Quinte Ballet School celebrates Parkinsons Awareness Month in April

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“April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and more specifically, April 11th is World Parkinson’s Day but for the dancers in the Quinte Ballet School of Canada’s Dancing with Parkinson’s programme, every day is Parkinson’s Day,” says Dancing with Parkinsons instructor Kristina McIntosh. “What is special about having a month or day dedicated to Parkinson’s? It brings awareness to others about the disease. You may not know someone with Parkinson’s, but you might be more aware of the disease because of the focused discussion about Parkinson’s in months like April and on days like the 11th.”

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The Dancing with Parkinson’s program at QBSC has benefitted many seniors in the community that range in age from 62 to 92 for adults living with Parkinson’s, adults recovering from heart attacks or strokes and adults with mobility challenges. Since its inception in 2017, each Thursday from 10:30am – 11:30am our dancers come together to dance. Research confirms that dance and creative movement classes with music are highly beneficial for people diagnosed with Parkinsons’s disease by slowing its progression. Newcomers are welcome to join Dancing with Parkinson’s classes in April. To join a free April class at QBSC call 613-962-9274 X23 or contact [email protected]

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More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s disease and 30 more are diagnosed every day. Parkinsons Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness and celebrate the stories and courage of people living with Parkinson’s, their care partners and the people contributing to Parkinson’s research. Vancouver-raised, Michael J. Fox is a hero in the Parkinson’s community. What started as a talented actor’s 1991 diagnosis of early-onset Parkinson’s disease launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000 that has raised over $2 billion for Parkinson’s research. His 2023 biographical film, “Still, A Michael J Fox Movie” released on Apple TV+ won 4 Creative Arts Awards at The Emmys in 2024 including Outstanding Documentary and recounts the story of his meteoric rise to fame and how his Parkinson’s diagnosis impacted his life.

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McIntosh adds, “All abilities are welcome at the Dancing with Parkinson’s program at QBSC that continue on Thursdays until June 6 and then we break for the summer. It is so rewarding to see how movement, interaction and dancing together has become a social lifeline at a time when many feel isolated. Dancing with Parkinson’s classes are improving overall movement, gait, increasing confidence and balance for seniors participating in classes.”

Over the years, support from the Dancing with Parkinson’s program has come from the Rotary Club of Belleville’s community grants, from the City of Belleville’s Community Arts & Culture Fund, the City of Belleville’s Social Infrastructure Fund, from individual donors, from special fundraising events, from local retirement residences as well as by a strong commitment on the part of the QBSC, its teachers and many dedicated volunteers.

For more information about joining free Dancing with Parkinsons classes in April at QBSC on Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. email [email protected] or call 613-962-9274 X23

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