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FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER, 2009
CONTACT: SHAUNA TYSOR
KIM ESPINOSA
713 535 3226
pr@houstonballet.org

 

HOUSTON AREA PARKINSON SOCIETY HONORS HOUSTON BALLET WITH
ROY H. CULLEN QUALITY OF LIFE AWARD

Award Recognizes "Dance for Parkinson,"
An Innovative Dance Exercise Program for Individuals with Parkinson's

Houston, Texas – On Tuesday, October 6, 2009 The Houston Area Parkinson Society will honor Houston Ballet with the Roy H. Cullen Quality of Life Award at HAPS’ Annual Awards Event at the Bayou Club in Houston for its "Dance for Parkinson" dance exercise program. The award is given annually to an entity that has helped improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson's through leadership, wisdom and generosity.

In May 2009, Houston Ballet teamed with HAPS to offer a weekly dance course on Monday afternoons at Houston Ballet's studios at 1921 West Bell. A pianist accompanies the class and incorporates various types of music, encouraging participants to dance independently and find their own beat. This initiative allows HAPS to expand its exercise program, adding a new type of dance group to its existing tango dance group. The class is a fun and exciting environment for people to tap into their creativity and apply some of the ground-breaking approaches that are proving to benefit those with Parkinson's. Former Houston Ballet Principal Dancer Kristine Richmond, who performed with Houston Ballet from 1980 to 1993 and went on to appear in several Broadway productions in the 1990s and 2000s, teaches the weekly classes.

James Nelson, general manager of Houston Ballet, explains, "Houston Ballet and Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS)'s Dance for Parkinson is the perfect pas de deux for the two organizations, and it fits perfectly into Houston Ballet's mission of inspiring a lasting love and appreciation for dance. We are so proud to be honored by HAPS in receiving the Roy H. Cullen Quality of Life Award. It is a wonderful validation of the impact our outreach program has on the Houston community."

Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS) serves and advocates for those affected by Parkinson's disease in our community. Houston Area Parkinson Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1974, is one of the oldest independent, local Parkinson's disease support groups in the United States. HAPS provides comprehensive services to the eight-county Houston Metropolitan Area, with a combined estimated population of more than 5.5 million people. 

Individuals interested in participating in the HAPS dance program, or any of the HAPS programs may contact the HAPS office at 713-626-7114. Beginners are welcome, no partners required -- just a willingness to have fun!

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