The impact of Dance for Parkinson’s on balance and gait: A mixed methods pilot study

Jeffrey, Erica Rose, Lamont, Robyn M., Kerr, Graham K., Kemp, Katrina, Moyle, Gene Margaret, & Brauer, Sandra G. (2015) The impact of Dance for Parkinson’s on balance and gait: A mixed methods pilot study. In Parkinson's Australia National Conference 2015, 27 - 29 May 2015, Adelaide, S.A. (Unpublished)



  • To evaluate the impact of a pilot Dance for Parkinson’s program on balance and gait in an Australian sample of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).


  • 30 ability-appropriate “Dance for Parkinson’s” classes were conducted in the Queensland Ballet Dance Studios between October 2013 and July 2014.Twelve people with PD who participated in the Dance for Parkinson’s program volunteered for this mixed methods research pilot. In-depth interviews and clinical measures of walking and balance were performed before and after the 30-class program.


  • Eleven research participants (7 female, 4 male) aged 38-80, completed the Dance for Parkinson’s program and both pre and post assessments. On average participants attended 82.7% of classes. Qualitative analysis revealed that Dance for Parkinson’s positively contributed to the physical, emotional and cognitive health of participants, in addition to providing a vehicle for social engagement and creative expression. With respect to physical health participants reported that the classes helped improve their daily mobility, co-ordination and fluency of movement. Quantitative analysis revealed significant improvements in functional mobility under single (p=0.027), and dual-task (p=0.001) conditions. Gait velocity also increased significantly under single and dual task conditions (p<0.05). There was a trend towards improvement in anticipatory balance (p=0.052).


  • Dance for Parkinson’s provided a community-based and creative opportunity for people with PD to participate in exercise that was beneficial to walking and balance, emotional and cognitive health, social and artistic participation.

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ID Code: 96307
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Dance, Parkinsons Disease, Dance for PD
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Dance (190403)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 22 Jun 2016 23:20
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 04:01

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