Due to COVID-19, in-person programming and performances are currently on pause for the safety of our students, artists, and community members. In the meantime, we will continue to bring arts into the community via digital content and opportunities.
STG Dance for PD® classes use dance, live music, and community in a safe and creative environment to support students in developing artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation,
and gait. Working with professional dancers and teaching artists trained in the Dance for PD® method, participants are inspired to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, and stimulating. Whether seated or standing,
people with Parkinson’s disease will enjoy this creative and welcoming class that is open to all abilities and mobility of movement. Live music is used to enhance the positive experience this class brings to participants and all involved. No
dance experience or diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is required to participate. The classes are always free.
STG Dance for PD® classes are based on the Dance for PD® method developed by Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group.
Why Dance for PD®?
Dance develops flexibility
Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental activity that connects mind to body.
Dance breaks isolation.
Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful movement.
Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears, and touch as tools to assist movement and balance.
Dance increases awareness of where all parts of the body are in space.
Dance tells stories.
Dance sparks creativity.
The basis of dance is rhythm.
The essence of dance is joy.
Seattle Theatre Group Dance for PD® program is offered in collaboration with Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Shawn Roberts serves as the Director of Seattle Theatre Group AileyCamp, Dance for PD® and Dance with Life. She is the former (founding) School and Education Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, under the Artistic Direction of Donald Byrd, where she directed, taught, and produced youth performances for over 18 years. In 2008, she helped STG launch and build the Seattle Area Dance for PD® program. Shawn helped STG and Ailey launch STG AileyCamp in 2016. Shawn holds a BA in Psychology, and is a certified Dance for PD® instructor and a certified Transformational Life Coach. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University, Seattle.
Deborah Birrane has a B.A. in Social Work and M.F.A. from the University of Arizona. Deborah has danced in companies in AZ, PA and WA as well as being the Director, Choreographer, Dance Educator and Dancer of Deborah Birrane Dance with Unexpected Company (’99). Her works have been passionately embraced by audiences in Eastern Europe, Israel Canada, China and the U.S. Since 2009, she has performed as a solo artist, via commissioned works. Deborah was invited to St. Petersburg, Russia for a week’s workshop to share the powerful experience of creative movement for children to dance teachers. Currently Deborah is Teacher for Dance for Parkinson’s and Dance with Life. She also works at the YMCA of Greater Seattle as a certified Lifestyle Coach for Diabetes Prevention, Chronic Pain and LiveStrong as well as teaching Yoga. She is a Radiant Health Yoga® certified teacher.
Angie Bolton has been an instructor with the STG Dance for Parkinson’s program since it began in 2008. She is an ACE certified instructor teaching Fitness for Living, a program she developed at Spectrum Dance Studio The class is focuses on people 40 years old and up. Some of her students are in their 80’s and many of them have exercised with her for over 10 years. Angie is an actress, singer, dancer and teaching artist. She is performer with Tickle Tune Typhoon an award-winning children’s and family music group. Angie came to Seattle to study with the Bill Evans summer institute in 1979 and decided to stay. In the 40 years living here she has been a teacher for Powerful Schools and numerous other school residencies. Angie has performed for the Bathhouse Theatre, Alice B. Theatre, Village Theatre, Mirror Stage, Seattle Public Theatre, Arts West and numerous other venues.
Marianne Chikos trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet and the School of the Richmond Ballet, and danced with Charleston Ballet Theatre, Sacramento Ballet, and the Ruth Rosenberg Dance Ensemble, a Sacramento based modern dance company. During her time in northern California, Marianne taught ballet extensively to students of all levels and ages. It is through Ruth Rosenberg that Marianne was introduced to the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD® program; she attended teacher training with David Leventhal in Davis, CA in 2011 and began teaching for Seattle Theater Group shortly thereafter. Marianne lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. She loves the opportunity to spark creativity and share the joy of movement with Dance for PD® participants each week.
Naomi Glass (she/her) enjoyed a decade-long career as a Soloist with the Houston Ballet, where she was nominated by Ben Stevenson, OBE, to represent Houston Ballet for the Princess Grace of Monaco Award. Amongst Naomi’s favorite works were those of Stanton Welch, Jiri Kylian, Trey McIntyre, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe and Sir Kenneth MacMillan. Naomi has taught in every dance sector, including serving as faculty at the Houston Ballet Academy, University of Houston, and Cornish College of the Arts. Naomi is delighted to manage Pacific Northwest Ballet’s DanceChance program and to as serve as PNB School faculty. It is her great honor to teach STG Dance for PD® classes, in which she is continually inspired by the compassion of her colleagues and the creativity of the dancers within her classes. Naomi holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is completing a Master of Arts in Education.
Deborah Kenner received her BFA from the University of Arizona on a full academic and dance scholarship and a MS in Kinesiology from A. T. Still University. Ms. Kenner performed professionally with Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre and State Street Ballet. She holds a Pilates certification through the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), specializes in neurological disorders, barre training through Balanced Body, and has been certified in Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT). Ms. Kenner is also part of the Balanced Body Faculty to train Pilates Instructors.
Kara O'Toole is thrilled to be a Dance for Parkinson's teaching artist. She and her family currently live in Tacoma where she teaches dance to diverse populations at the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center and the Tacoma Art Museum. Kara has been on faculty in the Dance Departments of the University of Washington, the University of Memphis, George Mason University, and Cornish College of the Arts. She was the Executive/Artistic Director of Orcas Center on Orcas Island and before that she was the Executive/Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center. As a performer, Kara danced professionally in the work of many notable choreographers including Jose Limon, Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, Vaslav Nijinsky, Paul Taylor, and Pat Graney. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
ALL STG DANCE FOR PD® CLASSES AT ALL LOCATIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
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