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Dance for PD®, founded in 2001, offers specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and care partners in eight locations around New York City and through our network of affiliates in more than 250 communities in 25 countries around the world. Dance for PD classes allow people with Parkinson’s to 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’s fundamental working principle is that professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge about balance, sequencing, rhythm and aesthetic awareness is useful
to persons with PD. In class, teaching artists integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and choreographic repertory to engage participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration.

Originally founded as a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, and now fully administered by the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Dance for PD program provides teacher training, nurtures relationships among other organizations to foster classes around the world, and offers an acclaimed At Home DVD series available for purchase. An advisory board, made up of world-renowned neuroscientists, neurologists, health care professionals and researchers, provides guidance and stewardship.

Dance for PD has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Dance Magazine, The Guardian and hundreds of other publications, as well as on NBS, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS and NPR. The program has been honored by several awards, including the Parkinson Awareness Award, Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award, the Sapolin Award for Public Service from the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the William Pearson Tolley Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Life Long Learning.

More than 35 peer reviewed scientific research studies conducted at a number of major university research centers around the world including Roehampton University, University of Florida, Queensland University of Technology, York University and the University of Freiburg point to the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists around the world include Dance for PD classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.