Dancers step up for parkin­sons suf­fer­ers

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Parkin­sons dis­ease suf­fer­ers got some dance train­ing with the pros last Fri­day.

The Mark Mor­ris Dance group, who will per­form at the Civic this month, spent two hours work­ing with a group from Parkin­sons Auck­land.

Dancers David Leven­thal and John Hegin­botham went through a se­ries of sim­ple dance move­ments with the group.

Parkin­sons Auck­land field of­fi­cer Cilla Barkhuizen says there was a very pos­i­tive out­come for all the par­tic­i­pants.

She says a talk from the dancers at the end of the ses­sion about the im­por­tance of not just ex­er­cis­ing but hav­ing fun do­ing it was es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing.

“Stim­u­lat­ing mo­bil­ity and move­ment in that set­ting with real dancers who can en­thuse and stretch peo­ple is hugely ben­e­fi­cial,” Ms Barkhuizen says.

Parkin­sons Auck­land of­fers sev­eral ex­er­cise pro­grammes but Thurs­day’s ses­sion with the Mark Mor­ris dancers was a one-off ex­pe­ri­ence, she says.

She says the en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion of the dancers “just shone through”.

“We are in­cred­i­bly grate­ful to them. Peo­ple with parkin­sons don’t al­ways get th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Peo­ple with the dis­ease are en­cour­aged to ex­er­cise ev­ery day.

“It’s not go­ing to cure parkin­sons but it may change their mo­bil­ity achieve­ments” Ms Barkhuizen says.

The Mark Mor­ris Dance Group is based in Brook­lyn where their dance groups for peo­ple with parkin­sons have be­come so pop­u­lar they now hold them twice a week.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Parkin­sons Auck­land or their ex­er­cise pro­grammes call 278-6918 or email akl­parkin sons@xtra.co.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Get mov­ing: Graeme and Mau­reen Drum­mond prac­tise some dance ex­er­cises with the Mark Mor­ris Dance Group.

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