Dianna is an artist, dancer and teacher specializing in dance and exercise for people with Parkinson’s, Yoga and Fall Prevention programs for seniors. A Skidmore College graduate, she enjoyed a 30-year performing career in the Boston area while teaching Pilates, dance and yoga.
Dianna currently teaches Balance in Motion movement and dance for people with and without Parkinson’s and is a Professor of Yoga and Meditation at Salem State University. She trained with Dance for PD® founding teacher and former Mark Morris Dance Company principal dancer, David Leventhal, and was awarded a Stanley J. Wertheimer Fellowship, which provides in-depth training and mentorship to exceptionally qualified teachers offering high-quality classes modeled after Dance for PD® .
Dianna is also certified through the Yoga Alliance RYTE200 with specialized training for seniors and people with Parkinson’s, AHEC Fall Prevention Awareness, the Parkinson’s SMART program, the Brian Grant Foundation Exercise for Parkinson’s and Dance for Dementia.
In collaboration with Parkinson’s Fitness, Dianna teaches Balance in Motion classes in the afternoons on Monday at the Danvers Community YMCA , Tuesday at the Town Hall in Topsfield, Thursday at the Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester, and Friday at the Danvers COA.
In January 2019, Parkinson’s Fitness instructor Kim Crowley completed the Exercise for Parkinson’s Training offered by the Brian Grant Foundation.
Kim completed the Parkinson’s SMART instructor training, while serving as Associate Health and Wellness Director at the Lynch/vanOtterloo YMCA in Marblehead, MA. She was a supervisor and occasional aide in the Parkinson’s exercise program led by Gail Perry Borden at the Y.
Kim passed the Dance for PD introductory online program in 2018, and attended the 3-day Toronto Dance for PD workshop. She then participated in a 6-week Inclusive Dance Program at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA.
Continuing her education, Kim attended two Parkinson’s symposiums presented as part of the Mass General Hospital Saturday Series. She then led an exercise feature at the Parkinson’s Fitness “Living Well with Parkinson’s” Symposium in September 2018.
In addition to her work with people with Parkinson’s, Kim has taught group exercise across the North Shore since 2009 to children, teens, and adults, the senior population, people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities, and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for cancer survivors.
Kim is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and an AFAA/NASM certified Group Exercise Instructor. She is a licensed Zumba fitness instructor for the general population and teaches movement classes for adults with autism and dementia at assisted living residences.
Kim is passionate about helping people with Parkinson’s feel stronger and better, and creating strategies to help them work. She teaches the Parkinson’s Fitness Strength in Motion classes on Tuesday mornings at the Marblehead JCC, on Wednesday mornings at the Danvers COA, and on Thursday mornings at the Beverly COA.
Heather Tharpe – Yoga for Strength, Flexibility & Balance
Heather was among the first instructors to introduce the practice and benefits of yoga in the North Shore area.
For 7 years, Heather was the owner, program developer and instructor at her organization that specialized in non-competitive fitness classes, musical movement and yoga for children. She was the yoga program director, group fitness/yoga instructor and a personal trainer at Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women in Salem, MA for 18 years, and for over 16 years to the present, Heather has been self-employed as an intuitive life guide, a senior yoga instructor, and an energetic healer in Beverly. Over the last 10 years until the present, she has worked as the senior Yoga instructor and Energetic healer at Yoga Sakti in Salem.
In her weekly Parkinson’s Fitness Yoga class in Beverly that focuses on strength, flexibility & balance, Heather invites participants to experience movement with a greater sense of ease. She instructs class members in basic postures, form, and breath work, while helping them build physical strength, flexibility and balance. Heather incorporates her specialized background training into an enjoyable class experience for people affected by Parkinson’s, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Post-rehab conditioning, or other functional instability.
As owner of the Salem Fitness Center, Michael is an experienced personal trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. He is skilled in coaching, wellness coaching, fitness training, athletics, and team building. He is a strong community and social services professional with a BS degree focused in economics and management from Norwich University.
Michael understands that a Parkinson’s diagnosis progressively challenges the people who live with it. He has participants visualize their condition as the opponent it is, and he teaches them how to punch back as hard as possible! An excerpt from his business motto states: “No matter if you’re new or you’ve been working out for years, we’re here to help you reach your new personal best.”
Linda is trained in seniors’ group exercise, as well as yoga and Dance for PD. She tirelessly oversees the administrative functions of the organization, and participates in clinical trials and specialized Parkinson’s physical therapy, exercise, and cognitive programs alongside Keith. Her ever-present smile, compassion and welcoming personality make her a special favorite with class members whenever she assists in program locations when needed.
A former pilot, Keith has always been an exercise enthusiast, whether at the gym, instructing young baseball players, or perfecting workouts at home. His determination to not allow his Parkinson’s diagnosis to define who he is and what he does is a beacon for everyone who knows him. His fitness training experience and knowledge reinforces all aspects of the Parkinson’s Fitness concept.
Whether they are scheduling educational seminars for the local Parkinson’s community, interacting as class members, assisting as instructors, sharing their experiences as clinical trial participants, or creating innovative programming, Linda and Keith have turned what began as a vision for an underrepresented Parkinson’s population on the Massachusetts North Shore area into an expanding reality.
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This dedicated Parkinson’s Fitness team invites you to join them in any of their class locations as often as you wish. Each of them presents a unique type of teaching that guarantees an opportunity for anyone taking their classes to stay motivated!
For descriptions of each available class and the day and location, click here.