Dancing for Parkinson’s

Dance benefits Parkinson’s patients

Rich Baudry recently put on his dancing shoes and accompanied BTC friends Sandra and Calvin Wright and Diane Holzenthal to a Dance for Parkinson’s class. He knew it would be fun, but he was not prepared for just how much he would learn from this 75-minute class.

“The class was very engaging and featured a professional instructor and a live pianist,” said Rich Baudry. “We learned some choreography, what an 8 count was, and how to truly enjoy the moment. But the most valuable thing I learned was just how much this program helps Parkinson’s patients smile and forget about their problems for a little while.”

Baudry added, “Dance for Parkinson’s provides great movement combinations that improve coordination and balance. Dancing increases blood circulation and stimulates the brain.  Then add live music and supportive friendships, and you have the perfect recipe for feeling well.”

“When I started Dance for Parkinson’s, I didn’t think my husband would join in the fun, but the instructor pulled Calvin up and made him her partner,” said Sandra Wright. “We haven’t danced for quite some time because I have difficulty doing things like that. But now, he is not only my caregiver, he is my dance partner.”

Wright added, “It’s great exercise and it makes me feel good and carefree, like an extra pep in your step. We have a good group of friends trying to stay active. It’s a “Dopamine Happy Hour.”

Here are a few more positive quotes from the Parkinson’s dancers. I dance because:

“I believe movement heals.”

“It makes me feel good.”

“It stimulates my dopamine.”

Dance for Parkinson’s is a great outlet from the daily grind for those living with Parkinson’s AND their spouses. And the best part… it’s free.

About Dance for Parkinson’s

Dance for Parkinson’s includes free, specialized weekly creative movement classes, accompanied by live music at the JCC New Orleans. No dance experience is required—open to persons with Parkinson’s Disease of all mobility levels, plus their partners, caregivers and friends!

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

Dance classes:  
Wednesdays (beginning October 4)
11:00 am-12:15 pm

No cost to attend.
Registration required.
Lead instructor: Kelly Harp Haber