Movement for Parkinson’s

enhanced MOF

Offered for people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers, this dance class is designed to engage participants’ mind and body through many styles of dance, while exploring stretching, muscle strengthening, postural stability, and rhythm. Class is infused with a diverse selection of music that inspires and invigorates the spirit. The class is offered in a relaxed social environment that emphasizes enjoyment, fun, and creativity, with an eye towards connecting with the community. This class is specifically designed for people who wish to continue moving dynamically as the body adapts to mobility challenges.  Participants are encouraged to move at their own rate and pace of time and adapt movements to meet their own need/ability.


  • Sara works magic by getting people who have limited movement to move in a way I never thought possible.  She has an incredible amount of energy and her enthusiasm is infectious.  She understands what is it like to have Parkinson’s due to her husband having it.  She understands the science of movement and how to put the knowledge into movement sequences.  She challenges the potential of each participant in the class to push just a little more to find your own limits without causing harm.

    There are times I get to class and I feel like my body is just not going to move the way I want it to because of pain or rigidity I am experiencing.  But once I get moving I feel 100% better by the end of the class.  I feel more flexibly, more flow to my movements and forget about the pain.

  • "I thoroughly enjoy the movement for Parkinson's classes held at The Flynn Center under the energetic guidance of Sara McMahon - I call her "Sara the Dancer." To me is like going to a spa - a place of relaxation where you are stimulated physically and mentally. Sara engages you right from the beginning with a warm welcome - she calls your name to acknowledge your participation - and a ready smile. She starts with a gentle warm up that puts you at ease and gets your mind focused for the dance routines. She uses music to set the tempo and rhythm for the different dances, which vary in style - from modern and jazz to ballet. She uses repetition to give everybody a chance to follow her lead so you don't feel left out. She emphasizes that we can follow her to the best of our ability and allows variations, recognizing the diversity of the participants - afflicted by Parkinson's disease to different degrees. She makes it fun by introducing small challenges like fast-paced movements, and laughs at herself when she gets confused...just like the rest of us. Sara has introduced some innovative and fun activities, specifically the Grid and the Sculptures, which emphasize the social interaction, creativity and connection we all share. Her words are always positive and reassuring."

    Alan C.
  • We've been part of Sara's Parkinson's Dance class for almost two years now, and what we noticed from the very beginning--that this was a place where we could experience joy in movement--has been true for all that time. Almost miraculous for people with Parkinson's! Sara's careful and inventive preparation for each class, as well as her enthusiasm and constant encouragement, have made our experience with her a delight. The class has made both of us, "patient" and caretaker, more aware of balance and body dynamics, and given us realistic hope. Sara's positive energy has also helped to make a class a caring community. 

    Victor and Judy
  • Sara’s Movement for Parkinson’s classes are a chance for people living with PD and their partners to leave behind the challenges of daily life for a little while and embrace the joy and freedom of movement and music.  They provide the physicality, focus, and imagination that are crucial to staving off the symptoms of a disease that can be debilitating.  The classes are fun, positive, even silly, and the sense of community and camaraderie is unparalleled.  It’s safe to say that it’s impossible to leave a class without a smile on your face and a spring in your step!

    Frederick C. Binter Center for Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders, University of Vermont Medical Center
  • My wife and I have participated in Sara McMahon’s Movement for Parkinson’s Class since 2014 and find it extremely helpful and quite enjoyable.  Each student is considered special and given individual attention by Sara and her staff, as needed. Thus we find the program safe and effective. By employing exercise routines that are dance techniques focused on balance and strength, the program fosters self confidence and pride.  At semester’s end, such self confidence and pride are clearly and dramatically demonstrated when, this class of Parkinson’s patients, gives a live performance on the Flynn big stage!  Remarkable is the term that best fits that endeavor. In short, a most rewarding and fulfilling four years.  Ron & Bea Jordan.

    Ron & Bea Jordan
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Check out our featured article in Seven Days!

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Take a look at footage from our last dance recital on the Flynn main stage! 

Please reach out to us anytime!