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Benenden helps bring dance therapy to those living with Parkinson’s in Trafford

15th September 2016

People living with Parkinson’s in Trafford are being helped to improve co-ordination and balance through new ballet lessons funded by Benenden. The lessons will be taught by a ballet instructor who has volunteered with the English National Ballet Parkinson's dance classes. 

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition and people living with it are affected in different ways, the most common being ones which affect movement such as tremors, slowness of movement and stiffness, as well as falls and dizziness, fatigue, depression and speech and communication problems.

The dance sessions have been shown to help enhance strength, flexibility, balance, optimism and motivation, and can also result in improved cardiovascular function. Using characterisation in ballet dances can also help with non-verbal communication skills.

Penny Cunliffe, Chair of the Trafford Branch of Parkinson’s UK said, “People who live with Parkinson’s often struggle with things most people take for granted, including walking and turning, and may have low self-esteem and lack confidence. It can be so difficult doing something as simple as making a cup of tea!

“That’s why we’re so grateful to Benenden. If it wasn’t for organisations like Benenden helping us improve people’s lives, we wouldn’t be able to pilot new projects like this. This is also a fun way for people to meet new friends, and build their confidence.”

Catherine Chanoux, ballet instructor said “Exercise is crucial to the health and wellbeing of people living with Parkinson’s. Movements become stiff and slow, communication can also be difficult. The movements in ballet can activate neural pathways to encourage smoother and better movement patterns, and balance activity helps in preventing falls.”

Paul Keenan, Group Head of Communications at Benenden said this “Living with Parkinson’s can be very hard, both on the person with the condition and their friends and family. These wonderful new classes will help make exercise a part of their regular routine and can provide a sense of achievement - reducing anxiety, stress and depression.

“This project incorporates our values as a health and wellbeing mutual, and offers us the chance to help those affected by this debilitating disease that can only be managed, not cured.”

The ballet sessions are free for people with Parkinson’s and their carers, and started from  2nd September with classes taking place every Friday from 2.00 – 3.30 pm at St Matthews Church Hall, Chapel Lane, Stretford, M32 8HF. There will be an after session chat and refreshments too. You can just turn up, or for more information contact: traffordparkinsons@gmail.com

Ends

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