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Millsaps to Host "Dance for Parkinson's" Classes with Mark Morris Dance Group

September 5, 2013
(Updated February 19, 2014)


Millsaps College is teaming up with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group to train local dance instructors and Millsaps students for classes that will use music and movement to help people with Parkinson's disease.

Millsaps students learn the basics of Dance for Parkinson's
Check out Dance for Parkinson's at Millsaps on Facebook


The College has scheduled Dance for Parkinson's classes that are free of charge and open to individuals with Parkinson's disease and their families, friends and care partners through March 3, 2014 on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. in the Hall Activities Center. For information about these classes, contact us at danceforparks@millsaps.edu.

The classes are based on the Dance for PD® program, which has been acknowledged worldwide as potentially providing significant benefits for people with Parkinson's disease.

Building on the College's new strategic plan, Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College, the program involves collaboration with dance instructors from Rollins College, who offer a Dance for Parkinson Disease class in Orlando through Florida Hospital.

The Dance for Parkinson's program at Millsaps will involve students enrolled in three community-engaged learning courses, Human Physiology, Introduction to Neuroscience and Human Development. "The goal of the interdisciplinary program, which combines the usually disparate areas of the sciences and the arts, is to connect students' understanding of neurobiology with practical issues of health and well-being. Furthermore, the program will allow students to see the impact their education can have on the lives of community members and how their experiences in the community can inform their education," said Dr. Naila Mamoon, assistant professor of biology and the pre-health director of the College.

"I hypothesize that those students in this Introduction to Neuroscience course will gain both subjective and objective knowledge from participating in the Dance for PD® program," said Dr. Melissa Lea, associate professor of psychology and director of neuroscience and cognitive studies at Millsaps. "For example, students will be more likely to understand the disorder from a real world perspective - how it is difficult to do some simple movements and how this would affect every aspect of a person's daily life. I also believe they will gain more objective knowledge in that they will better understand the anatomical and physiological structures that are diseased that cause the symptoms."