Initiative will train dancers to work with Parkinson’s Population
Former Mark Morris dancer in Cleveland to conduct classes
Professional dancers and dance teachers will have an opportunity to learn techniques to work with people with Parkinson’s disease at a two-day workshop, Feb. 16-17 at Cleveland State University (CSU). The innovative program, co-sponsored by DANCECleveland and CSU, helps train dancers and dance instructors to adapt their expertise to work effectively with those who have Parkinson’s.
The Dance for PD® introductory training workshop will be held at The Middough Building on Cleveland State University’s Arts Campus, 1901 E. 13th Street, Dance Studio Room 523, Cleveland. For more information, contact DANCECleveland at 216-991-9000.
The workshop will be conducted by David Leventhal, program manager for Dance for PD, who danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group for 13 years. The idea to host the workshop came to fruition when DANCECleveland was finalizing its 2012-2013 Dance Performance Series, which includes Mark Morris Dance Group who will perform on March 2 at 8:00 p.m. at the Palace Theatre. The performance will be co-presented by DANCECleveland, The Center for Arts and Innovation at CSU, The CSU Department of Theatre and Dance, and PlayhouseSquare.
Dance for PD began in New York in 2001 when Mark Morris Dance Group was approached by the Brooklyn Parkinson Group about creating dance classes for those with Parkinson’s disease.
The program is built on a fundamental premise: professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to persons with Parkinson’s, according to program organizers. Parkinson’s disease, which is medically defined as a movement disorder, affects motor functions causing impaired balance, tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity. The classes engage participants’ minds and bodies, and create an enjoyable, social environment that emphasizes dancing rather than therapy.
Leventhal says that the intriguing thing about the program is that on the one hand, it has nothing to do with Parkinson's. “We don't talk about or address symptoms head on. But simply because of the way dancing and dance training are structured, the class has everything to do with Parkinson's.”
Lynn Deering, Director of the CSU Dance Program, says that the CSU Department of Theatre and Dance and the Center for Arts and Innovation are excited to be co-presenting this workshop with DANCECleveland. “It’s part of our initiative to encourage lifelong intergenerational engagement in the arts and the important role the arts play in overall well-being.”
For more information about Dance for PD, visit www.danceforparkinsons.org