Queens Theatre and Mark Morris Dance Group team up to bring bilingual Dance for PD® classes to Queens

Photograph of dance instructor and student during Dance for PD class

Mark Morris Dance Group’s research‐backed dance program for people living with Parkinson’s to be held in Mandarin and English

(Queens, NY)— Beginning January 2022, Queens Theatre is partnering with Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) to present its internationally‐acclaimed Dance for PD® program in English and Mandarin, making its adaptive dance program for people living with Parkinson’s disease accessible to millions of Mandarin‐speaking people with mobility concerns globally.

The free classes – held twice monthly beginning Sunday, January 9, 2022 – will be held in-person and available to view online and are open to people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends, and care partners, as well as anyone with mobility concerns. All classes will be bilingual in Mandarin and English, and future bilingual classes in Spanish and English are being planned to begin in March 2022.

The classes will take place on Sundays at 2:00pm ET on January 9 and 23, February 13 and 27, and March 13 and 27. For more information, visit or

In each class, participants engage with a teaching artist and each other during a 50‐minute movement session based on ballet, modern, tap, jazz, traditional cultural dance forms, and Mark Morris company repertoire. During the pandemic, the classes shifted to a virtual format and garnered more than 2,000 participants from 38 countries across the globe. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, Dance for PD® now reaches more than 10,000 participants worldwide through its affiliate and online network. Dance for PD® in Mandarin is being led by specially trained instructors Coco Cao, Nico Li, and Jun Zhou. Each session includes a welcome and introduction, a 50-minute movement experience adapted for mobility issues often associated with Parkinson’s disease, and time for conversation in small groups. All classes feature live music accompaniment.

“It has been a longtime goal for our program to remove language barriers for participation in our classes and to better engage the diverse Parkinson’s community of New York City and beyond,” said Maria Portman Kelly, Dance for PD® Programs and Engagement Manager. “Our Dance for PD® classes in Mandarin are not simply a translated experience, but an exploration and celebration of the vibrant, unique dance, movement, and music cultures of China.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to partner with the Mark Morris Dance Group to present Dance for PD®,” said Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone. “At Queens Theatre, we believe that the well-documented benefits of dance and music should be available to all. We’re proud to partner on such an inclusive program.” 

COVID Vaccination Policy

In compliance with New York City’s vaccine mandate for indoor activities, Queens Theatre requires confirmation of vaccination against COVID-19 of all eligible (12 years of age and over) staff, performers, renters, and visitors, with at least one shot from a vaccine considered effective by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the World Health Organization.

About Dance for PD®

Dance for PD® in Mandarin is a program of Mark Morris Dance Group, presented in partnership with Queens Theatre with support from The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and the Parkinson’s Foundation. Registration for the live weekly classes is available online at Dance for PD® offers internationally‐acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease in Brooklyn, New York, and through our network of partners and associates in more than 300 other communities in 25 countries. In Dance for PD® classes, participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. A program of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance for PD® also provides teacher training, creates innovative instructional media, and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on our model are widely available. Evidence from 43 peer‐reviewed scientific studies serves to underpin the effectiveness and benefits of the Dance for PD teaching practice.

About the Mark Morris Dance Group and the MMDG Music Ensemble

Founded in New York City in 1980 by artistic director and choreographer Mark Morris, praised by The New York Times as “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical,” the Mark Morris Dance Group has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo‐Yo Ma). Its members have received the “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity.” (Bloomberg News). Live music and community engagement are vital components of the Mark Morris Dance Group, which has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble,  since 1996. The Mark Morris Dance Center, opened in Brooklyn in 2001, is the home of the Dance Group and provides educational opportunities in dance and music to people of all ages and abilities.

About Queens Theatre 

Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high-quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. QT presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, QT launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, QT has produced a range of digital programming – readings of new plays, wellness checks with performances for seniors, original dance showcases, a Storytellers series, an online round of its TFA training program for Deaf/Disabled actors, and more.