Creative arts center offers free dance class for people with Parkinson’s

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THE BRONX -

The New York Mind Builders Creative Arts Center is helping individuals with Parkinson’s feel the beat despite their disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. Individuals with Parkinson’s often have a tremor and gradually face limited movement, stiffness and loss of balance.

Dance program administrator Natasha Frater says that though the classes are not considered therapy, many individuals with the disease find that the exercises offered can be beneficial for the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

"It's an opportunity for them to not be so focused on the disease but to actually be among fellow people and move for movement’s sake, just to have fun."

Arlene Scorzelli, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005, says her best days are when she goes to class.

"Just how natural it feels to move,” she says. “And how beautiful it can be, and how normal I feel. I start to feel like the Parkinson’s isn't there."

Frater says that individuals with the disease, caretakers and family members are all welcome to the free hourlong class.

The dance classes are held twice a month.

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