April’s speaker gave us an inspirational and informative talk on her own development from dance mad toddler to Cambridge neuro scientist (and dance enthusiast adult).  Dr Romina Vuone was born in Calabria in Italy, where she began training as a dancer as a child.  Her love of science led her down the path of neurology and at the critical moment she had to decide between dance and her studies.  Although she kept the dancing as her hobby a PhD eventually led her to Cambridge and the world renowned Centre for Brain Repair.

The talk itself gave the audience a time line in Parkinson knowledge, starting with Dr Parkinson himself in 1817 and ending with the promise of increasing knowledge, hopefully leading to a cure for the condition. A clear and well-structured presentation explained the workings of the brain. But the surprise of the evening was Romina’s revelation that she had formed a dance troupe with another dancer and a following of keen amateur performers.  And more than this they had put on a full two hour show in Cambridge earlier in the year and raised over £4000 for Parkinsons.

We were inspired by her commitment to research and to the benefits of movement to music.  She went on to explain how the beat and rhythm of a tune helps overcome stiffness and freezing.  Her comments on the importance of narrative in a dance routine and the benefits to participants gave us food for thought

Dr Vuono