Dancing for Parkinson’s the Australian way.

The beginning of February saw the start of a new term at the Dance for Parkinson’s class at English National Ballet’s headquarters at Markova House, London. We are looking at three new ballets being composed by women choreographers, an exciting prospect which includes a visit to Saddlers Wells to see one of the first performances of “She Said”.

The end of February saw us back in Melbourne Australia for a month staying with the lovely daughter. A bit of research turned up a Parkinson’s dance class fairly near, based on the same principles as London but located in a community centre so without access to the facilities available back home. I was amazed to find many similarities between the classes and note how the lesson was well constructed and led by three dedicated ladies. Both classes are led by dancers trained by Mark Morris, the American in Brooklyn who started the initiative. I was made very welcome and plan to go again. It is fun to try and work out how to get to new parts of Melbourne using the trains and trams!

With considerably warmer weather walking has been more enjoyable and it is easier to manage the 10,000 steps each day; my daily challenge on Fitbits. Striding along a path by the sea watching boats, kite surfers, bird life and a fabulous view towards the city is a real pleasure.

Brighton beach, Melbourne.

Brighton beach, Melbourne.


With Pearl at Queenscliff.

With Pearl at Queenscliff.

This weekend we met up with our Australian friends and enjoyed a weekend away at a very quaint town near Geelong called Queenscliffe where the captain and his first mate moor their beautiful boat, Pearl. We cruised across Port Philip Bay to Portsea and Sorrento, a beautiful part of the Mornington Peninsula, and were blessed with fine, sunny weather. The captain managed to get us up close and personal with a colony of seals who somehow become so graceful in the water.

We are half way through our time “down under” and have enjoyed experiences as diverse as an exhibition of Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei, a lecture in empathy in Australia and a White Night evening event which included aboriginal dancing. Who says there is little cultural activity here?

Sunshine and warmth certainly makes living with Parkinson’s easier but the dodgy arm can be very uncomfortable and so I am going to try some more medication on my return home, I have been lucky enough to have three and a half years with few drugs so probably need to accept that I might need more help. Fingers crossed!

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