The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has donated to English National Ballet to support their pioneering work with people living with Parkinson’s across the country. The £30,000 grant will enable English National Ballet to deliver the Dance for Parkinson’s project in Cardiff, Ipswich, London, Liverpool and Oxford, and extend the programme to new locations.
Dance for Parkinson’s helps people living with the disease to have a better quality of life by overcoming the physical, social and cultural barriers associated with the condition. Professional dance artists and musicians deliver weekly classes inspired by English National Ballet’s repertoire in the dance studios. The charity aims to directly benefit 1,000 people with Parkinson’s annually and to provide support for carers, friends and families, who can also participate in the dance classes.
One participant who took part in the project in London said: “The ballet did make me urgently want to move more, and move better and hinted at how this might be possible.”
Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, Engagement Director at English National Ballet, says: “We have long-believed in the power of dance as a transformative and liberating activity that can bring joy and well-being benefits to people living with Parkinson’s. A mixed-methods research study with the University of Roehampton – the most significant study into the benefits of dancing with Parkinson’s, as seen within English National Ballet’s programme and over a period of three years – confirmed the impact of this programme, highlighting that dance is a meaningful activity to participants that brings many long term benefits and is valued highly by them. We are so happy that we can continue to provide this service and take it to new areas of the country.”
Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Laura Chapman said: “We are delighted to support the wonderful work that English National Ballet does to help people affected by this debilitating condition. English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme provides a creative outlet that resonates deeply for participants on intellectual, social and emotional levels.”
Classes are delivered in London at English National Ballet’s studios in Kensington, as well as nationally, in collaboration with regional Hub Partners National Dance Company Wales, based in Cardiff, DanceEast in Ipswich, MDI in Liverpool and Oxford City Council.