Parkinson’s lack of expression; try singing and dancing!

A common problem for those of us with Parkinson’s is making sure our face and voice convey our emotions to others. Singing and Dancing can be a big help in this area as muscles that stiffen can be given a good work out.

“The Good Vibrations” Choir that I belong to begins each session with lots of exercises to help get things moving from humming to cackling like a witch or using different tone or volume. We stretch and yawn, reach out for high notes or stoop down for low. We learn new songs each week or revisit and improve ones learnt before. It is time now to prepare for our second jazz “gig” at the end of October which has been an instant sell out and will help make money for Parkinson’s UK.

On Saturday I joined the main class run by English National Ballet for Parkinson’s and noticed several similarities in the warm up. This term the ballet we focus on is Romeo and Juliet, music by Tchaikovsky, so we need to practise our Italian vowels, sometimes strong and loud and sometimes gentle and soft. We looked at the first part of the story and imagined we were part of the street market in Verona making gestures to convey the activities happening. Now, I am a very inhibited person who finds this aspect pretty challenging but I am determined to give it a go. We had two dance teachers and musicians plus lots of dance students to help us, there is some wonderful music in which made things a little easier!
Thursday October 1st is World Ballet Day with dance, mostly live from five major companies but also including a visit to smaller ones such as ENB which will show some film from our Parkinson’s class this week. It starts in Melbourne at 3am (UK time) with the Australian National Ballet then continues all day and in particular at the ENB sometime between 2-3pm at http://www.worldballetday.com and on-line for 30 days.

Recently we had a wonderful weeks river cruise travelling along the Saone and the Rhone in France. The sun shone all week as we ambled along looking at all the Burgundy vineyards and as we got further south the wonderful Roman remains at Arles and Avignon.

Amazing Roman remains

Amazing Roman remains


Whilst in Avignon we passed a very expensive jewellery shop which had this tutu, encrusted with gems, in the window. The amiable husband hid the credit cards!
The expensive tutu!

The expensive tutu!

We have just returned from a week walking in Shropshire with my walking group; they seem to have “mountains” there which provided beautiful views but meant plenty of ascents. We were lucky enough to have much drier weather than at home in Sussex. Once home though all changed and I helped lead a walk in near monsoon conditions which tested the waterproofing of our boots!

Finally, last week I joined the amiable husband and dashing son for a World Cup Rugby match at Brightons AmEx stadium, between Samoa and the USA – a wonderful stadium with a great atmosphere.

World Cup Rugby in Brighton.

World Cup Rugby in Brighton.

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