For the past eight years, Colorado Ballet has partnered with Warren Village to provide free creative movement classes. The Warren Village Dance Renaissance Program is a partnership between Warren Village's Greta Horwitz Learning Center and Colorado Ballet's Education Department.
Warren Village helps motivated low-income, previously homeless single parent families move from public assistance to personal and economic self-sufficiency through subsidized housing, on-site nationally accredited child care, intensive case management, education guidance and career development.
The dance program consists of two classes, ages 3 to 4 and ages 4 to 5. The children learn creative movement and focus on 12 different dance concepts. For example, the children will learn about the concept of size by dancing big or small or levels by dancing high, middle or low. Along with learning locomotor movements and basic ballet steps, the children also learn the etiquette of attending a dance class, listening, creativity, problem solving, and how to work together.
Partnership between Parkinson Association of the Rockies and Colorado Ballet
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder causing muscle rigidity, tremors and a slowing of physical movement. While dance has not been officially studied as a therapy for the disease, doctors throughout the U.S. have widely recognized the benefits associated with regular exercise for those living with Parkinson’s. Since its inception in September 2011, approximately 50 individuals with Parkinson’s disease have participated in the program.
The methods employed by the Rhythm & Grace program encourage participants to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative, and improve quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s. Each participant applies elements of narrative, imagery, live music and community to develop artistry and grace while addressing such Parkinson’s-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation and depression. In chairs, at a barre or moving across the floor, participants explore elements of modern dance, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing in a non-pressured environment.
Rhythm & Grace is an adaptation of the nationally recognized Dance for PD® model created by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. This national model is offered in more than 40 communities in the U.S. and Europe. The Parkinson Association of the Rockies is the first Parkinson’s-oriented Colorado organization to bring this dance-focused method of physical therapy to the Denver community. For more information, visit http://www.ParkinsonRockies.org.
Watch a story on KDVR Fox 31: