Dance class helps those with Parkinson's

Workout class helping Parkinson's patients

Charles Sterling wouldn’t exactly call himself a dancer.

“You should've seen us to start with!” said Sterling.

A class at Cooper Aerobics is proving him wrong.

“You’ll see a difference in a very short period of time,” said Angela Horner, fitness trainer and dance instructor at Cooper Fitness Center.

All of Horner’s students experience some type of tremor, impaired balance or challenge in coordination.

“My balance and mobility were challenged,” said Sterling, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 13 years ago.

He felt life slowing down as the disease progressed in his body.

“This works,” said Sterling about the dance class. “It's almost magic!"

With consistent practice, Sterling said he is feeling quite an improvement.

“Strength in the hips and being able to get up out of a chair,” he explained, are movements that have become easier for him. “Clearly, they're extending our functional years."

Doctor Kenneth Cooper himself started the class which is designed to improve balance, coordination, strength, stability and gait training.

“It is an aerobic routine,” explained Horner. “We follow the beat, we follow an 8 count. But it's a lot of movement forward and backward. We move diagonally, we clap, and we do it as a group.”

Classes are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for an hour at a time. In just over two weeks, Horner said, she notices a tremendous difference in students.

“They move better, they have more confidence,” said Horner.

Through movement, laughter and connection, Sterling and his fellow classmates are reclaiming their independence on and of the dance floor.

“There's more than just the dance,” said Sterling. “It happens to be the fun thing!”

To watch the class' complete dance, watch the video below:

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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