Parkinson’s Movement Initiative

parkinson’s movement initiative

The Parkinson’s Movement Initiative (PMI) was founded in 2017 by American Dance Festival (ADF), NC Dance for Parkinson’s, and Poe Wellness Solutions, and offers consistent, weekly, cost-free movement classes to the PD community and their caregivers.  Our classes focus on mind and body connection through exercise and movement and provide an opportunity to engage with loved ones and meet others who are living with Parkinson’s Disease outside of a clinical setting. Along with the physical benefits, PMI provides a space of shared experience and understanding.  

While in-person classes are paused due to COVID-19, we are thrilled to offer four weekly Dance and Pilates for Parkinson’s classes via Zoom.  These classes are offered on  *drop-in basis,* which means you are welcome to drop in anytime that works for you!  You do not need to attend the entire series in order from the beginning.  We are always happy to welcome new faces!

If you are interested in having these classes streamed at your facility or through a community group, please reach out to studios@americandancefestival.org and we will help you with next steps!


Term dates and class sign-up Procedures

*Due to the continued threat of COVID-19 and with concern for the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, we will be holding classes entirely online unless otherwise noted.*

    • Fall Term 2021 Classes with PMI: 
      • Weekly Dance for Parkinson’s on Sundays 3:00-4:15pm
        • September 19-December 19 (No classes November 22-28)
      • Monthly Dance for Parkinson’s on Fridays 3:00-4:15pm
        • Second Friday of the Month: Oct 8, Nov 12, Dec 10
      • Weekly Pilates for Parkinson’s on Mondays and Wednesdays 2:00-3:15pm
        • September 27-December 20 (No classes November 22-28)
    • Registration is required. For more information on registration and how to join PMI Zoom classes, please follow the instructions below:

      1. Fill out our Google Form by CLICKING HERE. (If you already signed up in 2020 or 2021, you do not need to sign up again)
      2. Download Zoom to your computer, tablet, or phone. Click here for more information on Zoom.
      3. At the time of class, click the link provided to launch Zoom on your device. A host will let you in to class.
      4. Enjoy a LIVE virtual class with the PMI team!

    REGISTER Online FOR PMI ZOOM CLASSES


PMI YouTube Channel

While we have paused our in-person studio classes in the face of COVID-19, PMI has built an online catalogue of pre-recorded videos as an additional option for you to continue your practice at home.  Check out our YouTube channel for pre-recorded videos ranging in length from 3-25 minutes with your favorite Parkinson’s Movement Initiative instructors.

Don’t forget to subscribe so you can find it again easily!

Check out our YouTube Channel


Parkinson’s Movement Initiative Class Descriptions

*Due to the continued threat of COVID-19 and with concern for the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, we will be holding classes entirely online unless otherwise noted.*

Pilates for Parkinson’s with Meg Poe

September 27-December 20, 2021

Mondays, 2:00-3:15pm EST 
Wednesdays, 2:00-3:15pm EST

Pilates for Parkinson’s consists of a warm-up focusing on alignment, exercises challenging strength and balance, and a cool-down for stretching and relaxation. All exercises are explained and demonstrated with options for beginners as well as more advanced participants. Time is spent seated in a chair, standing with the wall or a chair for support, and on the floor. Each class explores new ideas for improving strength, flexibility, and balance. All people with Parkinson’s and/or PD care partners are invited!  

Meg Poe is dedicated to health and happiness through movement and mindful living. She is a Duke-certified Integrative Health Coach, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and a certified Pilates instructor with a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from UNC Chapel Hill. She has been directly involved in educating and training students in the integration of mindful, healthy movement for over 25 years.

Dance for parkinson’s with Susan Saenger

September 19-December 19 (no class November 22-28), 2021

Fridays, 3:00-4:15pm EST – MONTHLY, the second Friday of the month!
Sundays, 3:00pm-4:15pm EST

NC Dance for Parkinson’s is modeled after the Dance for PD® program, developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group, and our teachers have attended their training workshops in Brooklyn. Although the class conveys the benefits of exercise, it also highly values the creative expression, aesthetics, and artistry that are at the core of dance as an art form. Participants will learn choreography in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, and cultural/folk, and have opportunities to improvise and create unique movement sequences. A typical class includes movement done seated, standing, and locomoting, with adaptations offered based on each individual’s level of comfort and mobility. Participants dance together, in partnerships, and at times, solo. In addition to dance, the teachers utilize related art forms such as theatre games, poetry, image-based mindfulness, and storytelling to foster creative and expressive experiences. The class also promotes a sense of community where isolation is broken and meaningful connections are formed through the joy of dance.  All people with Parkinson’s and/or PD care partners are invited!

Susan Saenger has a BA in Biology and an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy, is also a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, and a licensed professional counselor. Susan was trained by David Leventhal of the Mark Morris Dance for PD® program.


community Events

Information session at Durham Library

You Can Move with Parkinson’s!: Options for self-management of Parkinson’s Disease

Free Presentation on Zoom, recorded and available on YouTube**
Click here to view this special hour-long presentation!

Join us to hear from Parkinson’s Disease advocates about local resources and options for self management. Test out and learn more about the folks at American Dance Festival (ADF), NC Dance for Parkinson’s, and Poe Wellness Solutions, who offer consistent, weekly, cost-free movement classes to the PD community and their caregivers. Q&A will follow.


American Dance Festival is proud to offer Parkinson’s Movement Initiative classes in partnership with NC Dance for Parkinson’s and Poe Wellness Solutions and supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. Through this support, all classes offered through the Parkinson’s Movement Initiative are free for people living with PD and their caregivers.

Additional support is provided by RTI International, the Lyna J. Rogers Fund of Triangle Community Foundation in memory of Betty Y. Powell, and individual donors.