Dancer and choreographer David Leventhal of the New York based Mark Morris Dance Company created a specialized program called Dance for PD®. PD stands for Parkinson’s disease and more information about this non-profit organization can be found on their website http://danceforparkinsons.org. The Dance for PD® (2010-2015) program strives is to give participants an environment that promotes social relationships with friends, family, and the public; keep exercising to help with their balance, gait, and mobility; and finally stay physically and mentally happy and healthy. Author Dr. Jeanine Young-Mason points out that music and dance can provide therapy for people suffering from various movement disorders and conditions. Therefore, this renamed program Dance & Movement has been adapted to help anyone interested in continuing to be active in a social environment designed to be enjoyable.
Dance & Movement helps improve balance and flexibility, instills confidence, stimulates the mind, and breaks isolation by encouraging dancing in a chair as a group. Participants engage in movement exercises that help them become aware of their natural rhythm and their bodies in space in an enjoyable and fun one hour class. Dr. Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty, who will be the instructor, has taught dance for over 20 years to children, adults and seniors in many capacities. Her love for dance inspires her to bring this program to Mrs. Bush’s Personal Care Homes.
Natalie was trained through the Dance for PD® program developed through the on-going non-profit collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. Dr. Schultz-Kahwaty has her PhD in non-clinical Psychology from Capella University, She has worked to redesign classes for people who cannot get on the floor or stand for an hour class because they have various physical limitations. These classes offer alternatives so they can chose to dance in their chair, do Yoga in a chair, or use the support of others while dancing in a circle.