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LOCAL LIFE

THE CHIWSICK MAGAZINE

Local charity helps people with Parkinson's through dance by Rachel Magee

A local charity uses dance as a therapeutic tool to help people with Parkinson's disease and other neurological or mobility issues.

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ove Into Wellbeing offers dance classes which aim to let people experience the benefits that dance has on developing better balance and coordination and on improving self-confidence and general well-being. Before March 2020, the charity held classes in St Peter’s Church in Chiswick and in Danehurst Activity and Resource Centre in Brentford but classes have now moved online. Founder and director of Move Into Wellbeing, Donna Schoenherr, said that her inspiration for starting the charity came from seeing her father suffer from Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years. Donna said: “I saw that disease deteriorate him over a slow and very painful series of three decades. I was a professional dancer and so I knew about the work that was going on in a therapeutic way with dance to help people with different mobility and neurological issues. “The purpose behind setting up Move Into Wellbeing was to provide some sort of relief and joy for people who were dealing with this horrible thing, which I knew first-hand what it was all about.” The classes start with some socialising where class attendees and the dance teachers have a chance to chat and get settled in. There is then a health and safety check before the class starts with a gentle warm-up. The classes cater to all abilities giving manageable dance moves for those who are very physically impaired and encouraging those who can do more to elaborate on their 10

moves. There is always an adapted version to the dance routines for those who can not do all the elements. Each class has a teacher, assistant teachers and volunteer safety monitors that check everyone is doing okay. Since moving on to zoom, more people from across the country and across the world have joined the classes. The charity also offers a Google classroom to those signed up with them offering a library of classes and other exercises which can be accessed at any time of the day. Donna said that if someone was curious to try a class, all they have to do is email info@moveintowellbeing.org.uk or send the charity their phone number for a chat. She added that those unfamiliar with using zoom can ask for help and the charity will talk them through the basics. The first class is free and then it is usually £8 per class or you can buy bundles of classes for less per class. The charity also offers a concession rate. Donna said that that as well as offering physical benefits, the charity aims to offer a friendly and supportive community to those who attend the classes. She added that she enjoys seeing people in the class improve, saying: “it's incredibly fulfilling and joyful to see someone improve. We've had people come in on their walker and leave class without their walker because they just forgot they had one because they start to get stronger and more confident. And others come out of their shell and start to laugh and smile more.”

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The Chiswick Magazine January 2021  

The Chiswick Magazine® is a monthly title covering culture, events, life and travel. Published by PWR Media, a wholly independent business b...

The Chiswick Magazine January 2021  

The Chiswick Magazine® is a monthly title covering culture, events, life and travel. Published by PWR Media, a wholly independent business b...