PEOPLE with Parkinson’s are making new friends by taking part in an innovative weekly arts programme.

The Dance for Parkinson’s initiative at the Beacon is led by Scottish Ballet and designed for people with little or no dance experience who are affected by the disease.

Class leader Miriam Early has been delighted with the response.

She said: “The aim of the dance classes are to develop balance, co-ordination, confidence and creativity.

“We are not trained medical professionals, we are trained dancers so we try to make the classes fun and not seem like exercise.”

The classes started this month after successful taster sessions were held.

Participants dance while sitting on chairs and then move on their feet before enjoying a social afternoon with a cup of tea.

Miriam said: “It’s not just dancing, we are building a community. It battles not only the effects of Parkinson’s but also social isolation by bringing people together.

“People just do what they can and what they feel like, no-one is forced to do anything, we just want people to have fun.

“In week one not many people had the confidence to stand up and join in but by week two they were on their feet.

"We have seen such a change in the people who come regularly.

“Not only are they joining in more but they have made friends.

"The social time at the end is great, they get to know each other and chat, they enjoy a tea of coffee and relax.”

The classes run every Tuesday in the Beacon from 1pm until 3.15pm and people who attend are welcome to bring family, friends or carers along.

Anyone interested in joining is asked to email