The Power of Dance

“My one leg is doing the tap dance and the other is doing a Parkinson’s Dance” said Kay, a participant in The Dancing Heart™ program at Struthers Parkinson’s Center. Sharing the joy of movement with these folks who are living with advanced Parkinson’s disease has been such an incredible demonstration of the power of dance. Many of them are in wheel chairs and have lost control of much of their body; however, they can all find something to tap when we begin our tap warm-up that leads to a choreographed dance. It’s as if the rhythm gently transcends the disease and for several minutes, the body is in submission to the rhythm, breathing in life and freshness. Smiles light up these faces, and soon our circle is a pulsing ebb and flow of energy.

Kairos Dance Theatre © 2011/In photo: Nancy, Carla and Participants

Last week we had a call and response time where we asked each participant to lead a rhythm and the group would echo after. We were delighted when every single person incorporated a memory attached with their rhythm. Alex’s marching song from when he was in the Marines was a hit, as was Gerald’s 4/4 rhythm, kept in perfect time, reflecting his years as a master musician. We had a charming surprise when our last leader jumped out of his seat and began a hearty jig, and kept it up for several minutes – so full of energy, he just couldn’t contain it! It was a perfect segue into our closing dance time, small dance circles of 3 or 4, some sitting, some standing, all moving in unison to the rhythm that carried us all far beyond our limitations, into flight.

– Nancy


The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

One Response to The Power of Dance

  1. Wheelchair bound dancers?…Oh so love to see it!..When is there next show, please? Thanks.

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