CenterLight Healthcare Teams Up with Dance Theatre of Harlem to Create Innovative Movement Program for Seniors

CenterLight Healthcare and Dance Theatre of Harlem offer seniors with differing levels of mobility the opportunity to enjoy the wellness benefits of music and movement to both the mind and body. The next semester of the 10-week program will start in September; seniors graduated from the first course in June.

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CenterLight Healthcare and Dance Theatre of Harlem provide a program bringing the benefits of music and movement to seniors enrolled in CenterLight's Program For All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly.

“I have a herniated disk and a pinched nerve. My doctor told me that movement would help. And it has.”-- Maria Beri, CenterLight Healthcare PACE member

New York, NY (PRWEB) August 06, 2014

Marking the first collaboration of its kind by a healthcare provider and a major arts organization, CenterLight Healthcare, an innovative managed long-term care organization, and the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem recently completed the pilot program of an original dance, movement and balance class for seniors.

The first graduation ceremony of the inventive program was held on June 3rd at the Dance Theatre of Harlem school on W. 152nd St. The program offered members of CenterLight Healthcare with differing levels of mobility (including individuals incapacitated by stroke) the opportunity to enjoy the wellness benefits of music and movement to both the mind and body.

CenterLight students rehearsed and presented a short dance routine, showcasing the skills they learned during the 10-week program. A graduation ceremony followed the performance.

At the ceremony, Dance Theatre of Harlem Executive Director Laveen Naidu remarked on how thrilling it was to see these students so positively impacted: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the power art has to make a difference in people’s lives. All you need is imagination and the willingness to get it done.”

The seniors were offered the rare opportunity to train with the faculty of the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem, including professional dancer and ballet and tap teacher, Rachel Sekyi.

Sekyi noted that she was pleased to welcome the “new additions to the Dance Theatre of Harlem family,” whom she instructed on “how to make pathways in the space” and to “physically move specific parts of their bodies, which helps keep the mind stimulated and the body rejuvenated.”

Many of the participating seniors reported improvement in balance and coordination. Maria Beri, a member at CenterLight’s 99th Street Program of All-inclusive Care for The Elderly (PACE) Facility, experienced relief from back pain by taking the classes.

“I have a herniated disk and a pinched nerve,” Beri said. “My doctor told me that movement would help,” she said. “And it has.” Regarding CenterLight PACE, Beri added, “I couldn’t wait to join this program. It’s something you don’t find everywhere. The people are so caring. It’s like a home away from home.”

A new semester is planned to kick off in September to offer this unique wellness experience to a new “senior class.”

About CenterLight Healthcare
CenterLight Healthcare is a member of CenterLight Health System, a non-profit national leader in providing and coordinating residential, home and community-based long term care for more than 15,000 chronically ill and disabled adults throughout the New York metropolitan area. CenterLight Healthcare is an innovative managed long-term care organization on a mission to provide the highest quality long-term healthcare services to older adults, the chronically ill, disabled individuals and others, enabling them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life while living safely in their homes and communities. Serving more than 3,600 members at 14 centers, our Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program is the largest and one of the oldest such programs in the country. Learn more at http://www.centerlighthealthcare.org/.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dance Theatre of Harlem is a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim, encompassing a performing company, a leading arts education center and Dancing Through Barriers®, a national and international education and community outreach program. Each component of Dance Theatre of Harlem carries a solid commitment towards enriching the lives of young people and adults around the world through the arts. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). Shortly after the assassination of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts. Now in its fourth decade, Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts.


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