Mater patients to dance their way to better health

Mater physiotherapists are hitting the dance floor in a move aimed at helping elderly patients and people with brain injuries improve their mobility, memory and flexibility.

A partnership between Mater and Queensland Ballet is developing tailor-made standing and seated dance classes for people in the community.

Mater physiotherapist Cassandra Atkins said it was a privilege to learn key ballet positions and moves from Queensland’s best professional ballet dancers.

“We will pass on the skills we’re learning from Queensland Ballet to our patients and those in the community who can benefit from enhancing their balance, mobility and memory,” Ms Atkins said.

“It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for Mater at Home’s allied health team to develop new ways to support our patients and to learn from such accomplished ballet dancers.”

Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO said research conducted in partnership with Queensland University of Technology revealed ballet classes enhanced the health and wellbeing of ageing adults.

“The research revealed the classes led to positive wellbeing outcomes with participants reporting they felt more energetic, kept in shape, had enhanced bodily control and awareness as well as improved posture and flexibility,” Mr Li said.

“These findings have shaped the structure of the classes that Mater at Home will be able to offer patients and people in the community to focus on improving poise, core strength, memory and mobility.

“Above all, the classes provide a wonderful way to connect with likeminded dance enthusiasts.”

Mater Residential Care and Community Services Executive Director Fiona Hinchliffe said the ballet program was being funded by Mater Foundation and being delivered by Mater at Home, a program that provides home and community-based services including dietetics, occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy and more.

Dr Hinchliffe said the partnership with Queensland Ballet enabled Mater at Home to offer the latest evidence-based programs and care.

“People are increasingly seeking healthcare at home or in their local community spaces, rather than travelling to hospitals or healthcare settings, and these classes enable them to participate in health and well-being programs close to home,” Dr Hinchliffe said.

“A team of our allied health practitioners are in training with Queensland Ballet and their newly-acquired skills will complement the Mater’s offerings available to members of our community.”

Mater will hold its first community ballet class at Upper Mt Gravatt Progress Hall in Upper Mt Gravatt on 23 May 2022.

Further classes across greater Brisbane are currently being organised and will commence mid-year.

Register your interest to participate at

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