A DANCE practitioner from Cumbria is one of 14 in the North West to receive a fellowship that will take her overseas. Melanie Brierley, a dance and wellbeing practitioner from Arnside, will visit the USA after being awarded a Churchill Travelling Fellowship. The £7,000 grant will fund a research trip to New York where she will further her study into dance for people with Parkinsons. Ms Brierley, a founder of the Dance For Parkinsons Network UK, said: “It’s a great opportunity. “I’m just hoping to gain as much information to help the people I work with.” As well as running dance classes in Lancaster for people with Parkinsons and other neurological disorders, she also conducts one to one sessions across the South Lakes. Ms Brierley, 52, said that she applied for the fellowship to further research into her Phd on dance for people with Parkinsons, which she is studying for at the University of Roehampton, London. The purpose of the fellowships is for individuals to acquire knowledge overseas to bring back for the benefit of others in the UK. “I’m trying to find out the best movement and dance, and what it is about moving that helps the wellbeing of people with parkinsons,” she added. The mother-of-three hopes to break her fellowship into two periods of two weeks, one in June and the other in September, where she will shadow New York based company Dance for PD’s programme director David Leventhall, and interview class participants. In all, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has awarded 137 fellowships across the UK, funding the Fellows to travel to 52 countries worldwide at a cost of £876,540.
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