Classes & Support Groups

The Chase Family Movement Disorders Center is dedicated to educating the community through outreach education programs and support groups.

We offer numerous virtual support groups for those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their caregivers. Through these support groups, you will have the opportunity to talk with others living with PD and learn about various treatment methods and wellness opportunities. 


 

Wellness Classes

 

Cheshire

Exercise & Boxing

Boxing is a non-combat workout that inspires people to fight back against their movement disorder. It boosts strength, increases hand-eye coordination, improves posture, increases cognitive processing skills, relieves soft-voice symptoms, improves balance and mobility, among many other benefits.

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Laura Bellizzi

Instructor: Laura Bellizzi

Laura Bellizzi, from Beat Parkinson’s Today, graduated from Bryant University in 1985 with a business degree and has worked in various Finance, Marketing and Sales positions in the Greater Hartford area. Laura made a career change after her second child was born, who required the help of an Occupational Therapist to learn how to eat. In 2004 she graduated from Springfield College with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Her experience has primarily been with the senior population with a focus on wellness, safety and successful aging in place. In 2016 she became certified in LSVT-Big, a research-based exercise protocol for people with Parkinson’s Disease. She has seen first-hand how exercise and LSVT-Big have been able to transform peoples’ lives. 


Dance

Dance classes invite people with movement disorders to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence. The program uses dance to empower people with movement disorders and their care partners and families to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.

Book Now
 

Suzanne ServissInstructor: Suzanne Serviss
Suzanne began studying dance in Boston at The Joy of Movement Center. In 1978, she was invited to join Expansions Dance Company led by Consuelo Atlas Baraka, one of the original members of the Alvin Ailey Company. She remained with the company until she moved to New Haven, dancing several solo roles with the company.

In New Haven, Suzanne discovered the Dance Alliance. She danced in performances with choreography by Andy De Groat, Kevin King, and members of Twyla Tharp Dance and Viola Farber Company.

She was then invited to join Barbara Feldman and Dancers, a new company. What began as one performance developed into a 25-year career with many talented dancers, musicians, costume designers, actors, lighting designers, and stage managers.

Suzanne's teaching experience includes classes at Yale from 1984-1993, Milford Arts Council, Lee Lund School of Dance, and New Haven Ballet summer programs. She is the Director of Senior Yoga for Yoga4Change of CT, bringing yoga and mindful movement to underserved populations such as senior centers, low-income housing, and community centers.

Returning to dance was a joy as she studied with Mark Morris Dance Group in several beginning and advanced programs for Dance for PD. She was hired at Neighborhood Music School as the Preschool dance teacher and then as a teaching artist for the Dance Department teaching modern and ballet. Suzanne holds a certification in Yoga Dance from Kripalu and a NASM certification in Corrective Exercise. She practiced and competed in ballroom dance for a year, taught dance for a special education program in Cheshire, and led classes for people in adult daycare. Most recently, she participated in an intensive embodiment/mindfulness dance course through Azul as well as Yoga and Mindfulness for Children through The Child Training Institute. Suzanne also has a small life coaching practice.

Suzanne is grateful for her precious and loyal students in modern and ballet at NMS and is excited about delving ever deeper into dance in her personal practice and with her students, using the tools and gifts of technique, play, dance history, embodiment, human anatomy, mindfulness, and the wisdom of experience.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient practice that originated in China as a martial art. Today, Tai Chi is also well-known around the globe for its many health benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, focus, and relaxation, as well as improving immune system function and much more.

Book Now
 

Risa Gaull, MQTInstructor: Risa Gaull, MQT
Risa has B.S. in Health/Fitness, has been teaching Tai Chi and QiGong for over 20 years, and is the Founder of Full Circle Wellness in CT. She has specialized training in Medical QiGong - using particular exercises to stimulate and balance energy in the body for disease prevention and healing. Risa also offers individual Medical QiGong Therapy (like acupuncture without needles), and virtual Energy Healing sessions.


Yoga

Yoga is a great life skill for people living with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. Paying attention to your breath to calm the nervous system, bringing awareness to the body, increasing flexibility to spine and all joints, developing core muscle strength to support balance can all bring ease to the body. An additional benefit is increased confidence and grace in the body. Small improvements of flexibility can have far reaching benefits for the quality of daily living.

Book Now
 

Lisa EberhardtInstructor: Lisa Eberhardt
Lisa Eberhardt has been teaching yoga since 2001 after receiving her initial teaching certification from the Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, MA. Since that time, she has studied with numerous internationally known yoga teachers and has incorporated a blend of all that she has learned into her own unique teaching style. She has taught classes to a variety of students in various settings, from preschools and yoga studios to senior centers and assisted living facilities. For over seventeen years, Lisa has taught classes for the Cromwell Senior Center. She has worked with students with various health concerns, including cancer, joint replacements and limited cognitive functioning. She is a compassionate teacher who is attentive to her students’ needs offering individual modifications so that each of her students can confidently participate in the practice of yoga and realize their fullest potential. In addition, Lisa is certified in Reflexology which is an alternative therapy working reflex points (typically on the feet) to stimulate circulation and relaxation.

