Tag Archives: Parkinson’s Disease

Take 5 & Move with Ease

I am really excited to share a new event I’m planning: a workshop I’m calling “Move with Ease” where I’ll start to incorporate some of the other techniques I’ve learned in addition to Nia. The details have only just been confirmed – so you’re the first to know. You’ll find some information below and full details on the classes and events page. The venue is the lovely, restful Aditi yoga & pilates studio in Darlington (not far from Morrisons on North Road). Why not join me on 15th July at 6.30? But be sure to book, as places are limited.

This week I’m also planning the first of the classes im doing for the “Colour your life” programme at the Pioneering Care Centre, starting this Friday 8th July. Again, details are on the classes and events page.

A new block of four Nia classes will start next Monday night at the Pioneering Care Centre. Only four this time because I’m taking a break in August and with the Bank Holiday on 29th there were only two other Mondays in the month. However, I intend to start again with a new block of five in September. Look out for details.

Have a great week!


Nia move of the week – Knee Sweep

Lift one of your knees up and then sweep it out to the side, from the middle to the outside of the body. Repeat on the other side. This move improves stability and agility in your hip joints. If you need a gentler version, draw a circle on the floor (clockwise with your right foot; anti-clockwise with the left). Or, lifting the foot, draw the circle in the air – imagine taking it over something a few inches high. Increase the height and energy of the move, depending on your body, using sensation to guide you.

Watch it here.

What I’m reading/watching

Parkinson’s Patients See Benefit From Movement, Dance Therapy.

What this article and video doesn’t say is that the participants are doing Nia! Caroline Kohles who appears in the video is a Nia teacher who said in a recent Facebook post: “I was asked to be the program director to develop fitness programs for people living with PD at JCC Manhattan for this partnership. I jumped at the chance and The Nia: Movement, Music + Magic for Parkinson’s program grew to become a bit hit. In fact, it has become the star of the program.” And the program she is talking about is now carried out in 4 locations in the USA.

Classes & Events

New class: Mindful Movement – 10 sessions starting 8 July
Please contact the Pioneering Care Centre (not me) for more information or to book a place.Move with ease poster

New block of 4 Nia classes, Pioneering Care Centre
Starts Monday 11 July 6.30 p.m. £14.

Move with Ease, Friday 15 July, 6.30 – 8.30 p.m., Aditi Yoga and Pilates, Darlington
A two-hour session where you’ll learn some simple moves to help relieve tension and back pain, move mindfully to soul-stirring music and then relax completely to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep.

Full details of all classes and events

Take 5 & Dance like there’s nobody watching

You’ve heard it before – “Dance like there’s nobody watching”. I have been given a mug with this on and a beautiful cross-stitched picture with these words and a figure dancing with gay abandon (see below) because I think I must say them quite often in Nia classes.

But that’s exactly what I hope people will do. They don’t need to get it right, be able to dance or even be co-ordinated – Just Dance. I’ll explain why I’ve concluded it’s so good for you below and suggest a few dance styles you might like to try.

Please note the changes to classes over the summer and have a great week.

Summer break

Both the Oakleaf and Woodham Nia classes are taking a break from now until September. With people on holiday at different times, numbers were just too unpredictable. Watch this space for new start dates. See Classes & Events for details.

If you’re away over the summer, you can search for a Nia class anywhere in the world in the “Find Nia” section of the main Nia website.

Tip of the week: Dance like there’s nobody watching


  • Because it makes you smarter!
    And the “New England Journal of Medicine” says so. This follows a 21-year study in New York of “recreational activities on mental acuity in aging“.  Read the full article, or a summary.
  • Cross stitched by Carol
    Cross stitched by Carol

    Because it’s fun!
    Have you ever watched small children at a live concert, ceilidh or wedding reception? Usually down at the front of the room, moving and giggling, enjoying the music and totally oblivious to anyone watching them? Where does that unself-conscious spirit go as we get older?

  • Because it can help your health!
    I’ve already posted on how Irish Set Dance can relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and how Nia has helped people recovering from breast cancer (and if you’ve read the About Me section, you’ll know how it helped my arthritis).

So, do you want to give it a try? There’s something for everyone.

I have friends who go salsa dancing in Darlington and Durham,  and others who do French and Breton dancing on the second Sunday of the month in Newcastle (note to self: must put that in my diary).

I used to go to an Appalachian step dance group just north of Durham (watch some here) until circumstances prevented me from attending regularly. And there’s Irish Set Dancing of course in Newcastle Irish Centre on Tuesdays and in Croxdale Community centre on Thursdays (and lots of other places too, at home and abroad).
You might also consider the Saltaire Day of Dance – a charity event that takes place twice a year. You’ll find me leading an Irish Set Dance workshop at the next one on 17 October and you can try just about any style of dance you can think of.

And they’re only a few of the ones I know about!

But you don’t have to join a group or feel you have to get it right (although sometimes it helps), just put on your favourite track and dance round the house – nobody’s watching! What’s your favourite track for dancing round the house to?

DR 5 stagesWhat I’m watching

Here’s a short interview with Debbie Rosas co-creator of Nia talking about the healing power of movement.

Where you’ll find me

Did I mention the workshop I’m going to in Edinburgh this weekend? Yes? Wellm maybe just a few times. And did I tell you about next weekend,  when I’m going to an event with Sarah Seed who does the most amazing confidence-building coaching and retreat days?


Research shows Irish Set Dance can help with Parkinson’s Disease

Irish Set Dance is great fun, but did you know it can also benefit your health?Celtic knotwork

It seems that an Italian doctor on holiday in Ireland watched someone showing symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease walk into a room with the aid of a stick and then join in the set dancing apparently perfectly able! Amazed, he set out to find out if this was exceptional or could Irish Set Dance really help with Parkinson’s symptoms.

Read more about his research.

Read more about Irish Set Dance or contact us to arrange a taster session or workshop.