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By Tom Sarago, DANCECleveland

Last weekend , DANCECleveland, a not-for-profit presenter of modern and contemporary dance,  hosted a very special sold-out, two-day workshop dedicated to helping the Parkinson’s population. The event took place February 16-17 at Cleveland State University.

The workshop, conducted by David Leventhal, manager for Dance for PD, a program of Mark Morris Dance Group, helped train over twenty dancers and dance instructors, all from various parts of Ohio, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada on how to adapt their expertise and work effectively with those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. The class taught movement techniques designed to explore movement and music in a way that is equally stimulating, empowering and expressive.

While this was the first time DANCECleveland  hosted this training class, the inception of Dance for PD began in New York in 2001 when Mark Morris Dance Group was approached directly by the Brooklyn Parkinson Group about creating dance classes for those with Parkinson’s. The collaboration was the catalyst that drove Mark Morris Dance Group to explore the intersection of dance and Parkinson’s disease and drove the creation of new teaching methods that have spread worldwide. Classes engaged participants’ minds and bodies and created an enjoyable, social environment that emphasizes dance rather than therapy.

For more information on Dance for PD, including a schedule of upcoming class dates and organizational background please visit www.danceforparkinsons.org

Dance for PD workshop participants

Dance for PD workshop participants

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