Somerset West & Surrounds


This class is based on the internationally-acclaimed Dance for PD® program developed by Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group in New York.

Dance for Parkinson’s classes foster a safe and creative environment for participants and their friends, family, and caregivers. Through an engaging approach, students learn to enhance their aesthetic awareness and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, and depression. Teaching artists introduce movement from modern dance, musical theater, ballet, folk dance, tap and improvisation.

Julie Symmonds completed the Dance for PD® Teachers Course in New York City in 2015. She is the only South African to have completed this course!


Class Times & Venue

Pinelands Presbyterian Church
Mondays: 10am *
19 St Stephens Rd, Pinelands
Cape Town

Holy Trinity Church
Tuesdays: 10am *
5 Vriende St, Oranjezicht
Cape Town

Somerset West *
Thursdays: 10:30am—11:45am
The Playhouse Theatre
Corner Swalle St & Lourensford Rd
Somerset West

Julie Symmonds
(Dip. in Ballet UCT/RAD/TDA)
+27 82 978 2399

* Studio hours are a guide and can vary depending on updated schedules, please check weekly with your dance teacher.
David Leventhal Program Director for Dance for PD® with Julie Symmonds taken at the training course in New York 2015

David Leventhal Program Director for Dance for PD® with Julie Symmonds taken at the training course in New York 2015

I have such a passion for dance and people, and when approached by one of my ballet granny’s, who has Parkinson’s — I decided to follow though on her interest in this program and off I went to New York to study under the founding director David Leventhal! I was overwhelmed and totally inspired by this dance program. I have been running classes since February 2015 and I see the true benefit of these classes. Its the social interaction and music and movement that the dancers love. We have tea and biscuits after each class and there is often a lot of laughter and banter amongst the dancers. Its inclusive, fun, and so good to get moving. It helps with depression, isolation, flexibility, co-ordination, gait, balance — all the PD specific concerns

What They're Saying

Why Dance for Parkinson’s Disease?

  • Dance develops flexibility and instills confidence.
  • Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental activity that connects mind to body.
  • Dance breaks isolation.
  • Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful movement.
  • Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears and touch as tools to assist in movement and balance.
  • Dance increases awareness of where all parts of the body are in space.
  • Dance tells stories.
  • Dance sparks creativity.
  • The basis of dance is rhythm.
  • The essence of dance is joy.

Dancing with Parkinsons — It's a fabulous idea.


  1. Makes you get out of the house and socialise which can be difficult.

  2. Wakes up the brain trying to remember the different steps.

  3. Makes your muscles do things they have forgotten was possible.

  4. Leaves you feeling much steadier when standing and walking.

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