Ongoing Group Classes

(see philosophy and description below)

PD Movement Lab, Sponsored by Brooklyn Parkinson Group
Fridays 2:00 – 3:00pm
Mark Morris Dance Center
3 Lafayette Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1415
Phone: 718.522.0553
Click here for more information

I am pleased to announce that Maria Portman Kelly has started to teach a theater class for PWPs on the first Friday of every month as an extension of Movement Lab. I am excited to welcome her and her expertise in theater and to discover how another approach might stimulate and help our constituency.

PD Moves: Rhythm + Movement Patterns
JCC: NYU’s Edmund J. Safra Wellness Program for Parkinson’s Disease
Mondays, from 3:30-4:30
JCC Manhattan
Amsterdam at 76th St.
Phone: 646-505-5744
Registration Required
Click here for more information

Private Practice

One-on-One: I come to you. I listen to what challenges you are facing and we work on them. I watch how you move and make suggestions. Sometimes we dance, sometimes we move while sitting in a chair or lying on the floor, sometimes we explore different environments – inside and out. The aim is to make you as functional and upbeat as possible. I think of myself as a coach in that I am trying to inspire as I help – addressing both our mental and physical approach to PD. Sessions can be weekly, monthly, or simply upon request.

Consultations: When we are newly diagnosed, we have been thrown into a new world, which we may know little about. I have been there and can help you navigate your way through the plethora of information and questions. MY ADVICE IS EXPERIENTIAL; NOT MEDICAL. Subjects include advisability of support groups, information about my experience with drugs, exercise, motivation and how to live with a disease without letting it define you.

References available upon request
Call 646.591.4321 for more information.

Philosophy and Description

Pam Quinn has produced an exercise program that lifts her students out of their limitations. She inspires as she delights. We can look to her in the future to be always near he cutting edge of physical therapy for PD.

-John Argue, Pioneer in Movement Therapy for People with Parkinson’s

My classes aim to use the essential elements of dance (balance, alignment, rhythm, fluidity, joy of moving, coordination, range of motion and dynamic quality) as practical tools to help manage physical symptom’s of Parkinson’s (tremor, stride length, posture, balance, etc.)

Dance’s contributions - especially rhythm, imagery and music - help us move; and other elements – alignment, balance, proprioception - teach us about our bodies, a necessary task if we are going to try and improve how we move. Practical strategies help us integrate what’s learned in class into the routine of daily life. That is one of our main goals; we want to habituate what we learn so that it can be used throughout the day and in a variety of circumstances and settings. So, in this class, dance and practicality merge, and on occasion, they are joined by props too – balls, rope, pillows – anything I think of that could be useful to teach a lesson or to do it in a fun way.

I try to inspire, educate, foster joy, create community and result in useful, practical application.  We move, we manage, we have serious fun.  All accompanied by a wide range of sensitive, energetic and whacky music.

Specific examples of how I work:

Sensory feedback: I try and use elements in training that give you sensory feedback to let you know you’re accomplishing your goals or to help you achieve them.

Example: For walking, I would never put you on a treadmill without music that fit your stride.  Fitting your gait into the music keeps your body working evenly on both sides and secures a certain stride length depending on the tempo.

Imagery: I try to use imagery instead of anatomical direction.

Example: Instead of saying,put your feet out in front of you, I would say, pretend you are a fashion model or pretend you are pregnant or think about waterskiing as you walk.

The mind is a muscle too: I do not do exercise in the classic sense of repeating one movement over and over.  I am interested in using all different kinds of muscular energy and   in developing the mind as a muscle, so that movement sequences are learned and done on both sides of the body and sometimes further manipulated.

Individuals and Groups: I value both one-on-one training and group work. One-on-one provides instruction specific to each individual. Group work provides social interaction, touch, opportunity for creativity and fun.

Symptoms and Situations: My classes are both symptom driven (here are ways to manage tremor, freezing, getting up out of a chair, etc.), and situation driven(how to mange crowds, grocery store lines, entering and exiting small spaces, etc.)

Mental Barriers: I try to dispel mental barriers (you don’t know you can’t do something if you don’t try).