Photo by Joe Labolito
About the Instructors
Recently retired members of the Swarthmore College faculty where they taught dance for three decades, Sharon and Jon are experienced teachers of African, modern, and ballet techniques as well as dance composition and theory. Jon was also a member of the PA Ballet school faculty for almost twenty years. Sharon served as Director and Professor of Dance at Swarthmore College from 1985-2014 and has been trained as a Dance for PD teacher through the program in NYC. Together they bring a wide variety of approaches to this program designed to assist those living with Parkinson’s in embracing dance as one vehicle for building a more resilient and joyous life.
Dance for PD
with Sharon Friedler and Jon Sherman
Wednesdays, 2:15–3:30pm, Studio B
This studio is handicapped accessible. The studio and rest rooms are on the ground floor. There is one small step up to the studio platform.
Cost: $5 per class
Anyone for whom this fee is challenging should contact Wendy Lewis, Director of the Parkinson's Council, at (610) 668-4292, and accommodations will be made. Care partners are invited and encouraged to attend free of charge.
Dance for PD’s fundamental working principle is that professionally trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge about balance, sequencing, rhythm and aesthetic awareness is useful to persons with PD. In class, teaching artists integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and choreographic repertory to engage participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration. Classes emphasize dancing rather than therapy. Active demonstration by professional dancers inspires participants to recapture grace, while guided improvisation fosters creativity, and experimentation with movement.
Every class begins with participants seated in chairs. No previous dance experience is required. Approximately 60 percent of all class sessions continue with chair exercises. Participants who are able then move to standing and work holding on to a chair, at a ballet barre, or in freestanding positions. Dance movement across the floor is included for those who are able with vocabulary introduced from a wide variety of dance styles/traditions. For those who need to remain in a chair, dance movement continues with modifications. All classes are accompanied by music and end with a circle dance that recognizes the contributions of each participant to the dancing experience.
In Dance for PD® classes, participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. An on-going non-profit collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, the Dance for PD® program also provides teacher training, creates innovative instructional media, and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on our model are widely available.
Register online at theparkinsoncouncil.org or through forms available in class.