In the Loop
Press Release : May 19, 2014

UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine and School of Theatre and Dance Present Dance for PD Training Workshop May 30-June 1

Gainesville, Fla., May 19, 2014 — The University of Florida (UF) Center for Arts in Medicine and the School of Theatre and Dance in partnership with the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group will present Dance for PD®, a three-day training and professional development workshop for dancers, dance teachers, students, therapists and allied health professionals May 30-June 1, 2014 in the Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion at UF in Gainesville, Florida.

A free movement class for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their families, friends and care partners will be held Saturday, May 31 from 2-3:15 p.m. in the Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion. The class will be led by David Leventhal, founding teacher and program director for the Dance for PD® program, with live musical accompaniment and will be followed by a community discussion. Parking is free, and all are welcome to attend. Advanced registration is not required to attend.

“We are thrilled to have the Mark Morris Dance Group with us again for the Dance for PD® Teacher Training,” said Jill Sonke, director of UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine. “David Leventhal is a masterful teacher and is leading what is now a worldwide movement to bring dance into the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease.”

UF last hosted a Dance for PD® training and professional development workshop in June 2012. This year’s program offers opportunities for both new trainees and returning teachers to hone their skills, network with other teachers and immerse themselves in the acclaimed Dance for PD® approach.

Through specially-designed Dance for PD® Training Modules, attendees will cover a range of topics including safety and good exercise design and will learn about the program’s philosophy and teaching approaches from the program’s founders. Participants will observe a demo class, talk with members of the local Parkinson's community and connect with other teachers interested in this work. Additionally, staff and teachers from UF's own Dance for Life program will provide an added level of experience and knowledge during a Dance Teacher session.

To learn more about the training workshop, including tuition prices and the application process, visit  

About Dance for PD®

Dance for PD® offers dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease in Brooklyn, New York, and through its network of partners and associates in more than 100 other communities around the world. In Dance for PD® classes, participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. An ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, the Dance for PD® program also provides teacher training and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on our model are widely available. The Dance for PD® method has been presented at the International Congress for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders in Berlin (2005), the World Parkinson Congress in Washington, D.C. (2006) and at Neuroscience 2008 in Washington, D.C. The program was recognized as a model program at the Society for the Arts in Healthcare’s annual conference (2010). The World Parkinson Congresses in Glasgow (2010) and Montreal (2013) included Dance for PD demonstration classes, and the program was presented two years in a row at the Parkinson's Unity Walk in Central Park. Features about the program have appeared on PBS’ “NewsHour,” NPR, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Reuters, and in The New York Times and USA Today, among others. To learn more, visit

About the Center for Arts in Medicine

The Center for the Arts in Medicine was established at the University of Florida in 1999. The Center grew from the groundbreaking clinical work of the Shands Arts in Medicine program, and serves as the academic, research and community outreach component of the partner programs. It is the mission of the Center for the Arts in Medicine to facilitate research, education and training in the use of the arts to enhance the healing process, to further develop arts in health care as career options for artists and to promote art and creativity as catalysts for developing healthy lifestyles. The Center provides a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration among University of Florida faculty and students, healthcare providers, clinical artists, and our local and global communities. The Center develops and effects interdisciplinary research studies and educational curricula on all levels and serves as a national model for the arts in healthcare research, education and training. To learn more, visit

About the School of Theatre and Dance

The School of Theatre and Dance is one of the University of Florida College of Fine Arts’ three fully-accredited schools. Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting, dance, musical theatre, theatre production—including costume design, lighting design and scenic design—or a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance studies or general theatre. Minors are also offered in dance and theatre as well as certificates in arts in medicine and dance in healthcare. Student organizations, showcase programs and other intensives provide students with invaluable professional experiences. UF is home to three School of Theatre and Dance theatres, including the Constans Theatre, Black Box and G-6 Studio. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Dance, including upcoming performance dates and ticket information, visit

About the College of Fine Arts

The College of Fine Arts is one the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of Fine Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three fully-accredited schools — the School of Art and Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre and Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and more than 1,220 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact:

Leah Craig, Public Relations and Marketing Manager

College of Fine Arts, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Office: 352.273.1489 | Cell: 904.419.3346