NMS is proud to be the licensed Dance for PD® affiliate for Connecticut. The Mark Morris Dance Group’s award-winning Dance for PD®program offers internationally-acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease through its network of partners and affiliates, in more than 250 communities in 25 countries.

COME DANCE WITH US! In Dance for PD® classes, people are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Dance for PD® is an aesthetic experience that focuses on developing artistry and grace while addressing such Parkinson’s-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, social isolation, and depression. Classes are held weekly and are open to all–people with movement disorders, companions, visitors. Admission is free; we are funded by grants and donations.

Dance for PD® and the Dance for PD logo are trademarks of Mark Morris Dance Group, used under license.

Classes are offered at 3 Connecticut locations:

Mondays, 1:15-2:30 pm (excluding civic holidays)
Middletown Senior Center, 61 Durant Terrace, Middletown
Instructor: Laura Richling
Contact: 203.675.2930 or  [email protected] 

New London
Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45 am
Connecticut College: Crozier-Williams Student Center, 3rd Floor Studio, New London
Instructor: Rachel Balaban, Dance for PD® Certified Teacher
Contact: 401.261.7062 [email protected]

East Haven
Fridays 10:00 – 11:15 am
Hagaman Memorial Library, 227 Main Street, East Haven, CT 06512
Use back entrance. Go to DeMayo Room (Ground Floor).
Instructor: Laura Richling
Contact: 203.675.2930 or [email protected]


The classes are free of charge and open to all. They offer people with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders (along with family, friends, and/or caregivers) the opportunity to explore and create movement in a variety of dance styles. No dance experience is necessary and walkers, canes, and wheelchairs are welcome. Participants enjoy the physical and social benefits of the class within a supportive and joyful atmosphere.

“For an hour and a half, once a week in dance class, I take on a new persona, one without the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. I leave outside the door present limits and anxieties for the future. This is a time to join with others and appreciate to the utmost the respite. Time stands still and I am enveloped in the world of movement, music and a fine-tuned, joyful and funny teacher. I am conscious of the value of each movement that seems simple but is actually encouraging more fluidity and less rigidity. There are no judgments and the underlying message is to do what you are able with joy, laughter, and creativity. I am delighted to focus on the abilities that come forth, the strengths that remain. I walk out the door standing taller, with more external and internal balance and a steadier gait.”
          – DWP participant

Watch our segment on DWP’s on the Community Culture Showcase here.

This class is a collaborative effort. Rachel Balaban and Laura Richling have trained with the Mark Morris Group and are knowledgeable about specific techniques, muscle relationships, balance, and rhythm. But the class is also about learning from each other. All are encouraged to share and enjoy the class together. (It should be noted that the focus of this program is about artistic and creative expression and the enjoyment of social interactions with others experiencing similar challenges. While many may experience health benefits or the alleviation of symptoms, this program is not intended to be a therapeutic offering.)

For more information, please contact:

Laura Richling, administrator, Dance for PD® program, [email protected]
To learn more about the approach, visit the Dance for PD website.
And for an article about one of our affiliated programs featured on NBC/Hartford, click here.

NMS’s Dance for PD® classes are funded by grants and donations, including: American Parkinson Disease Association – CT Chapter • Connecticut Parkinson’s Working Group • Frank Loomis Palmer Fund  • Guilford Savings Bank • Pfizer  • The Thompson Family Foundation