October marks the one year anniversary for the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Dance for Parkinson’s Program. Led by the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA), Dance for Parkinson’s is a free community program hosted weekly at the New Orleans JCC for individuals with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, and loved ones.
“These specialized, weekly classes empower people with Parkinson’s disease to creatively explore movement and live music, all in a safe and welcoming environment,” said NOBA Education Coordinator Millette White.
Lead instructor Kelly Harp Haber brings her motto, “I believe movement heals,” to class every Wednesday. Guided by Kelly’s instruction and encouragement, Dance for Parkinson’s participants can forget about their condition, enjoy the company of others, and manage their symptoms through dance.
At the end of each class, participants form a circle, joining hands to pass good wishes to their fellow dancers. Many express how much Dance for Parkinson’s has helped improve their balance and their confidence. As one participant said of the program, “I dance because my soul takes wings!”
NOBA will accept the Rosina K. Sapir Community Service Award as part of the annual Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s event this month. Three NOBA instructors will also travel to Brooklyn, New York this month to complete advanced training for the program at the Mark Morris Dance Center, Dance for PD®’s flagship location.
Dance for Parkinson’s takes place every Wednesday from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM. No dance experience is needed, and the class is free for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, their partners, caregivers, and friends. For more information or to register, contact Millette White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-522-0996 ext. 213.