Post written by Dr. Serena Hung
Moving and Grooving: The Parkinson’s Dance Program starts winter classes on Jan. 11, 2010. This adaptive program has been developed by dance and exercise professionals. Whether you have tripped the light fantastic or never danced a step in your life, if you have Parkinson’s disease (PD), this class is for you.
The symptoms of PD are different for everyone. Some people have the telltale symptoms of “facial mask”, tremor of a limb or jaw, shuffling gait, freezing, or balance problems These can be accompanied by depression, lack of socialization and a poor self image. It becomes harder to do activities of daily living, like putting on your coat or fastening buttons. Often the voice softens or becomes raspy so people around you can’t hear you any more.
This is where DANCE comes into play. When taught by people who are aware of the myriad of possible deficits, dance becomes an important adjunct to other therapies for PD.
When you are in a PD dance class or participating in any form of dance, you are so busy that you do not have time to focus on your disabilities. The music and the social interaction are uplifting and thus work to decrease depression. Any form of dance uses all parts of your body in beneficial ways that you wouldn’t think possible. It provides your body with all sorts of rotation, contra lateral and co- lateral activity. Dance is great for cardiovascular and pulmonary endurance. Spatial brain function may also be challenged. The PD dance instructors also encourage verbalization and facial expressions with the use of appropriate songs and activities. Large mirrors for visual feedback can be very helpful. PD dance class improves your ability to do ADLs and many other activities by increasing your range of motion. Mental alertness is stimulated.
Remember, you do not need any previous dance experience or even a partner. We are fortunate to have the MOVING AND GROOVING dance program in the Milwaukee area. See the attached flyer
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Parkinson's dance! It's a growing movement! Possibly of interest to you:
- bob dawson