The internationally-acclaimed, research-backed Dance for PD program, founded in 2001, offers specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers in over 300 communities around the world. Students 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, called “the gold standard for how a performing arts organization can make an extraordinary contribution to health and wellness” (Renee Fleming), uses dance to empower students to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. A recent study in the journal Brain Sciences shows that participation in a weekly Dance for PD class effectively slowed both motor and non-motor Parkinson's symptoms over a period of three years.
Classes are taught by professionally-trained dancers who are movement experts with knowledge about balance, sequencing, rhythm and aesthetic awareness that is useful to persons with PD. Movement variety includes modern, ballet, tap, folkloric, traditional social dance, yoga, martial arts, improvisation 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, NPR, USA Today, NBC, and other major networks. Susanne Liebich, a teaching artist and the first certified Dance for PD teacher in Massachusetts, has conducted dance classes for the Steinberg Wellness Center for 10 years. View a demonstration of the class from the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn.
📺 Watch a WBZ Channel 4 segment on the benefits of our dance and speech classes.
What our students are saying:
"What an incredibly fun and uplifting experience it has been! Not only are there exercises and dance movements to help with the Parkinson’s, but there is a camaraderie among the participants that serves as a support group — a support group that doesn’t talk about the disease. Honestly, I can say my performance on the balance exercises has improved tremendously over time. Each week I look forward to the class; I highly recommend it to anyone with PD. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at with the disease - you can do all the exercises and dance movements seated if you have mobility problems. Susanne clearly explains how to do it all; she is passionate about helping us and is a joy to interact with. Overall, this has turned out to be one of the best decisions I made for mentally and physically dealing with PD."
— Dave M., student, Parkinson’s Movement: Dance for PD