Project information

Dance for Parkinson's

Dance for Parkinson’s provides high quality dance classes for people with Parkinson’s, their family, friends and carers. The classes - which take place in five hubs across the UK - are inspired by English National Ballet's repertoire and delivered in a professional dance studio with live music.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information

English National Ballet

English National Ballet logo
  • Need


    Parkinson’s is a degenerative illness with no known cure. People living with Parkinson’s suffer from limited mobility, physical changes to gait and posture, and tremors. It can be an isolating disease, which impacts on people’s emotional wellbeing, self-esteem and independence. There are limited possibilities for socialising or participation in physical and social activities, and people may lack self-confidence and opportunities to engage with their local communities or access culture and art.


    Dance for Parkinson’s aims to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson's by overcoming some of the physical, social and cultural barriers associated with the condition. Weekly classes provide a fun and informal way to discover the themes, choreography and music of the ballet: they are expressive, creative and promote feelings of freedom from the symptoms and constraints of living with Parkinson's. The programme is proven to improve strength, mobility and confidence.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve the quality of life and physical well-being for people living with Parkinson’s


    » Weekly classes (3 x 12 week terms per year) delivered by trained artists, which encompass dance, music and cultural activity inspired by repertoire
    » Live music combined with visual cues for dance have a positive impact on mobility, freedom of movement and gait in the dance class
    » Social break-out time after the class helps facilitate informal support networks
    » Challenges and opportunities for artistic expression in the dance class build participants’ self esteem and confidence

    Fully subscribed classes with high levels of repeat attendance
    Positive feedback from participants, cultural partners and class leaders
    In-house rigorous evaluation

    Aim 2

    Open up access to dance and cultural activity for people living with Parkinson’s


    » A series of taster classes to introduce people to Dance for Parkinson’s and visits to local Parkinson’s UK branches
    » Subsidised tickets and group trips, giving participants the opportunity to enjoy English National Ballet productions with family, friends and carers
    » Offer people with Parkinson’s unique insight behind the scenes through special events such as 'meet the artists' and insight talks.

    Track number of participants who keep in touch outside of the weekly classes
    Take up of subsidised tickets to English National Ballet performances
    Feedback and evaluation

    Aim 3

    Offer expert training and change public perceptions of people with Parkinson's


    » Continuous professional development (CPD) programme for dance artists, musicians, healthcare professionals and volunteers in London and beyond
    » Training resources, toolkits and digital downloads available widely, including for volunteers and artists involved in the projects
    » Steering group and networks with cultural partners across the UK opening discussions to address public perceptions of Parkinson’s Disease.

    Number of training sessions and attendance
    Evaluation of training sessions and resources
    Feedback from Dance for Parkinson’s steering group, cultural partners, funders and peers

  • Impact


    Embedded within our Dance for Parkinson’s programme is an extensive research study with the University of Roehampton. The research has demonstrated that Dance for Parkinson’s is of immense value to participants, particularly emotionally, socially and artistically. The programme aids fluency of movement, improves gait and stability and a wider range of motion. The group activity encourages feelings of inclusion and positive social interaction, promoting a sense of community that is meaningful.


    Limited Funding: Dance for Parkinson’s relies almost entirely on voluntary donations. Through The Big Give, we aim to raise funding to deliver the 2017 programme to hundreds of people with Parkinson’s across the UK.

    Limited awareness: we work with healthcare professionals, GPs, clinical commissioning groups and Parkinson’s UK to reach those with the greatest need.

    Lack of trained facilitators: we deliver an expert CPD programme to train more dance artists to deliver classes in the future.


    • In the Wings, English National Ballet’s annual publication for supporters
    • Monthly e-newsletters which provide information about the project alone and wider English National Ballet news
    • Regular updates on our website
    • Updates on social media, including Facebook and Twitter

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £211,460

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £89,080 Artist fees Artists & musicians fees x36 classes in 5 hubs
      £59,180 Training and class delivery CPD and career training for artists and teachers, accommodation, studio hire, travel, catering,
      £12,500 Marketing Marketing, advertising, print and photography
      £16,200 Cultural visits Subsidised tickets and travel costs to attend performances
      £34,500 Project management Overheads, admin and contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts & Foundations £40,000 Guaranteed
    Earned Income £15,060 Guaranteed
    Ticket Income £6,650 Guaranteed
  • Background


    In the last six years, the programme has grown from one original class in London to include five locations across the UK: London, Oxford, Liverpool, Ipswich and Cardiff. We work with local dance partners in each region (Oxford City Council, Merseyside Dance Initiative, DanceEast and National Dance Company Wales). Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training also takes place in each location


    Dance for Parkinson’s directly benefits people with Parkinson’s, mostly aged 56 and above, volunteers, artists, hub partners, family and friends – currently over 1000 per year. There is also an increase in Parkinson's UK membership and a positive impact on dance sector as a whole and the wider community. We have a national impact through CPD training, partnerships and digital resources, which extend our reach and ensure that we benefit as many people as possible.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Engagement Department is highly respected for delivering exceptional and accessible projects, which enhance the live ballet experience for new and existing audiences and engage the broadest community, including disadvantaged and marginalised groups, with dance. Dance for Parkinson’s has been running since 2009, establishing itself as one of our most valued and cited projects, inspiring new research and health initiatives both within English National Ballet and with cultural partners.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, Engagement Director

    Fleur has spearheaded the development of Dance for Parkinson’s at ENB bringing outstanding leadership and knowledge to this programme.

    Naomi Elliott, Engagement Manager

    Naomi is an experienced producer of engagement programmes and will coordinate activities and oversee delivery.

Something like this is wonderful as it makes me feel better. The fact of getting up and doing something and finding you can.

A Participant