Dance for PD is coming to NZ

Press release

Parkinson’s New Zealand
23 August 2018

Parkinson’s New Zealand is proud to partner with Dance for PD Australia to help spread the word of this world renowned programme. Lead by Dance for PD Australia’s director, Erica Rose Jeffrey, there will be a training workshop for potential Dance for PD teachers, followed by various free community classes held around the country.

Parkinson’s New Zealand is excited at the prospect of more Dance for PD classes being available to the Parkinson’s community. Parkinson’s New Zealand is committed to bringing more programmes like Dance for PD to New Zealand to increase the number of exercise options for people with Parkinson’s.

The upcoming training workshop to be held in Wellington on 8 and 9 September will be the first of its kind in New Zealand. The Dance for PD workshop is designed primarily to help dance teachers adapt their technique to work effectively with people with Parkinson’s. 

The workshop will be run by Erica Rose Jeffrey. Erica Rose believes in the power of movement for positive social change and is the director of Peace Moves and Dance for Parkinson’s Australia. Erica Rose was integral in developing the Dance for PD programme in Australia and is now helping to facilitate the programme in New Zealand. 

“I am excited that Erica Rose Jeffrey from Dance for PD Australia will be providing the opportunity to grow the number of people teaching dance for people with Parkinson's in Aotearoa. So spread the word, sign up and let's get the Parkinson's community moving and grooving,” says Physiotherapist at TBI Health, Rachel Horwell. 

Rachel runs weekly Dance for PD classes in Porirua and Lower Hutt, Wellington. She is very passionate about her work and is eager to hear from anyone considering attending the workshop. Rachel wants to see as many people with Parkinson’s as possible empowered through dance. It is her hope that after the workshop there will be more classes available in smaller regions.

 “Since attending the Dance for PD workshop in Brooklyn, New York in 2014 I hoped for people with Parkinson's throughout New Zealand to have access to similar classes, to experience the joy and freedom of movement from Dance," Rachel Horwell continues.

Upcoming Dance for Parkinson’s New Zealand events:

  • Dance for Parkinson’s Training Workshop on 8 and 9 September at  Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington. More info here madmimi.com/s/78814c
  • Free Community Class Wellington on 9 September, 11am at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown. There will be light refreshments & discussion after the class
  • Free Community Class Christchurch 11 September, 10am-12pm, with Dance to be Free, Impact Dance and Stage School, 450 Tuam Street, Christchurch. Contact Adriaan Beddie  adriaan@dancetobefree.co.nz for more information  
  • Free Community Class Dunedin 12 September, Erica Rose to be a guest Dance instructor to the regular Exercise group, at Mosgiel Presbyterian Church, 11 Church Street, Mosgiel. Contact Paula Ryan at paula.ryan@parkinsons.org.nz for more information
  • Free Community Class Auckland 13 September, 1pm-3pm, Sunnynook Community centre, 148 Sycamore Drive, Sunnynook, Auckland. Contact Caroline Yandall on 0275204836 for more information
  • Free Community Class Auckland 14 September, 10am-12pm, St Barnabas Church Hall, 283 Mount Eden Rd, Mount Eden, Auckland. Contact Margaret McNab on 0275204483 for more information
  • Erica Rose Presentation Auckland 14 September, 1pm-3pm, University of Auckland - Erica Rose Presentation to post graduate students 
  • Weekly Dance for Parkinson’s Classes in Wellington with Rachel Horwell Tuesdays 10:30am-11:30am, Porirua Club, 1 Lodge Place, Porirua and 1pm-2pm, Bob Scott Retirement Village, 25 Graham Street, Lower Hutt, Koha is appreciated to cover costs


For media enquiries: Julianne Ryan, Marketing & Communications Manager, 027 218 7358

Notes for the editor

About Parkinson’s

  • One in every 500 New Zealanders has Parkinson’s – around 10,000 people.
  • People with Parkinson’s tend not to refer to themselves as ‘sufferers’, opting for a more positive ‘people living with Parkinson’s’.
  • Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that occurs when insufficient quantities of the chemical dopamine are produced by the brain
  • A large number of people with Parkinson’s are aged over 65, however the average age of diagnosis is 59, and many New Zealanders are diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s in their thirties and forties.
  • The main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
    • Tremor (shaking)
    • Stiffness and rigidity
    • Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
    • Other symptoms can include changes in mood and anxiety, poor balance and altered speech


About Parkinson’s New Zealand

  • Parkinson’s New Zealand is a national not-for-profit with 20 branches throughout the country and 32 Community Educators who work with people with Parkinson’s as part of multi-disciplinary teams
  • Contact details for Parkinson’s Community Educators are available on www.parkinsons.org.nz or by phoning 04 801 8850 or 0800 473 463. 
  • Parkinson’s New Zealand is a community based, non-profit organisation, registered with the Charities Commission and reliant on funding from grants, bequests and donations. 

About Dance for PD

  • Founded in 2001, offers specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and care partners around the world. 
  • Dance for PD classes allow people with Parkinson’s to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence.
  • For customer support for DVD orders, membership, training, and workshop or class registration, please email support@danceforpd.org or call (800) 957-1046 (international callers please use +01-646-450-3373). 
  • Rachel Horwell contact details, 022 077 2654, physio.rachel.horwell@gmail.com
  • Erica Rose Jeffrey contact details, ericarose@danceforparkinsonsaustralia.org