World Parkinson’s Day: Dance for People with Parkinson
Dance can be a beneficial exercise to support people with Parkinson’s and improve quality of life as well as movement and overall wellbeing.
Tanzhaus nrw e.V. has been running a weekly class for people with Parkinson’s since 2016. The team of certified teachers offer a weekly class with a range of different dance styles to meet people’s individual needs and help to improve physical balance, flexibility and coordination often impacted by some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. In a relaxed and caring environment people are encouraged to regain body confidence through engagement with dance exercises and guided improvisations to enhance their individual range of mobility.
In 2024 tanzhaus nrw also offers a Tango Cafe as a new offer for people with Parkinson’s interested to explore a new dance culture and technique this year.
The day gives dance mediators and people working in social work or healthcare the opportunity to explore the possibilities and special features of dance for people with Parkinson’s as well as to exchange ideas and network with colleagues.
Opening and welcome: Dr Sabine Sörgel, Director of the tanzhaus nrw Academy
Open Class: “Dance for people with Parkinson’s” with Dawna P. Dryhorub and Bridget Q. Fearn
Talk: “Dancing with Parkinson’s”, Prof.in Sara Houston, University of Roehampton, London
Round table with tanzhaus nrw dance teachers, participants and guests
Open Class: Tango Argentino, Andrea Stegmaier del Prado
Bridget Q. Fearn und Dawna P. Dryhorub took educational classes for dance with people with Parkinson’s Disease from David Leventhal, the founder of DANCE for PD® in New York. With this foundation and their knowledge as experienced dancers and instructors, they designed a program that helps participants alleviate their handling of the disease, which has proven itself in practice.
Dawna P. Dryhorub first started ballet dancing at age three, the decision was already taken: “I want to be a dancer!” She took additional classes in tap dance, jazz dance and folkloristic dance, subsequently pursuing her dance education at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she specialised in Graham and classical dance. She received an invitation to collaborate on a project in Düsseldorf during the mid-1990s and swiftly became an artist close to the “Werkstatt”, the precursor of tanzhaus nrw. The native Canadian remained in Germany and participated in various productions by, among others, Rodolpho Leoni and Samir Akika. She offered trainings at Folkwang Tanzstudio for many years and was a guest lecturer for classical dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts. In 2020 Dawna graduated with a Master’s degree in dance sciences from Bern University.
Bridget Q. Fearn comes from California and is a highly regarded colleague with a longstanding expertise in dance, bringing with her creativity, vibrancy, enthusiasm, openness and a lot of humour. First and foremost, she carries a wealth of experience in international dance and performance as well as in teaching. Bridget became a part of the tanzhaus nrw instructors’ family in 1987 and, with her knowledge, has been critical in shaping the course section in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap dance as well as in hip hop. Together with US-born dancer Marvin A. Smith, she imported an exciting new street jazz spirit, situated somewhere between urban and jazz dance, to Germany and to tanzhaus nrw in the 1990s. Some of her current students have been attending her classes for 25 years now. Bridget is a certified yoga teacher and works with people who have fallen ill with Parkinson’s Disease or multiple sclerosis.
Professor Dr. Sara Houston is a British born award-winning teacher and researcher of dance. She holds a Professorship at University of Roehampton, London UK in Dance and Community Engagement. She won the BUPA Foundation Prize in 2011 for her pioneering work in dance and Parkinson’s Disease and in 2019 she published the monograph Dancing with Parkinson’s. In 2014 she was a Finalist in the UK National Public Engagement Awards for her work engaging the general public in her Parkinson’s and dance research, as well as receiving a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship for excellence in teaching and learning in the same year. She is sought after globally as a speaker and workshop leader and is currently Research Consultant to The Jockey Club Dance Well initiative in Hong Kong, run by the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts for people with Parkinson’s. Between 2020 and 2023, Prof. Houston worked with EU dance organisations and dance artists to augment professional development through soft skills. She was one of the lead authors of the digital open access Soft Skills in Dance: A Guidebook to Enhance your Practice, funded by Erasmus+. She is passionate about socially engaged dance and about acknowledging the richness of dancing for non-professionals, as well as how professional dance artists may augment their skills.
Andrea Stegmaier del Prado grew up in Chile. She received her professional training as a dancer and dance pedagogue in the Jooss-Leeder method from former members of the Ballet Jooss Company (Essen/ Devon). She has a dance diploma from Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, where she has worked with Susann Linke among others as well as she has worked on the José Limón repertoire. As a performer and choreographers she worked for Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf and she is a longstanding teacher at tanzhaus nrw Academy. Since 2017 she is a member of Komische Oper am Rhein. She started Tango Argentino originally for herself, yet it is now twenty years that she has joined the tanzhaus nrw tango team as a regular teacher. Her tango lessons focus on the individuality of each participant to reach their full expressivity and potential.
Dr. Sabine Sörgel joined tanzhaus nrw in 2023 and is the director of the tanzhaus nrw e.V. Academy. She has lectured in several German and UK Universities in dance and theatre before, and dance health is a particular interest this year’s new course developments.
Information on accessibility
A joint event organised by:
Centre for Creative Ageing and Inclusive Arts