PNB is proud to partner with Seattle Theatre Group to present STG Dance for PD®, a program of free dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners.

Naomi Glass, a former Houston Ballet soloist, teaches classes for STG Dance for PD® at PNB’s Francia Russell Center in Bellevue. (in addition to managing our DanceChance program and teaching on the PNB School faculty). She sees the effects of the class firsthand, and she’s confident in the success of the program.

Recently, she heard from a participant who has been taking STG Dance for PD® classes at the FRC since February.

“He told me that his muscles felt very rigid when he first joined our class, but he has since regained his ability to smile,” Naomi said. “He told me how much he had missed his smile, how happy he is to have it back, and how much this class has affected him.”

“Losing facial expression is a symptom of Parkinson’s,” Naomi says. “It can be really psychologically devastating because people’s lack of expression is often misread, leaving them feeling misunderstood and further isolated from others, even from those closest to them.”

“That this man has the ability to smile again is so significant, and that he has found joy in movement is really beautiful.”

We’re so excited to hear from STG Dance for PD® students! Read on to learn more about the program.

What is STG Dance for PD®?
The program offers eight weeks of free classes, using dance, live music, and community to support students in developing artistry and grace while addressing PD-specific concerns, like balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation, and gait. Live music enhances the experience.

What are the benefits?
Participants are inspired to explore movement in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, and stimulating. Whether seated or standing, people with Parkinson’s disease will enjoy this creative and welcoming class – which is open to all abilities and mobility of movement.

More reasons why we love STG Dance for PD®:

  • Dance develops flexibility.
  • Dance is a stimulating activity that connects mind to body.
  • Dance breaks isolation.
  • Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful movement.
  • Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears, and touch as tools to assist movement and balance.
  • Dance increases bodily spatial awareness.
  • Dance tells stories.
  • Dance sparks creativity.
  • The basis of dance is rhythm.
  • The essence of dance is joy.

Do I need dance experience to participate?
No! No dance experience or diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is required to participate.

Who teaches the program?
Participants work with professional dancers and teaching artists trained in the Dance for PD® method, which was created by Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group. The Dance for PD® method is built on the idea that these professionally trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to people with Parkinson’s disease.

Dancers know about stretching and strengthening muscles, about balance and rhythm, and how powerfully dance concentrates the mind, body, and emotion on movement.

PNB’s STG Dance for PD® program is co-taught by Naomi Glass and Deborah Kenner. Naomi is excited to see the program grow. “I know that, right now, [STG Dance for PD®] is impacting a small group,” she says, “but the impact that it can make is deeply powerful.”

Interested in joining?

Find the next STG Dance for PD® session on our website. Classes will take place at The Francia Russell Center on Fridays from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. All classes are free of charge, and we welcome spouses, friends, and care partners to join!

Want to help? Making a donation is easy!

If you are an individual who would like to support this program with a donation, you can do so easily by clicking here.