Queensland Ballet led sessions demonstrating the therapeutic effects of dance.

Dancing with the STARS

Staff at STARS recently donned their leotards and tutus for Queensland Ballet led sessions demonstrating the therapeutic effects of dance. Staff were led through a program, practising their pliés and relevés, all while gaining an understanding of how classical ballet moves can be adapted to suit different ability levels.

Queensland Ballet provide the community-based Dance Health Programs involving tailored, face-to-face dance programs which are underpinned by medical research for those with a brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, and also seniors. They also facilitate an online dance program in partnership with Arthritis Queensland.

Director of Health and Community at Queensland Ballet Zara Gomes sees first-hand the impact the Dance Health Program classes have on participants.

“Attending a modified ballet class is not only fantastic for one’s physical health, particularly for maintaining muscle tone, agility and balance, but also provides emotional, social and cognitive benefits to people in the community,” Zara said.

“Our classes take inspiration from the latest Queensland Ballet production, in both the music and the stories. This provides a lovely way for participants to enjoy the benefits of dance while also learning about different ballet productions and establishing a connection to their state ballet company.

Lily from Queensland Ballet teaching STARS staff dance moves at the Dancing with the STARS session.

“Our class regulars sometimes organise a group trip to see the latest Queensland Ballet production, so the classes provide people with a wonderful social connection as well.”

For Haylee Kajewski, Director of Physiotherapy at the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS), the dancing sessions were a wonderful opportunity for staff.

“Here at STARS many of our patients are undergoing rehabilitation so learning about the Queensland Ballet’s Dance Health Program and what it could offer our patients on discharge has been really beneficial,” Haylee said.

“For staff participating in the dance classes there was another unexpected benefit. Taking a ballet class is a new activity for many staff, taking them out of their comfort zone. The classes were a good reminder for staff of how our patients must feel when they are trying different therapeutic exercises for the first time.

“We hope to collaborate with Queensland Ballet in the future to bring dance classes directly to patients at STARS.”

Read more about Queensland Ballet’s Dance Health Program.

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