OFFBEAT is the Canberra based dance group for people with Parkinson’s – an initiative of Belconnen Arts Centre. Weekly classes now run at Belconnen and Tuggeranong Arts Centres where participants enjoy the fun and challenge of working their brain, body, memory and imagination in a fun filled 75 minute session.
In each session, the dancers are led through a carefully planned program of dance activities, seated and standing, and are taught by local dance tutors with a wide range of experience, plus guest teachers from Australia and overseas. The program is based on the inspiring Dance for PD model which originated at the Mark Morris Dance Group, Brooklyn, in 2001.
Very soon after the group started, the dancers were invited to perform at numerous events around the ACT – as part of Parkinson’s events and more. Performance is always the decision of the dancers, and they have now indeed found their inner show pony!
The program, supported by Parkinson’s ACT and now funded by ACT Health, has existed since 2013. It is part of an Australia wide program of over 30 classes, and an international program that occurs in over 30 countries around the world.
No previous dance experience is required to join, and everyone — persons newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, others with walkers and wheelchairs, family members and friends — are welcome to participate. Please note this is not a social dance class, and it does not require participants to bring a partner.