Dancing with Parkinson's (Book)
This book explores the experience and value of dancing for people living with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease. Sara Houston argues that the benefits of participatory dance are best understood through the experiences, lives, needs and challenges of people living with Parkinson’s who have chosen to dance.
This book explores the experience and value of dancing for people living with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease. Linking aesthetic values to wellbeing, Sara Houston articulates the importance of the dancing experience for those with Parkinson’s, and argues that the benefits of participatory dance are best understood through the experiences, lives, needs and challenges of people living with Parkinson’s who have chosen to dance.
Presenting personal narratives from a study that investigates the experience of people with Parkinson’s who dance, intertwined with the social and political contexts in which the dancers live, this volume examines the personal and systemic issues as well as the attitudes and identities that shape people’s relationship to dance. Taking this new primary research as a starting point, Dancing with Parkinson’s builds an argument for how dance becomes a way of helping people live well with Parkinson’s.
Sara Houston is a principal lecturer in the Department of Dance at the University of Roehampton in London. Her interest is in community dance, particularly with those marginalised in society. Her Parkinson’s research won her a BUPA Foundation Prize in 2011.
Part 1: Positioning dance with Parkinson’s
Chapter 1: Parkinson’s pathology in a social context
Chapter 2: The phenomenon of dance for Parkinson’s
Chapter 3: What’s so special about dancing?
Part 2: The value of dancing with Parkinson’s
Chapter 4: Living well with Parkinson’s
Chapter 5: Exploring beauty
Chapter 6: Interpreting grace
Chapter 7: Finding freedom
Chapter 8: Understanding agency
Epilogue: A beginning
'In this book, Sara Houston explores the value and experience of dance for people living with Parkinson’s. However, Dancing with Parkinson’s is as much about identity and belonging, and the book’s strength is the humanizing, person-centred focus that Houston adopts. The reader is left with no doubt that an individual’s meaning and worth can be transformed through a certain kind of dance participation. [...] Dancing with Parkinson’s is an important contribution to the field of arts and health, and to Parkinson’s research more broadly, and the book is well suited to a wide audience: the dance community, the arts and health field, those touched by the neurodegenerative condition, and anyone looking to become more informed about what it means to live well with the condition.'
'Sara Houston’s Dancing with Parkinson’s is an important and timely contribution to the rapidly evolving field of Dance for Health. [...] Within the work, Houston aligns dance for Parkinson’s with community dance through, notably, the shared value of inclusivity. Acknowledging and highlighting the contribution of the latter tradition gives a necessary context for understanding the former practice. Dancing with Parkinson’s is a work of dance scholarship but reflects the multifaceted and often interdisciplinary nature of the discipline through drawing on cultural studies, philosophy, and sociology, to illuminate the narrative and value of a ‘young practice’ worthy of in-depth exploration.'