Please join us Friday, Dec 7th at 11:00 am at Elite Dance Force Studio, 477 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie as Parkinson Canada in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School launches the acclaimed program Dancing with Parkinson’s in Sault Ste. Marie.

Parkinson Canada in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School and Dance for PD® is bringing the acclaimed Dancing with Parkinson’s (DWP) exercise program to Sault Ste. Marie. The pilot program will run for 8-weeks, free of charge under the guidance of local Studio Directors from Elite Dance Force, Kaitlin Pelletier and Christina Trevisan.

Parkinson Canada chose Sault Ste. Marie as the location to launch this pilot program in order to provide additional Parkinson’s support services to the area. Technology is allowing the livestream of classes from the studio at National Ballet School in Toronto while participants gather at Elite Dance Force in the Soo.

Rachel Bar, Manager of Health and Research Initiatives at National Ballet School, has been key in the program development and is a co-facilitator in delivering the classes via livestream each week. She knows how much all the participants are enjoying and benefitting from the classes.
People living with Parkinson’s of every age, stage and ability are invited to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing Parkinson’s-specific concerns.

Studies show that the area of the brain affected by PD is also used while dancing and demonstrate that dance is uniquely beneficial. Dance appears to meet many, if not all, of the recommended components for exercise programs designed for individuals with PD. The benefits of dance include improved balance and gait function as well as improved quality of life. Beyond the physical benefits, dance encourages social inclusion and personal and artistic expression, which could lead to benefits in areas of depression and anxiety. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists include Dancing with Parkinson’s classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.

“While Parkinson Canada does not endorse one type of exercise program over another, we do highly recommend that people diagnosed with Parkinson’s incorporate various exercise regimens led by accredited professionals, in their daily life,” said Estelle Joliat, Parkinson Canada Community Development Coordinator for Northeast ON. “Studies clearly show that people with Parkinson’s who include exercise focused on balance, range of movement and flexibility as part of their health care plan fare much better both physically and mentally in the long run, when compared to those who do not.”

It is estimated that 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson Canada Sault Ste. Marie Support Group meets every second Thursday of the month at the Senior Citizen Drop-In Centre at 619 Bay Rd., Sault Ste. Marie.

More details of the Dancing with Parkinson’s pilot are as follows:
” The 8-week pilot program will begin Thursday, Jan 10th and will run every Thursday until Feb 8th.
” The location will be at the Elite Dance Force Studio, 477 Queen St E, Sault Ste. Marie.
” Classes will run from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.
” There is no cost for this 8-week pilot program.
” Previous dancing experience is not required. Classes begin with seated dancing, followed by dancing in a standing position. Standing sections of the class include seated options for those who prefer to continue dancing in a seated position.
” Participants are asked to dress in comfortable attire. Traditional dancewear is not required. Class can be done in soft dance slippers, socks, or non-marking/clean street shoes.
” Classes are designed to be physically, cognitively, and creatively stimulating and incorporate a variety of different musical and dance styles.
” Care Partners are invited to observe/volunteer during the class.
” The registration process for the pilot will open on December 10th by visiting
” NOTE: Interested participants are asked to speak with their medical provider before registering.