Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dancing with Parkinson's

The Jewish Family and Children's Service in Waltham, MA runs a marvelous dance program for people with Parkinson's disease. Yes, dance. The idea is that a disease characterized by rigidity, smallness of motion, and a quiet voice can be offset somewhat by an activity with the opposite characteristics.

Here's some information provided by Nancy Mazonson, M.S., OTR/L, the program coordinator:

The Parkinson’s Dance Program came from the inspiration and generosity of Ed Rudman (in picture above), who has Parkinson’s Disease himself. (Ed is a former Chair of the board of our hospital.) This program has combined yoga dance movements from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western Massachusetts with the innovative and exciting work being done by the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn, NY with people with Parkinson’s.

Ed’s determination to bring this program to Boston resulted in a partnership with JF&CS. Nancy and dance instructor Naomi Goodman, MPH, went to Brooklyn to train with the Mark Morris dancers. This May they began the first six-week dance program. One week the group was privileged to have John Heginbotham, a Mark Morris dancer, lead the session. Last week, WCVB-TV filmed the program for their Health Beat segment. Check out the video.

For more information, contact Nancy at 781-693-5069 or


Laurie said...

What an innovative program!! So happy to see creative approaches like this getting good (and well-deserved!) publicity.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on bringing dance to Parkinsonians. I am a Wellness Coach and ZUMBA GOLD Fitness Instructor in Scottsdale, AZ teaching seniors and those with physical limitations the Latin-inspired dance aerobics that's sweeping the world by storm.I have presented this class to APDA programs in So. FL to wonderful Parkinsnians and their families. Check out Zumba Gold in your area. Perhaps you can add this to your dance routines. Any questions, you can reach me at or

Bob Dawson said...

Parkinson's patients - yes, we can dance!

Bob Dawson
634 Route 203
Havelock, Quebec
J0S 2C0