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Dance for Parkinson's Class

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JCC - Uptown

5342 Saint Charles Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70115

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-Photo by Ellis Gaskell, courtesy of MMDG/Dance for PD

A Creative Movement Class

for persons with Parkinson's Disease, their partners, caregivers, and friends - set to live music.

No Dance Experience Required

Every Wednesday* from 11:00am-12:15pm

*No class on November 22; December 20 or 27; February 14; April 4; or May 30

Registration required; no cost to attend

For more information, please contact Millette White at mwhite@nobadance.com or 504-522-0996 ext. 213.


The Dance for Parkinson's Program is presented by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, through a community health partnership between the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) and the New Orleans JCC, modeled after the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD® program.

ABOUT DANCE FOR PARKINSON'S: The program is designed to empower people with Parkinson’s disease to explore movement and music in ways that are stimulating and creative, all in a safe and welcoming environment for participants and their friends, family and caregivers.

The Dance for PD® program originated at the Mark Morris Dance Center in 2001, and now touches thousands of lives through its network of affiliates in more than 100 communities in 20 countries around the world. Professional 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. Dance for PD® and its affiliate 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.

Because Dance for PD® focuses on the aesthetic movement of dance rather than acting as therapy, participants in classes are encouraged to approach movement like dancers rather than as patients. Dance for PD® classes provide a social environment for participants to interact with other community members, and to share a positive, stimulating activity together with their partners. Participants report that the classes boost their confidence levels, transform their attitudes about living with a chronic illness, and help them manage some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Consistent interaction within the close-knit community of the dance class helps to combat social isolation and depression while empowering participants with a sense of physical possibility and artistic achievement.

“In this dance class, participants are not patients. The focus is not illness; it is living. It is self-expression, human connection, joie de vivre, beauty, love. It’s magic; it’s precious.” -Dance for PD® program participant

“I am awed by the power of dance to transform and alleviate pain. Despite the steady advance of Parkinson’s, we show up. We move. We laugh. We share our best selves.” -Patricia Needle, Dance for PD participant, Berkeley, CA

“If we can share our love of dance, and we know the benefits of dance and music physically, emotionally and socially – the world becomes much more tolerable and compassionate for all those affected by PD.” -Ingrid Hurlen, Dance for PD trainee and teacher, Seattle, WA

“It’s the perfect kind of movement for Parkinson’s disease. A wonderful program.” -Matthew Stern, MD, Director, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, University of Pennsylvania

“In the consultation room, I often get on my soap box and give a little lecture about the importance of physical activity, social interaction, mental stimulation…and Dance for PD gives all three of those." -Neil Mahant, MD, neurologist and neurophysiologist, Westmead Public Hospital, Westmead Private Hospital, Sydney, Australia

ABOUT THE OSCAR J. TOLMAS CHARITABLE TRUST: Oscar Judah Tolmas, a lifelong resident of New Orleans was a Veteran of WWII, attorney and real estate developer, but horses and horse racing were his passions. In his last will and testament, he formed the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust to support charitable organizations with their mission of helping others. His legacy and generosity will live on in the hearts of many.

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JCC - Uptown

5342 Saint Charles Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70115

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