The Power of Dance
Mark Morris Dance Group launched its Dance for Parkinson’s Disease program in 2001 to help patients who suffer from the nervous system disorder. Since then, classes have expanded to more than 100 sites in 13 countries. A recent study published in the Journal of Neural Transmission followed 14 new Dance for PD participants to research just how effective the program actually is. After taking 16 classes over the course of eight weeks, the participants showed:
10.4 percent improvement in overall movement
· 26.7 percent improvement in walking
· 18.5 percent improvement in tremors
Participants also reported an improved quality of life from the increased control over their bodies and the emotional rewards of moving to music—something that any dancer, no matter how mobile or not, can attest to.