Krista Bower, Chair and Associate Professor of Dance, will present “Dance for Parkinson’s: A Merging of Minds and Bodies” on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Bower is a founding instructor of the Dance for Parkinson’s program in Jackson, MS. By providing practical information about the foundation and development of the Dance for Parkinson’s program, Bower’s presentation seeks to answer the following questions: What are the benefits of inviting able-bodied college students and medical professionals to dance side-by-side with individuals struggling with Parkinson’s Disease? What is this diverse population learning in, about, and through dance? What institutional and funding structures are needed to support a Dance for Parkinson’s program? What challenges arise in order to sustain and promote such a program? Personal reflection, participant interviews, and movement examples will inform the presentation of this in-practice research. The outcomes of this research add to current knowledge and practice regarding the value of dance as a tool for serving diverse populations, building community, and fostering inter-disciplinary relationships within universities.
Emily Wright, Associate Professor of Dance and MFA Program Director, will present “Consider It All Joy: The Embodiment of Struggle in American Evangelical Dance” on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at the joint conference of the Congress on Research in Dance and the Society of Dance History Scholars at Pomona College in Claremont, California.