Dance for Parkinon’s: IRISH

So, we’ve talked about TANGO, and about BALLET … but now, IRISH!


Researchers at both the St. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital in Venice, Italy and University of Limerick  are finding that following 8-weeks of twice weekly Irish dance classes, persons with Parkinson’s fell less often and were more mobile. They speculate the benefits are attributed to the exercise, strong rhythm of Irish music and the sociability of group dances.

The steady rhythm provided by the music (in this case, Irish Folk) acts as an “acoustic cue”, bypassing the basal ganglia, affected by  Parkinson’s, and helping patients reroute movement cues.

Parkinson’s dancers performed at the 26th Annual International Traditional Music Festival in Feakle, August 5th-7th.

… more evidence to dust off those dancing shoes, and find your rhythm! much love.


More news links:–to-present-research-on-Irish-set-dancing-as-remedy-for-Parkinsons-216564571.html

Dance for Parkinson’s: TANGO

Tango includes both single-time steps, or steps on the beat, and double-time steps, or steps between two beats … and dancing to this beat may benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

Since 2007, Dr Madeline E. Hackney PhD has been demonstrating the benefits of tango dance on balance, ability to complete spatial tasks, mood, coordination and endurance improvements in people with Parkinson’s disease (Hackney 2007; Hackney 2009; Hackney 2010).

And new research is demonstrating that:

community-based adapted tango for Parkinson’s disease  can be safely delivered with high participant satisfaction/retention and potential for improving balance (link HERE).

Another reason to put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner and hit the dance floor! Do you tango? much love.

Dance for Parkinson’s: BALLET

Can learning to point/flex your toes and turn out your feet improve muscle control and movement in people living with Parkinson’s disease?

New research is saying YES!

… as a “ballerina” since the age of 4 (well, if my current once/week adult ballet classes count!), I am really inspired by the ability of ballet to improve brain function in Parkinson’s disease.

1989 June Kate's Ballet1

dancing snowflake (june 1989)

1990 June Kate's Ballet Recital

again, a snowflake (june 1990)

New research at McMaster/Western Universities in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School will see how the brain reacts and learns in people with Parkinson’s in relation to music and acquired movements related to the rhythm and  beat of music.

They are testing the idea that the brain can develop new pathways if stimulated with learning ballet. This could help improve mobility in people with Parkinson’s.


As part of the Dance for PD program, Saturday sessions are offered for people with Parkinson’s, their carers and family members within the professional environment of English National Ballet. Recently, there was a BBC news clip about the benefits of ballet for people with Parkinson’s, offered by the English National ballet; check it out HERE.


Have you tried ballet? Are you learning any new dance moves? I’d love to hear how you are pointing your toes for better brain function in the comments below! much love.