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NPC 2018/262292/08

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Listen to Julie & Carmen's interview in Fine Music Radio on June 1st

A very successful Teacher Training Course was held in Cape Town. One new teacher from Johannesburg and three from Cape Town.


To provide the Parkinson's communities an uplifting and life enhancing movement program that will increase mobility, quality of life and bring a sense of validation and purpose back into their lives.

Dance for Parkinson’s classes foster a safe and creative environment for participants and their friends, family, and
caregivers. Through an engaging approach, students learn to enhance their aesthetic awareness and grace while
addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, and depression. Teaching artists
introduce movement from modern dance, musical theatre, ballet, folk dance, tap and improvisation.

Julie Symmonds and Carmen Davidson have completed the Dance for PD® Teachers Course in New York City under founding director David Leventhal. Julie has also completed her Certification and is qualified to train new teachers in the Dance for PD® programme.

What They're Saying

I love her classes. The music uplifts you and the classes delay your body from the stiffness PD brings to your body. After
the class we sit down and talk to each other about our challenges. We do not stop and go home. It helps to chat and sit with others!

— Deidre Barnard Visser

Training and working with Julie was an immense pleasure. She approached the training with curiosity, passion and sensitivity.
She has invested her energies in sharing the joys and benefits of dance with people living with PD in South Africa. Julie Symmonds is a pioneer in bringing the dance programme to South Africa.

— David Leventhal


David Leventhal Program Director for Dance for PD® with Julie Symmonds taken
at the training course in New York 2015


Julie & Carmen with two classmates in New York, Attila Mosolygo & Russell Janzen

Why Dance for Parkinson’s Disease?

  • Dance develops flexibility and instills confidence
  • Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental activity that connects mind to body
  • Dance breaks isolation
  • Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful movement
  • Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears and touch as tools to assist in movement and balance
  • Dance increases awareness of where all parts of the body are in space
  • Dance tells stories
  • Dance sparks creativity
  • The basis of dance is rhythm
  • The essence of dance is joy

Dancing with Parkinson's - It's a fabulous idea

  1. Gets you out of the house and socialising, which can be difficult.

  2. You learn new steps and sequences that stimulate the brain.

  3. Enables you to do things you thought were no longer possible.

  4. Leaves you feeling steadier and more confident when standing and walking.