To my dearest dancers, friends and family,

This journey of Dance for Parkinson’s started in early 2015 , over 2 years ago. Some of you might not know the story. A very special lady, Audrey Beesley brings her granddaughter to ballet classes. Audrey has Parkinson’s. She was the first person I had met with PD. She told me about a link she had seen on the Internet about Dance for Pd. When I went onto the site, I was immediately moved and knew this was my next step in my teaching career. I was lucky enough to have finished with a ballet concert and there was enough left in the kitty to do the first course in New York. I was over the moon and being in New York and it was just amazing. I met incredible teachers and did courses at Julliard School of Dance and various other places. A whole new world.
 
When I came home, I started doing presentations and demonstrations at Old Age Homes, Support groups etc to spread the word. The first official class took place on the 4th of February 2016. Will 4 people. Slowly the word spread. I hung in there. 16 months later we have 3 classes. Somerset West with 16 participants, Gardens with 5, and Pinelands with 5. With the help of Carmen Davidson, who is as passionate about this program we are able to offer these Cape Town classes. I am happy!

In order for me to be able to train other teachers in this amazing program, I need to get back to New York in October for the Advanced Training. I do not have the funds this time. I sold my ballet school in order to dedicate my time to Dance for Parkinson’s. I still teach ballet classes, but now I am no longer the boss, so my salary is a lot smaller.

After I complete the Advanced Training - I can continue with Certification. This is a lengthy process of 7 steps. I am currently on Step 2. ( the video submission of our class which still needs to be approved). Then the next step is to do 2 online theory courses, 2 written papers and lots more. 

The bursary I was awarded covers my Advanced Training fee, and all the courses etc. But it does not cover flights/accommodation/food and unfortunately not the Certification - this costs $1500 (R22 000).

To help realise our ambitious goal of helping as many people as possible through our Dance for Parkinson's  program, we've launched a fundraising campaign on the leading South African Fundraising platform called THUNDAFUND.

This campaign has taken weeks to do, as it had to be a really well worded and informative so that I can inspire people to buy into my cause - of getting to New York, and to get Carmen to the UK to do the first course. There are 3 targets to reach in this campaign. 

I will regularly share progress on our social media channels i.e Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and my website. With your help, we can spread this even further, so please share with as many people as you think may be able to support this initiative. You can read all about my campaign here.

On that note, I want to say thank you for being part of my life and journey. 
 
Lots of love
Julie