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Elderly and Parkinson's patients are getting free dance lessons at the City Ballet

This ballet organization is proving that dance can be therapeutic and healing, especially for senior citizens suffering from incurable ailments.

Elderly and Parkinson's patients are getting free dance lessons at the City Ballet
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Oklahoma City Ballet

Getting involved with any kind of art form ensures the betterment of the mental and physical health of an individual to an extent. While keeping that idea in mind, Oklahoma City Ballet has taken up a wholesome initiative to help elderlies suffering from various ailments. The Oklahoma City Ballet has toured all over the world with its artists, demonstrating their spectacular performances so far, per ABC News. While on the other hand, they have stood by the elderly folks to help them maintain their health in a fun way.


The ballet troupe launched a program in 2016 called "Golden Swans," where they started offering free ballet and dance lessons to senior citizens of the city. In 2017, they offered a special lesson for people who were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and it was called "Dance for Parkinson's." Jo Lynne Jones, the executive director of the ballet company, told Good Morning America, "The health benefits of dance lessons are great and instructors have fine-tuned the classes to meet the needs of their students so they can enjoy the exercises comfortably,"

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In the special class provided for the folks affected with Parkinson's, the dance lessons involve practicing their moves while sitting comfortably in a chair. "So, first of all, they get their comfortable that it helps with their social sociability," Jones told the outlet. "They're here with friends and people that they get to know and they're exercising." The feedback from the elderlies with Parkinson's has been nothing but positive and they have revealed that they are enjoying the dance lessons and have been blending well into their newfound dance community.


Age is just a number for the students of "Dance for Parkinson's" as many individuals in their 70s or 80s have joined to groove with others. A lady named Nancy Brawler had signed up with the "Golden Swans" program back in 2017 after she turned 80. Brawler revealed to the outlet that she wanted to "do something different for her brain," but the dance lessons also "helped her gain strength, balance and focus."


Another participant in the dance program, Robin Martin, shared her experience with the news outlet. Martin recalled that she used to dance when she was younger but had to pause her passion for dancing after sustaining a knee injury. However, the program conducted by the ballet troupe gave her "a second chance to get back to her artistic love." Martin said, "I think the best thing about the class is it doesn't matter if you've danced before or if you've never danced at all. The class is designed to take care of everybody."

Many other participants dancing along with the "Dance for Parkinson's" program have admitted that they feel a major difference and progress in their health after they started dancing. "I got diagnosed with Parkinson's back in 2019, and what I learned is that the way, the best way, to manage Parkinson's is to get involved in a lot of activities," another participant named Randy Keller said, adding that he feels better every time he walks out of the class. Currently, the ballet company offers two programs around Oklahoma City and welcomes anyone who wants to join. "Our mission and our core values are community; they are at the heart of everything we do," Jones stated.


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