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Adaptive Dance for Down Syndrome & Parkinson’s

Proudly underwritten by Spectrum Health, the preferred medical provider of Grand Rapids Ballet.

At Grand Rapids Ballet School, we believe in the therapeutic power of dance. That’s why our Adaptive Dance program offers “Explorer Dance” for children with Down syndrome and “Moving with Parkinson’s.” We also take the power of dance to our community through partnerships with schools throughout Grand Rapids and West Michigan with Dance Immersion and Escape to the Ballet. These Adaptive Dance classes allow students to experience the joy of dancing who may otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. Classes are held at Meijer-Royce Center for Dance.

Explorer Dance for Down Syndrome

Grand Rapids Ballet School is committed to supporting people with Down syndrome to live fulfilling and productive lives. This 45-minute class, designed for children five and older, focuses on using dance movements to increase muscle tone, coordination, and ability to interact in a group setting. The result is a supportive environment where students form strong, lasting friendships.

2019-20 School Year begins September 9, 2019

Dress Code
Girls: Black leotard, black leggings, and pink ballet shoes
Boys: Black pants, black socks, black ballet shoes, and plain white t-shirt

Wednesday 5:30-6:15pm

Holland Area Arts Council

Ages 10 and up

Students are required to participate in a placement class to ensure proper placement in the program. Call 616.454.4771 x17 to arrange a placement class for your child. The age designation identified below is to be used as a guide only and does not necessarily mean student placement in the indicated class.

Moving with Parkinson’s

Because there is no cure for this chronic and progressive disorder, many patients turn to therapy to maintain some degree of independence—and we’re here to provide it in a less traditional, more holistic way. This doesn’t feel like a doctor’s office; you’re in a dance studio that’s invigorating and restorative while providing you with a true sense of community. It’s so much more than an exercise class. Join us and find out for yourself or tell someone you love today!

Dress Code
Comfortable, loose clothing.

Evergreen Commons in Holland, Michigan

  • • Mondays at 11:15am

Meijer Royce Center for Dance in Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • • Mondays at  7:15pm
  • • Tuesdays at 12pm

Covenant Village in Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • • Wednesdays at 2pm

Conductive Learning Center of North America in Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • • Thursdays 2pm


  • • Free

A generous $7,500 grant from the Parkinson’s Association of  West Michigan allows us to offer Moving with Parkinson’s classes free of charge. This is the third grant we have received from them and they have contributed $17,500 over the past 4 years.

A generous $15,000 grant from Spectrum Health supports Moving with Parkinson’s classes, Explorer Dance, Lincoln School dance class for students with Autism, and secure its position as our official sports medicine provider.

Holland Home offers ballet classes to residents

‘Moving with Parkinson’s’ aims to improve quality of life on day-to-day basis.

By Danielle Nelson for Grand Rapids Business Journal

Holland Home is partnering with the Grand Rapids Ballet School to offer ballet classes at its Raybrook campus starting in October, once per week, over the course of the next year.

The 45-minute “Moving with Parkinson’s” dance class is geared toward residents with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

The foundation stated the symptoms include tremors, bradykinesia, limb rigidity, gait and balance problems. Alisha Van Epps, fitness manager and personal trainer at Holland Home, said although the classes are geared toward residents with Parkinson’s, any resident can join.

The classes will be conducted by Attila Mosolygo, the school’s director. He became the director of Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company in 2011 and was later named the school director in 2017. He has choreographed Snow White, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, among other performances.

“The participants will start the class sitting in chairs,” he said. “They will start with basic warm-up exercises based on basic ballet vocabulary and movements. This will progress to stretches and rhythmical movements and improvisation to the music they hear. The class will end with center work without the chairs. (Our goal is) to increase their quality of life on a day-to-day basis, develop a closer sense of community for them and introduce them to freedom of movement.”

Although the scheduled classes have not started, residents will get a chance to experience what it will be like this week, when Holland Home celebrates Active Aging Week.

“The benefits of the class are dance, movement, flexibility, balance, strength,” Van Epps said. “All of those are things that people with Parkinson’s can really benefit from increasing. What is really nice about the dance piece of it is that not only they can incorporate the physical activity, like exercise, but there are also cognitive aspects. There is live music and the instructor does a nice job incorporating emotional expression and then there is a social interaction piece, as well. So, it is not just an exercise class.”

Marenta Klinger, director of resident life of Holland Home, said the Moving with Parkinson’s dance class falls under Holland Home’s Vibrant Living program. The program has five components, which are spiritual fulfillment, social engagement, physical wellness, intellectual discovery and emotional well-being.

“This opportunity, this collaboration falls right in line with Vibrant Living,” Klinger said. “It ticks off the five components, and it provides the highest quality of life for the residents that we serve, which is our ultimate goal. We are really excited that this will be a fun class, a positive class, a positive environment. We thought it was neat that the instructor refers to the participants as dancers. It is just something that is totally new and unique for our residents.”

Payment Options:
1 – Pay in full for the entire year by September 9, 2019 and receive an 8% discount (reflected above in yearly price)
2 – Pay by semester – payment due no later than September 9, 2019 and January 27, 2020
3 – Pay monthly – nine payments charged automatically on the first Monday of each month, September through May. An 8% fee is included in the monthly cost to cover administrative and processing fees

Families who enroll multiple dancers will receive an overall 10% discount. The Sibling/Family Discount is not available to students who receive financial aid.

*Monthly payment option requires payment by credit card, kept on file. Scheduled holidays, breaks and weather-related school closings do not alter monthly tuition.

Terms and Conditions:

Grand Rapids Ballet School maintains a policy of offering no refunds. Once the program in question has begun, tuition is non-refundable and if unused will be received as a donation.

All returned checks are subject to a $25 fee.  Students with outstanding balances from the previous term will not be permitted to re-enroll until all accounts are made current.

All students are charged a $20 registration fee. Online registration requires a $10 processing fee.

Please note: The School does not accept responsibility for injury or trauma incurred by any student.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Each year the GRBS awards $68,000 in financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need or artistic excellence. The financial aid fund is made possible through contributions by Wege Foundation, Beusse & Porter Family Foundation, James H. Schindler, and Stephen Dunker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Families interested in applying for financial aid should submit an application form to Grand Rapids Ballet School.

Ballet Program Handbook

Download the 2019-20 Grand Rapids Ballet School Handbook below.

Financial Aid Application

Download the 2019-20 Financial Aid Application below.