Creating Technology-based Dance Activities for People with Parkinson’s

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Abstract

This project uses Kinect motion-sensing cameras to create dance activities for people with Parkinson’s disease. The project is a collaboration between McMaster University and Hamilton City Ballet’s (HCB) Dance for Parkinson’s Program. Modeled on choreography and music from the program, the activities are designed for people to use in their homes, between HCB’s regular dance classes. The Kinect, a relatively low-cost motion-sensing device, is used to create interactive activities and to track body movements to determine people’s progress within each activity. Ethics approval has been granted for the project, which has enabled us to work directly with people with Parkinson’s. The article details the process by which the technology was developed, the challenges and issues faced by the research team and users of the system, and the possible future applications and benefits to health and wellbeing of interactive motion-sensing technologies.