Dance for Neurology

Dancing through disability

Specialist dance sessions designed to complement physiotherapy rehabilitation for neurodisabled people with conditions like MS and acquired brain injuries. 

Dance for Neurology sessions tailor movement and dance exercises to the needs and abilities of neurodisabled people (including those who are profoundly disabled) in order to increase range of movement, improve cognitive attention, and provide social connection. 

Care, clinical and support staff, as well as carers and family members, are always integrated in delivery to ensure sessions are effective, relevant to participant needs on the day, and energising for everyone. Sessions are suitable for delivery in-person and online for hospitals and community settings. 

This low-cost, non-medical, high-impact healthcare intervention is led by CoDa’s dynamic Director, a professionally trained dancer and safeguarding specialist.

“I’ll never forget how you helped me to dance. The way you helped us to use contact with each other – it was the only time of the week I was able to be touched by someone when it wasn’t to stick a needle in me. You’ve no idea how much those sessions meant to me.”

Theresa, participant living with Guillain-Barré syndrome

Digital Dance

Virtual and augmented reality tools are used to amplify the physical, social and emotional benefits of Dance for Neurology activity.

CoDa are funded to research and pilot a new intervention that supports people with limited movement, cognition and communication to dance and express themselves through VR and AR. Using innovative technologies to turn physical movements into 3D painting and sculpture, participants are encouraged to safely explore novel movement patterns in response to the visuals they create, while staff and carers have a unique opportunity to witness participants’ movement abilities and expressiveness in surprising new ways.

Why this work is important

Neurodisabled people experience involuntary detachment of the person from their body.

Dance as a physical practice offers a positive, non-medical, non-target driven space for people to reconnect with their body as it is in the moment. Validating all the body’s movements and expressions can alleviate shame, depression and grief about the brain/body’s deterioration.

Find out more in the Dance for Neurology Offer Pack

“We have all loved having CoDa on [our] Ward. We have seen some wonderful participation from patients with a variety of abilities. Barriers that are often so apparent in the patients’ day to day life seemed to be lowered when engaging in dance. There is always plenty of smiling and laughter from both staff and patients when CoDa are on the ward.”

Occupational Therapist, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disabilities