Dance for PD®

Providing free movement classes for people affected by Parkinson’s disease

 
 
  • Mondays, 12:00pm–1:15pm

  • Thursdays, 2:45pm–4:00pm

Dance for PD® originated as a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, a chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation. The Dance for PD® teaching method is built on one fundamental premise: professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to persons with PD. Dancers know all about stretching and strengthening muscles, and about balance and rhythm. Most importantly, dancers know how to use their thoughts, imagination, eyes, ears, and touch to control their movements. While dancing, whether in chairs, at a barre, or standing, everyone in the class explores comfortable dance movements in an enjoyable, non-pressured, social environment in which live music energizes, enriches, and empowers.

These classes are appropriate for anyone with Parkinson’s disease, no matter how advanced. No dance experience is required, and all classes include live musical accompaniment. The classes combine elements of modern dance, ballet, tap, social dancing, Mark Morris’ choreography, and other repertoire to create an enjoyable, stimulating, and artistic experience for people with PD. The method has been presented at the International Congress for Parkinson’s™ in Berlin (2005) and the World Parkinson Congress in Washington, D.C. (2006). Articles about the class have appeared in Neurology Now among other publications.

Contact: For more information, or to register, please contact Susan Weber, Dance for PD® Program Director at susanw@berkeleyballet.org or  (925) 457-8170.

SUSAN WEBER, Director and Founding Teacher, was the first teaching artist in California to earn Dance for PD® certification. She danced professionally with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, assisted Mark Morris on several projects at San Francisco Ballet, and is a member of Berkeley Ballet Theater’s ballet faculty. Susan graduated with honors and earned an MA in Dance at UCLA.

FACULTY:

MARIKA BRUSSEL trained on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School and danced professionally with Ballet Theater of New Mexico, Napoles Ballet Theatre, and Alameda Ballet. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Marika teaches ballet at ODC Commons, Bay Pointe Ballet and Alameda Ballet.

ERIN CARPER trained at The Washington School of Ballet and performed professionally with Ballet Met, Charleston Ballet Theater, and Ballet Chicago. As a modern dancer, Erin performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, and in the Bay Area with Deborah Slater Dance Theater and Kunst-stoff. Erin holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Performance through the SMC’s LEAP Program.

ALYCE MAURER obtained her BFA and MA degrees in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music and danced professionally with the Cincinnati Ballet Company.

FOUNDING TEACHERS:

MEGAN LOW danced professionally at San Francisco Ballet where she performed the title role in Mark Morris’ full-length “Sylvia.” She earned her B.A. at St. Mary’s College and her Master’s in Education at UC Berkeley.

KATE MITCHELL is a director, choreographer, sculptural couture artist, collagist, and the author of Fashioning Women. She holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University and an MA in Dance from UCLA.

MUSICIANS:

GERRY GROSZ, CHRIS HOUSTON, GAEA SCHELL 

Want to learn more? Here are some great resources that offer a deeper look into the Dance for PD® experience!

Why Dance for PD?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=4LwWkFHpve0

Managing Parkinson's with the Mind of a Dancer

https://vimeo.com/126409443

  Dance for PD® class  at BBT's "Studio 3", photo by Diane Dew

Dance for PD® class at BBT's "Studio 3", photo by Diane Dew

  Dance for PD® class  at BBT, photo by Diane Dew

Dance for PD® class at BBT, photo by Diane Dew

  Dance for PD® class  at BBT, photo by Diane Dew

Dance for PD® class at BBT, photo by Diane Dew