is so inspiring...and every Monday morning I get up thinking I feel lethargic but once I get into that class I'll be dancing my socks off."
- Dance Participant

Dancers from Dancing with Parkinson's at St. Joseph's have been involved in two creative projects since the programme began:

Collective Field, was part of a work in progress project 'Explorations in Collectivity and Intimacy' led by Danielle Teale and visual artist Sara Hibbert.

The White Winter Hymnal music project saw dancers develop their choreography alongside vocal group Tangerine, led by Dancing with Parkinson's musician Jaka Skapin.

This programme, as with many other dance programmes for people with Parkinson's, has proven to have positive impact on physical mobility as well as social and emotional benefits to the dancers. The clinical research team at St. Joseph's Hospice worked with Danielle Teale Dance in the first year of the programme to gather data to demonstrate this.

"The findings from our evaluation were really very promising; we used a tool to quantify people's individual goals from the programme and the extent to which they achieved those goals, and those results were really very impressive..."
- Dr Margaret Clifford

Using the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) and the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), Dr. Margaret Clifford led a small scale evaluation and research study to assess whether the dancers were able to achieve goals in day to day life as a result of their involvement in dancing. The results are demonstrated in the poster below, presented at the Hospice UK National Conference in November 2017. For mre information: Click Here

"We found that all of the participants at least partially achieved the goals they set for themselves, and some of the individual goals were really quite ambitious..."
- Dr Margaret Clifford


Please give whatever you can to support this class and provide the opportunity for people with Parkinson's to feel free to express themselves in a safe, community environment in Hackney.

Thank you!

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