Dance therapy for people with Parkinson's and dementia

During the pandemic, Rx Ballroom Dance has had to move its classes online. The nonprofit provides free ballroom dance group instruction to anyone diagnosed with a neurological or neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia.

"There's a power behind movement, music and dance that really touches the brain in such a different way," said Erin Angelo, a professional dancer and Executive Director of Rx Ballroom Dance. "You get the physical benefit, but the social benefit, there's a lot of power behind it."

"I've never been into dancing. I've certainly never been ballroom dancing in my life. It's not something I would have ever thought of," said Dave Orlowski, an Rx Ballroom Dance participant who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. "It's been very good for my balance. It's been very good for my agility. And it's been a tremendous amount of fun, which is important."

"Just because there's a pandemic, chronic illness, Parkinson's doesn't take a day off. It's still there," said Lauren Simmons, who is participating virtual Rx Ballroom Dance classes. "So we have to keep working out, no matter what. And if you're gonna have to keep working out, it might as well be fun."

"I've always been passionate about ballroom dance. So to be able to give this resource to people who need it, it's very rewarding," said Angelo.

The survival of the dance classes requires support and donations from the community. You can find out more at rxballroomdance.com.