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From Pudsey to Florida – Parkinson’s friendly Jerusalem Dance brings people together

Charitable dance company Ascendance – which has a group in Pudsey – is joining forces with ten other community dance groups for people living with Parkinson’s as part of the Jerusalema Dance Challenge.

Ascendance hopes the event will raise awareness about the benefits of dance for the Parkinson’s community as it connects across the globe to celebrate World Parkinson’s Day on Sunday 11 April 2021.

To mark the occasion, film maker Devon Armstrong has made a celebratory film with hundreds of dancers taking part from all around the world.

Some of Yorkshire’s regional talent is showcased in the film with highlights, from Ascendance’s Bradford and Leeds groups, Northern Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s UK Halifax group who all look dressed up ready for a beach holiday, together with emotive interviews and energetic dancing all the way from Parkinson’s Place in Florida.

Artistic director Rachel Wesson said:

“Two of Ascendance’s long-standing class members Tony and Sue, suggested that we present our own version of the popular dance challenge.

“The response to take part in the dance has been fantastic and we have been receiving videos from here in the UK and reached dancers with Parkinson’s who dance on Zoom in America.

“Making the film has been a fun and uplifting way to work towards a virtual performance, connecting across the globe to raise the spirits through such a challenging time.”

All the participating organisations have transitioned their dance classes on-line this year and have kept this wonderful dance community connected and physically active, which is so important for people with the condition.  

Exercise is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living and can improve many Parkinson’s symptoms.

The film will be launched and watched together on World Parkinson’s Day
You Tube @Ascendancefilms at 2pm on Sunday 11 April 2021.

As reported by WLD in February, Ascendance was awarded almost £50,000 in Lottery funding to support their ‘Dance with Parkinson’s’ online Zoom programme.

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