Parkinson’s Dance is a fun, stimulating and motivating therapy that addresses many of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s in a safe and friendly environment. Here at Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) we have been running a Parkinson’s Dance class since 2012 and we are excited that we have received funding to open up more classes in Dorset, the first of which will run from Tuesday, 26 April at Digby Hall in Sherborne.

This sociable and person-centred class offers encouragement throughout, no matter your previous dance experience, and you can choose between both seated and standing variations of the exercises. Partners and carers are invited to join the sessions for free, enabling people to share a fun, artistic and enjoyable afternoon.

The class has been designed by a neurological physiotherapist and a dancer who were working together to ensure that the sessions offer practical strategies to help cope with some of the common challenges of Parkinson’s, but at the same time create a joyful experience of the power of dance and movement to music.

Meet the teachers

The two teachers for the Sherborne class, Aimee Smith and Carrie Madgwick, are very much looking forward to the classes starting.

Aimee’s teaching career began in 2008. She teaches a broad range of classes for all ages from 2 to 90, but works predominantly with older adults, people with Parkinson’s and within the disability dance sectors.

She was fortunate enough to begin working with Amanda Fogg and her Movement for Parkinson’s class in Weymouth in 2010 and has never looked back since. Aimee co-teaches the Parkinson’s Dance class at Pavilion Dance South West with Dr Sophia Hulbert, bringing together both dance and physiological skills between them. Aimee also regularly teaches and supports the Salisbury Parkinson’s dance group, giving her a greater wealth of experience in this field through being able to adapt teaching methods and approaches to a variety of different group challenges and dynamics.

Throughout all of my classes, I always strive to ensure that everyone experiences the joy of dance throughout each session and notices the value of time spent with others in this way”, she says.

Throughout 2016 Aimee is pleased to be working as Parkinson’s Dance coordinator at PDSW which will see the set up of new Parkinson’s Dance classes within the region, and the delivery of a specific PDSW Parkinson’s Dance model training programme with Sophia.

Carrie graduated from University of Chichester in 2005 and has since taught dance to a wide range of ages and abilities, from 2-90 year olds, from those who have never danced before to professional dancers, in a variety of settings: schools, community centres, arts centres, dance studios, hospitals, theatres and village halls. She founded and taught Jigsaw; Salisbury Youth Dance Company in 2009 and Seesaw Youth Dance Company in 2011.

Carrie says, “As a dance practitioner, I have experienced first-hand the transformative effect that dance can have on people’s lives and well-being. I am passionate about enriching as many people’s lives as possible with quality and relevant workshops specifically tailored to suit their individual needs. It is always a joy to see participant’s mobility and agility improve both inside of the class and in everyday life, helping to keep them active both physically and socially.

During her time in Salisbury, Carrie taught on the Mind The Gap project, which brought together a group of young people from a school with a local elderly community group aged 60–90yrs. She also taught a weekly Adult Contemporary Dance class that saw a diverse group of 16–75 year olds enjoy a fun, light-hearted, motivational and inspirational session. It was these experiences in particular that ignited her desire to train in and teach more adult classes, and she was delighted when she was asked to co-teach the new Parkinson’s Dance class in Sherborne.

More information about the class

Time: 2.30-4pmVenue: Digby Hall, Hound Street Sherborne, DT9 3AA. The hall is fully accessible & water can be provided.Cost: £3.50 per session to people with Parkinson’s and carers are invited to join in for free.For health & safety reasons a maximum number will apply and booking is advisable.

Dates: Term 1 – 26th April- 5th July (excluding 31st May)Summer classes – 2nd Aug – 30th AugTerm 2 – 13th Sept – 13th Dec (excluding 25th Oct & 15th Nov)Term 3 – 10th Jan – 21st March (excluding 14th Feb)

To book and for further information please email

The class is being generously supported by




PDSW are proud to be a part of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK, which is supported by a number of individuals and national bodies and shares close relationships with organisations such as Parkinson’s UK. We are delighted to have an on-going relationship with the Mark Morris Dance Group Dance for PD and honoured to have delivered collaborative training at the People Dancing Summer School 2015.

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