Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder with symptoms such as tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness in movement, and postural instability. Live musical accompaniment, dance, and a positive atmosphere help our participants improve mobility and overall well-being. Dance for PD classes allow people with Parkinson’s to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence.
The program’s fundamental working principle is that professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge about balance, sequencing, rhythm and aesthetic awareness is useful to persons with PD. In class, teaching artists integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and choreographic repertory to engage participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration.
Dance for PD has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Dance Magazine, The Guardian and hundreds of other publications, as well as on NBS, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS and NPR. The program has been honored by several awards, including the Parkinson Awareness Award, Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award, the Sapolin Award for Public Service from the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the William Pearson Tolley Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Life Long Learning.
A growing body of scientific research conducted at a number of major university research centers around the world including Roehampton University, University of Florida, Queensland University of Technology, York University and the University of Freiburg points to the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists around the world include Dance for PD classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.
Dance for Parkinson’s
Classes held year-round
No charge, Drop-ins Welcome
Sponsoring organizations: ComForCare Santa Cruz and Motion Pacific Dance
Lead teachers: Damara Vita Ganley, Katie Griffin and Molly Katzman
Musician: John Malkin
Motion Pacific Dance
131 Front Street Suite E
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
For information: call (831) 457-1616 or email email@example.com
“I am awed by the power of dance to transform and alleviate pain. Despite the steady advance of Parkinson’s, we show up. We move. We laugh. We share our best selves.”
—Patricia Needle, Dance for PD participant, Berkeley, CA
“If we can share our love of dance, and we know the benefits of dance and music physically, emotionally and socially – the world becomes much more tolerable and compassionate for all those affected by PD.”
—Ingrid Hurlen, Dance for PD trainee and teacher, Seattle, WA
“In the consultation room, I often get on my soap box and give a little lecture about the important of physical activity, social interaction, mental stimulation…and Dance for PD gives all three of those.”
–Neil Mahant, MD, neurologist and neurophysiologist, Westmead Public Hospital, Westmead Private Hospital, Sydney, Australia
“Dance for Parkinson’s Disease is more than a possible therapy or treatment…it’s a dose of meaningfulness for these patients. It’s a small jewel that gets them working on something that helps them feel connected.”
–Jay Baruch, MD, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI