Chubby Geek Learns to Dance -#4

<<Robin’s Podcast: Dance for Parkinson’S Disease by David Leventha>>

Great people know great stuff. Great people talk great stuff.


You know what you want to do but your body refuses to move in that way. You start shaking without you being able to control it. You become sleep deprived, unable to control emotions, start building negative relation with others and becoming isolated…

That is what Parkinson Patients experience.

Yet current research on medicine and therapy is focused on the “loss”. Why not on leaning? – This was David’s big question.

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(source: Wikipedia >>> Parkinson’s disease)

What he does

  • Give classes for PD patients in NY
  • Train teachers
  • Offer online training programs (DVDs etc..)
  • Helps research

The best way to find what he is up to is by visiting their website.

Dance for PD website


How he does it

  • Treat PD patients not as PD patients but as “dancers” and “artists”

In the interview, he emphasized the importance of viewing them dancers and artists. He is extra careful on the use of his vacabs, honestly you can just tell that he sees them in such a respectful manner from the way he talks in the interview. He mentioned that this way, students see physical movement from “loss of ability” to “skills that can be developed”.

  • Access and Expand students’ imagination
  • Raise students’ self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-confidence à that breeds curiosity


(More on his teaching philosophy: His Video )


His Mission

Make dance available to all PD patients in the world!


My Expansion

I want to know his great ability on teaching. How he breeds students growth mindset instead of fixed mindset. I believe this could be the key for his mission, spreading dance for PD to all over the world. Through my experience of zumba, although we have semi-fixed class structures on DVD, it does depend on the facilitator if the class can be taught in a way students want to come back.


Chubby Geek Learns to Dance -#3

Storytelling Project   “Chubby Geek Learns to Dance”

Episode 3.

Academic Background and Dance

I have a very strong academic background. Everything that I did when I was younger related to getting into good university. This meant that I had little social support on anything artistic, including dancing. You see, I was a chubby geek.


Having this background, I am proud to say that my current occupation is a graduate student at the best private university in Japan (The founder of my school is the face of $100 bill in Japanese yen), doing a research on dancing.


Rebellious? Maybe. I feel my family not being supportive of what I am trying to do, when it is what I need the most right now. But I will work on communicating the message to them. Because dancing is really what we, as humans need, and more people should experience this ancient technology to happiness.



Dancing to overcome trauma


Dancing is facing and improving, rather than escaping.


You see, I had trauma. Trauma is created because we remember the physical arousal of shocking times with negative meanings. When you see something or hear something, it becomes a trigger to create certain posture. This posture is remembered with negative meanings. This is how trauma is created. It becomes embodied.

When I dance, I start breathing fast, just like the time when I lost control. But my attention is focused on the beauty of surroundings. I am fully experiencing the physical arousal that I used to fear and escape, and I embrace it. It is amazing. And at the end of the day, I realize, “hey the things that I was so worried about, maybe means nothing. It may be isn’t so important after all.”


I want you to feel free from the chains on your feet

I want more people to experience this. The beauty of living. At the same time I need dancing in my life. It is my trauma therapy. As we get old, we experience more sad things as well as wonderful things. Humans have an innate tendency to remember the bad rather than good. But this technology, dancing, helps you remember wonderful experiences more.


So… Shall we dance?