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MIND THE GAP BY SALLY BANWELL

 

As we got off the train at Waterloo, the first thing I saw was MIND THE GAP written on the platform. We were on our way to the Guildhall school of Music and Drama to take part in the second national Arts in Health Conference and Showcase.

I was part of the PDSW Parkinson’s Dance team led by Sophia Hulbert with Natasha Player and Rod Cossou. The conference was all about realising the potential contribution of the arts to health and wellbeing. Our presentation was called “Mind the Gap”. We wanted to show how the Parkinson’s Dance Science model helps to improve our physical and emotional health and so enable us to be more confident to self-manage our condition.

It was a bit of an exercise in time management. Sophia had to get across the science bit and proof that dance does help people with parkinson’s, Rod read one of his thought-provoking poems, Natasha talked about the funding and rollout of classes and I read my story about my experience of Parkinson’s dance. We officially had 20 minutes to fit all that in and we included a fun-seated warm up as well. There were doubts about getting people to join in but everyone in the room participated and they all looked like they loved it. Well who wouldn’t! I don’t know where the time went but we never got to the Q and A.

Having been very nervous about the whole event, and especially about telling my story, I enjoyed the day. We enjoyed a talk about presence and we saw a few other presentations. The one before ours was about music therapy for dementia and included hands-on music making which was inspiring. We missed quite a lot of the day’s programme and I would have liked to see the interview with Darcey Bussell but it had already been a long day and Rod and I needed to get home.

I left the conference feeling we had achieved what we set out to do and hoped that the right people had been listening.

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