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OU School of Dance Offers Class for Parkinson's Patients

Dance for Parkinson’s Class Offers Free Resource to Community

October 09, 2019

OU School of Dance offers free Dance for Parkinson's class to aid community members with the disease.

Gentle jazz melodies float down the sun-flooded hall on the second floor of the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center in historic Holmberg Hall. Inside a studio, OU School of Dance Professor Kathleen Redwine leads a group of dancers through an exercise. Though the space and activity are familiar, the participants are relatively new.

"This class is Dance for Parkinson's, and we’re so excited to offer it here on OU’s campus,” Redwine explains. “My husband has Parkinson’s, and I’ve seen the way dance classes benefit him. He loves them, they’re fun, and they help his movement.”

With grant funding from the Parkinson’s Foundation of Oklahoma, the OU School of Dance offers the Dance for Parkinson’s class for free twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from August to December each year. 

In multiple peer-reviewed studies, dance has shown improvements in balance, walking, cognition and in the overall quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. OU’s Dance for Parkinson’s classes give participants an opportunity to experience the benefits and joy of dance in a friendly, social atmosphere.

Bob Lynn, a participant with Parkinson’s disease, attends with his twin granddaughters, Jessica and Darcey, who are also first-year ballet students in the OU School of Dance.

“I do believe it was their aunt who first read it in the newspaper,” explains Lynn’s caretaker, Sue Walker. “We tried it out one time, and Bob liked it so much that he wanted to come back.”



“My grandparents have supported me in the arts for many years and it’s been really fun for him to learn a little bit and enjoy himself while doing it,” said Darcey. Jessica quickly adds, “it’s really cool; we’re dancing right above him sometimes in rehearsal.”

Bob describes dancing with his granddaughters as a thrill; a memory he and his family will not soon forget.

To learn more about Dance for Parkinson’s, please call (405) 325-4051 or email