Dance for PD

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On Saturday, January 15, 2011, close to 50 people with Parkinson’s disease and their partners, caregivers and friends came in from the cold to attend the Dance for PD pilot program offered in the large and bright studio at DanceVision, located in Forrestal Village, Princeton. Dance for PD is a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. These organizations partnered with DanceVision and The Parkinson Alliance to bring this class to our community. David Leventhal and John Heginbotham, co-founders of the program, led the group through various dance movements including  the “name game”, movements from some of the Mark Morris repertory and the final circle where we all acknowledged one another’s participation. The program is designed so that each person can vary their level of participation based on their abilities. Many people moved more that afternoon than they had in some time. One participant said she was able to forget she had Parkinson’s disease for a couple of hours. Couples were able to dance together again. Most importantly, it was evident from the smiles on the faces of those who attended that everyone was having a good time!

A special thanks to Marie Alonzo Snyder, whose vision and enthusiasm is responsible for bringing this program to Princeton and to DanceVision for donating space at their studio.  

This pilot class was intended to assess interest in the possibility of offering this type of class on a more ongoing basis. Participants completed a questionnaire at the end of the session and the unofficial consensus was that yes, there is definitely an interest in offering this type of class again. The Parkinson Alliance will do what we can to support this effort. Stay tuned for more information in the months ahead.