The therapeutic use of dance for people with Parkinson's disease

Alice Davies, Ian Patrick Noonan

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This paper uses English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme to illustrate a literature review of the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s disease. To illustrate the creative and therapeutic use of dance in the company’s programme, a distinction is drawn between dance therapy and the experience of being part of a dance company. Short-term improvements in physical symptoms, and subjective improvements in psychological wellbeing are noted, but the benefits of being part of a creative work of dance in terms of social interaction and quality of life appear longer lasting. These appear to emerge from the artistry, self-expression and collaboration in the performance of dance with a professional company, in addition to the benefits of dance therapy in a clinical context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
JournalIrish Association of Creative Arts Therapists Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Parkinson Disease
  • Dance
  • Medical humanities
  • Nursing


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