Unique New Dance Program for People with
Parkinson Disease and their Care-Partners
"When I am in class my old body has left me and a new body has set in.
It’s like a wind has washed all the evil of the disease out of my system.”
In partnership with the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, Bowen McCauley Dance is the only dance company in the Metropolitan-DC area to provide Dance for PD-free weekly dance classes for people with Parkinson Disease and their care-partners. Lucy Bowen McCauley, BMD's Artistic Director and founder, is "honored to bring dance to people with this disease." Besides the health benefits, dance takes the mind and spirit away from the thoughts of disease, disability and social isolation.
Dance for PD originated with the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Parkinson Group and the Mark Morris Dance Group. At the invitation of MMDG and PFNCA, McCauley received training and certification in March 2008 to teach these fun and innovative classes. (For more information about the national program and how to find a class near you visit the official Dance for PD web site.)
When participating in the dance program, people with the disease report a decrease in physical symptoms and improved psychological and emotional benefits. One participant taking the class simply stated, " I lose my symptoms when I'm there."
Over 500,000 Americans are living with Parkinson Disease, and another 5,000 are diagnosed every year. This degenerative and progressive disease is marked by tremors, stiffness, loss of balance and coordination, and slowed movement.
In a study of patients with Parkinson Disease, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that those patients who participated in dance classes showed significant improvement in balance and mobility over those who participated in non-dance exercise programs.
Click below to see a short video segment courtesy of WUSA TV in Washington:
Due to the great success of the program, PFNCA and BMD will be offering more classes in the region next year. Currently, the free classes are offered in two locations:
Maryland Tuesdays, 2:45-4:00
The Maryland Youth Ballet
926 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, Md. Map It
Virginia Wednesdays, 4:15-5:30
Kenmore Middle School
200 S. Carlin Springs Road
Arlington, Va. Map It