Image: Dance for Parkinson's © Laurent Liotardo.

Our Dance for Parkinson’s has been running since October 2010 in five hubs across the UK, and is considered one of the leading organisations delivering high quality dance for people with Parkinson’s. We’re pleased to announce one of our long-standing and passionate participants, Alan Ferrett, as our first ENB Dance for Parkinson’s Ambassador.

Alan Ferrett and Jennie Harrington © Photography by ASH.

Alan will be supporting us by raising awareness of the programme and, along with our Engagement team, will reach out to people with Parkinson’s and encourage them to come and take part, and he will also nurture current participants. In particular, he will be an advocate for classes taking place in our west London hub at the Royal Albert Hall and at our new home on London City Island.

We are thrilled to have Alan as our ENB Dance for Parkinson’s Ambassador and hope through his passion and history with the programme will continue to support our participants and contribute towards the exciting development of our classes.
Drew Potter, Creative Programmes Officer at English National Ballet

We caught up with Alan to ask him about this new venture:

How long have you been attending English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s classes?

I was involved with the initial trials which were an exciting experience, praying that something positive would come out of it which DID happen.

What do you enjoy about Dance for Parkinson’s classes and being part of English National Ballet’s programme?

I enjoy the camaraderie, the sense of community, the freedom to be me, to be able to shake in front of likewise individuals without feeling self-conscious. Also learning new skills taught by wonderful, talented and totally committed and enthusiastic teachers and musicians.

Alan Ferrett (centre) with Dance for Parkinson's volunteer Ioanna Vazelaki, and Jennie Harrington © Photography by ASH.

What benefits have you noticed to your Parkinson’s symptoms and well-being since attending the classes? What do they bring to your life?

One of the benefits, which are many, is my body becoming more supple and stronger. In short, I am more able to express myself with my body. It makes me feel very much part of English National Ballet, of belonging. It provides escapism for a blissful couple of hours. It has opened a new world to me.

Dance for Parkinson's © Laurent Liotardo.

You are the first Ambassador of English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme, how are you finding that role and how did you feel when you were appointed that title?

When I was appointed I felt very proud and I look forward to motivating, and involving many people in sharing and participating in the programme. I find the role fulfilling and enjoyable. It is wonderful to be involved in this fantastically creative project.

Find out more about our Dance for Parkinson’s programme here.