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Parkinson’s Programs

Free Movement Classes

The Parkinson’s Movement Initiative (PMI)
All people with Parkinson’s and/or PD care partners are invited!
All classes are free, but you must pre-register at the links below to participate.
12-week spring term: January 16 – April 28 (no classes the week of February 27 – March 12 and April 3 – 9, 2023)

In-person Classes

ADF Scripps Studios
721 Broad St, Durham, NC 
Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

Learn More

 

Virtual Classes

Offered live weekly via ZOOM

Learn More

PMI logo

The Parkinson’s Movement Initiative (PMI) was founded in 2017 by American Dance Festival (ADF), NC Dance for Parkinson’s, and Poe Wellness Solutions, and offers consistent, weekly, cost-free movement classes to the PD community and their caregivers.  Our classes focus on mind and body connection through exercise and movement and provide an opportunity to engage with loved ones and meet others who are living with Parkinson’s Disease outside of a clinical setting. Along with the physical benefits, PMI provides a space of shared experience and understanding.  

Learn more about PMI.

“Everyone is positive, encouraging, and focused on moving and enjoying it.”

“I feel supported by the dance community and feel like I am an active participant in my care.”

-PMI Participants

In-Person Parkinson’s Classes

ADF Scripps Studios, 721 Broad St, Durham, NC
Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

Students moving in a Dance for Parkinson's class

Dance for Parkinson’s with Lindsay Voorhees
Tuesdays at 2pm
12-week spring term: January 16 – April 28, 2023 (no classes the week of February 27 – March 5 and April 6–9, 2023)

This class conveys the benefits of exercise and also highly values the creative expression, aesthetics, and artistry that are at the core of dance as an art form. Participants will learn choreography in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, and cultural/folk and have opportunities to improvise and create unique movement sequences. A typical class includes movement done seated, standing, and locomoting with adaptations offered based on each individual’s level of comfort and mobility. 

In addition to dance, the teachers utilize related art forms such as theater games, poetry, image-based mindfulness, and storytelling to foster creative and expressive experiences. The class also promotes a sense of community where isolation is broken and meaningful connections are formed through the joy of dance. NC Dance for Parkinson’s is modeled after the Dance for PD® program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group. Our teachers have attended their training workshops in Brooklyn. 

About the Instructor

Lindsay Voorhees is a licensed occupational therapist and certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. She graduated with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from UNC Chapel Hill and spent several years in hospital-based settings. She now has her own community-based practice centered on wellness and self-management support for people living with chronic neurologic conditions, like MS and Parkinson’s. Lindsay began leading the Dance for Parkinson’s program alongside Susan Saenger in 2014. She has completed advanced training with the Dance for PD® program led by the Mark Morris Dance Group as well as Physically Integrated Dance with AXIS Dance Company. 

Virtual Parkinson’s Classes via Zoom

A PMI student in a pilates pose

Virtual Pilates for Parkinson’s with Meg Poe
Mondays & Wednesdays at 2:00 pm
12-week spring term: January 16 – April 28, 2023 (no classes the week of April 6–9)

Pilates for Parkinson’s consists of a warm-up focusing on alignment, exercises challenging strength and balance, and a cool-down for stretching and relaxation. All exercises are explained and demonstrated with options for beginners as well as more advanced participants. Time is spent seated in a chair, standing with the wall or a chair for support, and on the floor. Each class explores new ideas for improving strength, flexibility, and balance.

About the Instructor

Meg Poe is dedicated to health and happiness through movement and mindful living. She is a Duke-certified Integrative Health Coach, a registered Yoga teacher, and a certified Pilates instructor with a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been directly involved in educating and training students in the integration of mindful, healthy movement for over 25 years. A dedicated student comments, “Meg is a skillful practitioner herself and a masterful teacher who knows how to create an atmosphere that is relaxed, respectful, meditative, yet informal and fun. There is no pressure to perform or compete – students are free to adapt the exercises, with Meg’s guidance, to their own abilities and needs.”

Students moving in a Dance for Parkinson's class

Virtual Dance for Parkinson’s with Susan Saenger
Fridays at 11 am
12-week spring term: January 16 – April 28, 2023 (no classes the week of February 27 – March 5 and April 6–9, 2023)

This class conveys the benefits of exercise and also highly values the creative expression, aesthetics, and artistry that are at the core of dance as an art form. Participants will learn choreography in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, and cultural/folk and have opportunities to improvise and create unique movement sequences. A typical class includes movement done seated, standing, and locomoting with adaptations offered based on each individual’s level of comfort and mobility. 

In addition to dance, the teachers utilize related art forms such as theater games, poetry, image-based mindfulness, and storytelling to foster creative and expressive experiences. The class also promotes a sense of community where isolation is broken and meaningful connections are formed through the joy of dance. NC Dance for Parkinson’s is modeled after the Dance for PD® program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group. Our teachers have attended their training workshops in Brooklyn. 

About the Instructor

Susan Saenger is a board-certified Dance/Movement Therapist, a licensed professional counselor in the State of North Carolina, and a certified personal health and fitness trainer. Susan began dancing when she was just 5 years old and had the formative privilege to be exposed to creative movement at that early age. As a child, she spent years studying ballet and modern dance. As an adult, she continued her exploration into African Dance, Tai Chi, and Yoga. From 1990 to 1992, Susan performed with Orts Theatre of Dance in Tucson AZ. From 1997 to 2007, Susan was a member of Choreo Collective, a Triangle-based collective for dancers and choreographers, serving as Treasurer and, later, as Co-Director. She helped produce at least 20 programs of original choreography over 10 years. In 2011, Susan took the Mark Morris Dance for PD teacher training. She began teaching Dance for Parkinson’s with Lindsay Voorhees in 2014.

American Dance Festival is proud to offer Parkinson’s Movement Initiative classes, Dance for Parkinson’s and Pilates for Parkinson’s, in partnership with NC Dance for Parkinson’s and Poe Wellness Solutions and supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. Through this support, all classes offered through the Parkinson’s Movement Initiative are free for people living with PD and their caregivers.

Additional support is provided by RTI International.

 

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