About the Program
Launched in 2013 as a pilot program by Anne Flynn (Professor Emerita, Dance, University of Calgary) and Vicki Adams Willis (Founder in Residence, DJD), Dancing Parkinson’s YYC provides dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease. Research has demonstrated that dancing improves motor and cognitive functions in Parkinson’s patients and positively impacts quality of life. With live musical accompaniment and a focus on rhythm, body awareness, muscle development, coordination and socializing, the DPYYC classes have proven to be an uplifting and restorative experience for participants.
Classes are held on Tuesdays at 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm from September to June.
We offer hybrid classes where participants have the option to attend class in person at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks or virtually through Zoom. Participants will also have access to our recorded library of classes to take at home.
The annual registration fee is $50 per person due in September or at the time of registration.
What to Expect
Class starts with a seated warm up. Participants are given the option to move to a standing position assisted by a straight backed chair or remain seated. Class finishes with moving around the room. No previous dance experience is required. Walkers, wheelchairs, canes and caregivers are welcome. For those attending in person volunteer assistance is provided.
Staff & Volunteers
Program Director: Vicki Adams Willis
Program Administrator: Alicia Ward
Participant Liaison: Julie Pratt
Research Liaison: Krista White
Instructors: Vicki Adams Willis, Krista White, Tina Guthrie, Alicia Ward
Volunteers: Vicki Boothman, Elizabeth Edwards, Heidi Hillman, Kim Olson, Lysia Smandych
Accompanist: Sheldon Zandboer
(From Left to Right) Tina Guthrie, Krista White, Alicia Ward, Vicki Adams Willis, Sheldon Zandboer, Elizabeth Edwards, Julie Pratt, Kim Olson
New participants may join at any time!
For more information about the program and to register please contact us at
Dancing Parkinson’s YYC program director, Vicki Adams Willis, teacher Krista White and musician Sheldon Zandboer created this video class for The Parkinson Association of Alberta’s Motivation Monday series in June 2020 (please note there is now only one level of class). This low impact class is an introduction to a cross-section of material from the program. If you wish to participate in this sample class you will need a sturdy chair for the first exercise sequences.
Key Dates — 2022/2023
June 14, 2023
Summer Break - No Classes
September 26, 2023
Fall Session Begins
December 20, 2023 - January 8, 2024
Winter Break - No Classes
January 9, 2024
March 27, 2024 - April 8, 2024
April 9, 2024
World Parkinson's Day Celebration
Current Partners & Supporters
Dancing Parkinson’s YYC has been supported by
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Congratulations to Vicki Adams Willis!
We are filled with pride and congratulations that our Founder in Residence Vicki Adams Willis, is receiving the UCalgary Alumni Association’s…
Calgary Eyeopener with Loren McGinnis, Angela Knight – Dancing Parkinson’s YYC
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO VICKI ADAMS WILLIS ON THE CBC CALGARY EYEOPENER
History of DJD
DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS In 1984, Vicki Adams Willis who had founded the jazz dance department at the University of Calgary,…