English National Ballet's (ENB) Dance for Parkinson’s programme was inspired by the work of Mark Morris Dance Group's Dance for PD. Since initiating the programme in 2009, ENB’s model and approach has been artistically driven, encompassing the practice and repertory of ENB. The programme includes a structured training programme for practitioners wishing to engage in dance and Parkinson's, providing a model for practice, professional development and cultural engagement across the country. ENB’s model has been rolled out nationally; weekly classes take place in five UK hubs, reaching over 1,000 participants.
In 2011, ENB commissioned a mixed-methods research study to evidence impact on the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s, led by Dr. Sara Houston, University of Roehampton and Ashley McGill MSc. This initial research resulted in a new second phase Study: English National Ballet, Dance for Parkinson’s An Investigative Study Part2, providing the first longitudinal piece of evidence on the impact of the programme over three years, examining the long term benefits of dance, physically, socially and as a contributor to quality of life and well-being.
You can download the 2015 report here: (8.6 MB)
On the strength of the research and evaluation, and as a result of the project’s collective impact, ENB has secured funding from both independent funders and the West London Clinical Commissioning Group.
“We were pleased to support the English National Ballet Dance for Parkinson project. The project provides a practical and therapeutic outlet for people with Parkinson’s and their carers. My attendance at the ENB’s Dance for Parkinson’s symposium in October 2015 reiterated the evidence base and value placed on the project by all stakeholders and highlighted an innovative approach to supporting and improving the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease.”
Davey Thomason, Associate Director, Community Services Programme Team
NHS Central London Clinical Commissioning Group
Cultural Commissioning Programme Case Study
ENB Dance for Parkinson’s: Harnessing the power of dance to improve health and wellbeing
A case study for the Cultural Commissioning Programme showing how arts and cultural programmes are impacting on social outcomes.
You can view the online Case Study.
“ENB’s has helped demonstrate the broad benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s, both physically and psychologically. From engaging with participants of their Dance for Parkinson’s classes, it is evident that arts intervention can improve health and change lives for the better, with dance often referred to as a ‘lifeline’ for people with Parkinson’s. We are delighted to partner with this innovative organisation.”
Steve Ford, CE, Parkinson’s UK
Top medical charity, the Bupa Foundation, awarded , University of Roehampton, its Vitality for Life prize for her research on English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme.