Local dance companies partner to help folks cope with Parkinson’s disease

The Virginia-based Bowen McCauley Dance Company is partnering with the Maryland Youth Ballet to continue totally free dance courses for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley addresses Parkinson’s dance classes (Element 1)

Dancing is unquestionably a resourceful outlet, but it can also be a therapeutic one.

The Virginia-primarily based Bowen McCauley Dance Business is partnering with the Maryland Youth Ballet to proceed cost-free dance lessons for folks residing with Parkinson’s illness.

“Parkinson’s affects men and women incredibly in a different way: some stiffen, their encounter freezes, some get dyskinesia, balance challenges, some you’d have not a clue they have Parkinson’s aside from a tremor in their hand,” Creative Director Lucy Bowen McCauley instructed WTOP.

As soon as the dancing begins, their symptoms melt away for a transient time.

“There’s a true transformation,” Bowen McCauley claimed.

“The worries they deal with with the condition fade absent. … It is not a treatment, but the class, the new music, obtaining to recall movement, staying in a room with experienced dancers, executing inventive factors, staying graceful transforms persons. … Men and women who had issues going for walks walk in gorgeous rhythm.”

Companions and caretakers are invited to sign up for in the dancing.

“The course is an hour and 15 minutes,” Bowen McCauley reported. “We start out with chairs in a circle. … We warm up to new music, inventive actions, stretching and move, then we stand up and do what we phone ‘across the ground.’ Walkers and wheelchairs are accommodated.”

The method originated with the Mark Morris Dance Group, which BMDC joined in 2008. Since then, the business has served in excess of 800 individuals with Parkinson’s ages 40 to 85.

“People have created friendships,” Bowen McCauley stated. “They go for happy hour immediately after course, they start driving every single other to course, so there are numerous social added benefits as effectively. Parkinson’s can be very isolating. Individuals arrive out of their shell.”

In-person courses will return in the fall with the option to do them above Zoom as very well.

“Before COVID happened we had 8 places running, so at times we’d have people today take part in two to 3 lessons a 7 days,” Bowen McCauley stated. “After the pandemic, we did have to change the lessons to Zoom. We provide 3 each 7 days.”

In addition to the Parkinson’s system, the dance company proceeds regular performances by its stable of expert dancers, together with one 15-year veteran.

BMDC will following accomplish a livestream at the Kennedy Heart this Wednesday at 7 p.m. The system characteristics “Dances of the Yogurt Maker,” “Trois Rêves” and “Far Behind.”

“We’re heading to do a reside digital efficiency from the Terrace Theater,” Bowen McCaluey mentioned. “We accomplish at Kennedy Heart at the very least when a calendar year if not 2 times a 12 months. We have a 20-yr relationship with the Kennedy Heart. … We are allowed to have a little viewers of people with us in the theater … which the dancers are psyched about.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley covers Parkinson’s dance classes (Element 2)

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