A new class starting this month expands the movement opportunities for people with Parkinson’s in Cleveland. The culmination of a collaboration among Dance for PD, DANCECleveland, Cleveland State University, the Mandel Jewish Community Center, and Cleveland dance legends Kathryn Karipides and Taffy Epstein, the new Yes…I Can Dance class will begin with a six-week pilot series that runs April 14-May 19.
Fred and Dianne Discenzo, who trained with Dance for PD in Brooklyn, have been offering a popular ballroom-based class to the Cleveland community for several years. The class at the JCC rounds out local offerings by focusing on modern, ballet and improvisation, and will be led by Joan Meggitt, Desmond Davis and Heather Koniz, established local teaching artists.
For more information, please click here.
Jody White, Melania Pawliw and Max Ratevosian with Dance for PD
program manager David Leventhal (second from left) after a training workshop
in Waltham, MA.
Hamilton City Ballet, based in Ontario, will launch Dance for Parkinson’s classes taught by Max Ratevosian, Melania Pawliw and Jody White this month. Flautist Mate Szigeti and Violinist Anita Hiripi will provide unique and collaborative live accompaniment for the classes. Dianne Long, of Cambridge Dance Studio and Perpetual Motion youth Company, will join the team as assistant teacher. “This collaborative approach will result in classes that are attentive and responsive to the students’ participation and enjoyment in their classes,” said White, program manager for the Hamilton classes. The pilot class, offered free of charge, will be held on April 15th at St. Paul’s United Church in neighboring Dundas. The Hamilton Dance for Parkinson’s classes, which will include a ‘Cupcake and Friendship time’ with food provided by Tiny Cakes, will dovetail with Hamilton City Ballet’s performance schedule. “We have a 6-week session planned and the weekend of June 1 marks our spring performance of Coppelia,” White said. Part of our session will also include invitations to both working rehearsals and the final performance.” For more information, please click here.
Leanore Ickstadt and long-time Brooklyn program volunteer Annemirl Schild launched an on-going program in Berlin, Germany at Tanz Tangente. Ickstandt and Schild spent months laying the ground work for the class. Ickstadt participated in her Dance for PD teacher training at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn.
“Two days before we had only 2 registrations but decided to go ahead any way,” said Ickstadt. “By the day we had 8 registrations and 9 came! It was quite crowded and, the only question in the feedback session at the end was: how many more people would we let in!”
For the second year in a row, Dance for PD® will be represented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Brain Health Fair, a free daylong family event connecting thousands of patients, families, and caregivers affected by a brain disease, as well as the general public interested in brain health. Participants can attend classes and activities on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, autism, brain injury, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders and other types of brain disease. This year’s Fair takes place at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.
At the event, presented by the American Brain Foundation, attendees will be able to take a class with Misty Owens, one of Dance for PD’s founding teachers, learn more about our work, and order our brand new At Home DVD. To register for the Fair, please click here>.
The Mark Morris Dance Group/Brooklyn Parkinson Group’s original and internationally acclaimed Dance for PD® program will now be available to residents of The Bronx thanks to a new collaboration among MMDG, Brooklyn Parkinson Group and Bronx House, which will host the classes. The first pilot class will take place Monday, March 18 from 10:30-11:45 a.m.
The class, which is open to persons with Parkinson’s disease, their families, friends, and care partners, will be offered free of charge. A teacher and a musician from the Mark Morris Dance Group will lead the session.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this class in The Bronx for the first time,” said founding Dance for PD® teacher David Leventhal, a former MMDG dancer and Dance for PD®’s program manager. “This program has helped transform the experience of people with Parkinson’s living in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and we want Bronx residents to have the same access to this high quality arts program.”
“Bronx House is the perfect venue for this class because of its acclaimed arts programming, and its experience bringing the arts to a diverse group of people in the wonderful borough of The Bronx,” Leventhal said.
Future Bronx classes will be scheduled based on the results of the first pilot class in March.
Register here or through the Dance for PD New York class registration line: 718-218-3373.
The Parkinson’s Unity Walk has selected Olie Westheimer and David Leventhal as this year’s recipients of the Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award in recognition of their work to develop Dance for PD®, an innovative global program that has launched in more than 100 communities in 8 countries, impacting thousands of people with Parkinson’s, their families, and carepartners. Carol Walton, the Unity Walk’s Executive Director, will present the award at this year’s event on Saturday, April 27 in New York’s Central Park.
The Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award winner is nominated and voted on by a committee, and is awarded to an individual in recognition of their exemplary contribution to the Parkinson’s community. Alan Bonander was a person with Parkinson’s who selflessly devoted to his time to patient advocacy through research and direct interaction with physicians. He was a dedicated husband, Californian, support person, consultant, advocate, writer, Parkinson’s medication information resource, Parkinson’s patient, Palidotomy recipient, asthma sufferer and internet pioneer. This is just a hint of who Alan Bonander was until his untimely death in 1996.
To read more about this year’s award, please click here.
The Unity Walk is the world’s largest grassroots event to raise Parkinson’s awareness and funds to find a cure. Since 1994, families, friends, caregivers and representatives from the Walk’s sponsors and seven major U.S. Parkinson’s foundations have gathered once a year in unity, with 100% of donations going directly to Parkinson’s disease research. While more than 10,000 people are expected to turn out for the event, many others raise funds from home and support the Walk without ever coming to Central Park. Click on the logo to the left for more information, or call 866-PUW-WALK (866-789-9255)
Newly-published research on dance and Parkinson’s, conducted by Sara Houston and Ashley McGill, suggests that dance temporarily relieves some symptoms of Parkinson’s and aids short term mobility, as well as contributing to social inclusion and artistic expression.
The English National Ballet and Roehampton University co-commissioned the study, which was published in Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice.
Roehampton’s Houston and McGill were commissioned to examine the benefits of dance in its artistic form. The researchers reviewed the social and psychological benefits to participants as well as physical changes in posture, stability and mobility over the 12 week period.
The study examined the experience of dancing with Parkinson’s from both qualitative and quantitative angles. Both angles suggest that dancing is an important tool to increase well-being, to aid daily life and to give people a sociable, creative outlet that is not disease-focused.
“One of the most noticeable aspects of the project was how it supported participants’ confidence, as well as improving their bodily awareness,” Houston noted. “The project’s inclusivity and encouragement coupled with social interaction were key to achieving this.”
To read a summary of the study, click here.
To read the entire article, click here.
Photo credit: Belinda Lawley/English National Ballet
An exciting new Dance for Parkinson’s class has started in Mountainhome, PA. Dance teacher Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty, who is on faculty at East Stroudsburg University, is leading the classes and each week sees the tranformational power of dance: “I saw smiles and delight all through the class and I am still flying high from the great success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to see people really enjoy movement.” The class was set up following a pilot workshop presented at the 2011 Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival and is sponsored by the Family Community Center. The class takes place at Barrett Senior Center and is open to all abilities. Spouses, care givers and friends can also join in. For more information about the class click here.
Filmmaker and journalist Dave Iverson and Dance for PD program manager David Leventhal
spoke to New Hampshire Public Radio’s Virginia Prescott about Dance for PD’s performance
project, and about Iverson’s film project called Capturing Grace.
Listen to the full interview here.
A short trailer for Iverson’s film can be viewed here.
Clem Richardson’s Daily News column features several members of the Brooklyn Dance for PD® class
who participated in the November performance at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Read the article.