Dance for PD are translating the art and science of dance for those with Parkinson’s disease

Dance teacher wearing a blue t-shirt and black pants teaching a dance class standing up. Dance teacher and students are holding onto a chair. Their left arm is across their body.
Photo: David Leventhal teaching a dance class (courtesy of Dance for PD).

Episode 5 | Season 3

David Leventhal has had a distinguished career as a professional dancer. His background as a dancer has given him a unique perspective on motivation, human movement and what it takes to live a creatively fulfilling life. Today, he is the director of the global dance program, Dance for PD, which is based at the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York City.

The program was established in 2001 as a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, a local support organization for people living with Parkinson’s. The team at Dance for PD translate the art and science of dance to improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Time Stamps

[00:04] Introduction to David Leventhal and Dance for PD.

[5:44] Participants are dancers not patients.

[13:19] Dance is a unique form of physical activity.

[21:32] How Dance for PD was established.

[25:55] Global ecosystem of Dance for PD programs.

[28:36] Dance curriculum is catered to the culture of where it is being delivered.

[31:14] When and how research started to inform how the dance classes were taught.

[33:15] Arts culture and research institutions of New York City.

[39:20] Performance at the Flynn Theater in Vermont.

[41:34] How the COVID-19 pandemic affected overall dance classes.

[47:07] Improvements in dance class arrangements after the pandemic.

[51:57] What David’s career has taught him about human resilience.

[57:03] How David knew he wanted to pursue a career in dance.

[58:38] What living healthier today means to David.

[1:00:00] Advice for his 18-year-old self.

[1:01:00] Outro.


Music and sound effects: Storyblocks.


Learn more about Dance for PD| Facebook | Twitter

Connect with Jared Talavera

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



The Healthier Today podcast is for informational purposes only. Please speak to a health professional for specific individual health advice.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.