‘One day we will dance again’ illustrates the journey of the inception of Step Up for Parkinson’s, which organises movement classes for people suffering from the disease.
Founder Natalie Muschamp had seen the development and the decline of a person with Parkinson’s within her own family; her aunt Ineke Spoorenberg sadly lost her partner to Parkinson’s. In 2015 while studying dance at the University of Malta Natalie became aware of the Dance for PD program in Brooklyn, New York, and felt compelled to help people with Parkinson’s disease through dance movement.
In 2016 Natalie started a pilot study in Malta with the Parkinson’s Disease Association and realised how these classes could benefit not only the person with Parkinson’s disease but also their caregiver. In March 2017, with the guidance of the then-President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the organisation received funding to host two classes per week for two years.
The organisation grew rapidly from 8 to 200 participants, hosts 10 classes per week in Malta, and has eleven trained teachers working for the organization. In 2018 the organization received funding by winning the second price at the Malta Social Impact Awards and Natalie received the JCI award for her work with Step up for Parkinson’s. On the 13th December 2019, Natalie received a State Award Honour for her service to the Republic of Malta.
As a major in dance studies at the University of Malta Natalie has conducted extensive research for the use of dance classes to help patients suffering with Parkinson’s Disease. Her research has shown the beneficial effects of these movement classes on the quality of life of both the person with Parkinson’s disease and their carer.
‘One Day We Will Dance Again’, by Natalie Muschamp and Fabrizio Fenech, will be aired on ONE TV today 22nd December at 4.30 pm and on Christmas Day, 25th December at 8.30 pm.
More information about Step Up for Parkinson’s may be found on their website.