Melody, rhythm, and improvised interpretations!

Our hands and fingers mimicked fireworks exploding all around us…and then turned into raindrops trickling down and creating puddles. Our arms became soaring bird wings…and then moved our bodies as if part of a swim team practicing a variety of strokes. We formed the angles created by a city skyline…and then swayed side to side and in circles as if trees blown by storm winds. We stood and moved randomly about the room…as if on a crowded city sidewalk or inching along in a hallway toward a jam-packed sporting event. We’d move to a verbal cue however we interpreted it, and then quickly transform into something else suggested by the leader. It was as much a session in cognitive training as it was being physically involved.

Improvisation – invention, making it up as you go along, creativeness, imagination.

Under the guidance of our guest, Wake Forest University Associate Professor of Dance Christina Soriano, who visited with us on June 6th from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, our instructors had the benefit of her years of research into the effect of improvised movement on neurological conditions. Among a wide-ranging multitude of credits, she has served as a guest presenter at the Davis Phinney Foundation, and as a panelist at the 2013 World Parkinson Congress on the subject of “Creativity and Parkinson’s Disease.

(visit her web site:

Once again, we’re grateful to Tracy Valletti, Community Relations Coordinator at CareOne in Peabody, for arranging to have us gather in space at their facility on Route 114 across from the North Shore Shopping Mall. It was fun having Tracy join us during the training session…and she also provided refreshments for all of us to enjoy afterward.

We’re looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned with present and future members of both our exercise and movement classes! As you move toward making a decision to visit any of our classes (see the Class Locations page on the web site), let your home become a make-shift dance studio! Put on some music and just let yourself move around in whatever ways provide you with some moments of feeling free and happy! Take those definitions for the word “improvisation” to heart and try it!

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