Skip to content
Project/initiative|United Kingdom|Regional

Dance for Parkinson's | Scotland

Project title

Dance for Parkinson's | Scotland

Description of initiative

Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland is a nationwide programme consisting of 10 hub locations delivering weekly creative movement classes for people living with Parkinson's and their families/carers. Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland has specific objectives in arts and health/wellbeing: exercise is evidenced as positively affecting Parkinson's symptoms; the movement sessions are specifically designed to address common Parkinson’s concerns such as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait and social isolation; the classes are delivered by trained dance artists and musicians (live music is a key component); the creative and artistic focus centres the individual participant's experience and, alongside physical benefits, develops confidence, creativity and expression (ie mental wellbeing); the sessions are more than just exercise classes, there is a strong focus on the social element and the supportive relationship that participants nurture with each other.

Further information on the initiative

Themes: Culture and...

Individual well-being
Mental health
Quality of services for specific groups


movement, dance, elders, Parkinson, confidence, creativity

Target group

Older people

Cultural field



2015 - 2021

Sources of funding

Dance Base, Scottish Ballet, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Baillie Gifford (Scottish Ballet Dance Health partner), Parkinson’s UK, Rayne Foundation, RS MacDonald Charitable Trust, Cairn Energy, 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, Robertson Trust, Agnes Hunter Trust.

Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt

An analysis of the data suggests that the DfPS programme is beneficial for participants in a number of interconnected ways:
- Developing a relationship (appreciation and enjoyment) for ballet and dance through: experience of the freedom and expression that dancing brings; the opportunity to learn company repertoire; experiencing the workings of a professional ballet company.
- Feeling part of a ‘community’, a ‘collective’, a ‘company’ united by a shared sense of determination to participate and responsibility for one another, supported by the
generating of friendships and social networks both within, and outwith, the studios
- A positive impact on balance, coordination, posture, flexibility, and self-confidence in particular. The use and embedding of elements of exercises, tasks, and experiences outside of the studios within daily life.
- Key findings demonstrate the place and role of DfPS within everyday living: the experience of the classes in comparison to other exercise-based activities, what makes DfPS ‘different’, and how participants draw upon social networks built and a toolkit of strategies from the former activity to improve quality of life.



Parkinson's UK
United Kingdom
NGO / Non-profit | Health
Scottish Ballet
United Kingdom
Private / Business | Culture