Mystic

Dance

Dance classes invite people with movement disorders to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence. The program uses dance to empower people with movement disorders and their care partners and families to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.

Book Now
 

Clare ByrneInstructor: Clare Byrne
Clare is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and musician. In New York City, she was the director of Clare Byrne Dance from 1998-2008 and also a founding member of Nicholas Leichter Dance. She also taught in the academic dance programs at Muhlenberg College, Long Island University in Brooklyn, and Manhattanville College. After receiving her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Dance, she moved to Vermont where she was a Full-time Lecturer in Dance in the Department of Music & Dance at the University of Vermont from 2010-2018, and a member of Dance Tramp, a choreographic collective based in Burlington. She has taught all levels of contemporary and ballet dance technique, composition, improvisation, dance history, and seminars on dance and gender studies. She currently accompanies ballet classes on piano at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and is a Masters student in Religion and Music at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient practice that originated in China as a martial art. Today, Tai Chi is also well-known around the globe for its many health benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, focus, and relaxation, as well as improving immune system function and much more.

Book Now
 

David ChandlerInstructor: David Chandler
David Chandler discovered Tai Chi more than 40 years ago as a way to manage his own sports related back injury. Since that time, David has both studied and taught all over the world. He has a Master's degree in Integrative Health and is the founder and director of Eagle's Quest Tai Chi & Healing Center.


Exercise & Boxing

Boxing is a non-combat workout that inspires people to fight back against their movement disorder. It boosts strength, increases hand-eye coordination, improves posture, increases cognitive processing skills, relieves soft-voice symptoms, improves balance and mobility, among many other benefits.

Book Now
 

Meghan Ducharme Instructor: Meghan Ducharme 

Meghan Ducharme became a Rock Steady boxing coach to help fight back against Parkinson's disease. She works full time as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Her passion of kickboxing and the need to help her patients aligned with this incredible program. She is passionate about health and fitness in her personal life allowing her to better help others. Meghan became a Certified Health Coach with additional certifications in Food as Medicine and Exercise is Medicine. Most recently she added to her credentials by becoming a Senior Fitness Specialist. Meghan's combined knowledge and experience allow her to help those around her live their best lives! 

Yoga

Yoga is a great life skill for people living with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. Paying attention to your breath to calm the nervous system, bringing awareness to the body, increasing flexibility to spine and all joints, developing core muscle strength to support balance can all bring ease to the body. An additional benefit is increased confidence and grace in the body. Small improvements of flexibility can have far reaching benefits for the quality of daily living.

Book Now
 

Mayra UrsinInstructor: Mayra Ursin
We would like to introduce you to our Yoga instructor for our Mystic office, Mayra Ursin. She has studied at Kripalu, Omega, Yoga Zone, Jivamukti, Innerlight, IYI, YogaWorks, Eyes on the World Yoga, Sacred Movement, and others. Mayra is a certified IYT teacher, and a Registered Yoga Teacher at the highest level.

Vernon

Exercise & Boxing

Boxing is a non-combat workout that inspires people to fight back against their movement disorder. It boosts strength, increases hand-eye coordination, improves posture, increases cognitive processing skills, relieves soft-voice symptoms, improves balance and mobility, among many other benefits.

Book Now
 

Donna DeeInstructor: Donna Dee

Donna Dee, from Beat Parkinson’s Today, is certified in ASFA Senior Fitness Instructor, ASFA Cycling Instructor, Tivity Silver Sneakers Classic, Tivity Silver Sneakers Boom Move, and Tivity Silver Sneakers Foundations. According to Donna, “A large part of being a trainer is seeing the sense of accomplishment in the participants. They are so proud of themselves and I am proud of them. It is such a satisfying feeling helping them to fight the fight. I also love the sense of “family” in the classes”.

Dance

Dance classes invite people with movement disorders to experience the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence. The program uses dance to empower people with movement disorders and their care partners and families to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.

Book Now
 

Amy ValenteInstructor: Amy Valente

Amy began dancing at the age of 18months, grateful to have her mother as her first Dance Teacher. She grew up in her life. Dance was her first language over the spoken word!

She continued classes and performing until 2016. She was a Modern Dance Major at North Carolina School of the Performing Arts, performed with 2 Modern Dance Companies based in Connecticut and began teaching Modern Dance/Creative Movement at Yale in 2001.

She was introduced to Yoga through her Dance classes at Yale and has continued her path as a student of body anatomy, mechanics, and movement. She is an instructor of Let Your Yoga Dance (which brings her two loves, Dance and Yoga into a beautiful creative flow!!) which she teaches on the chair as well as standing. Her training includes Silver Age Yoga, Adaptive Yoga, Tai Chi Easy, and Qigong. She is a 500-hour Yoga Teacher ... she works with Yoga4Change bringing Yoga and Yoga Dance to less fortunate communities (mostly the elderly and mentally challenged). She also offers Modern Dance and Creative Movement Classes. She loves to learn and grow and share the gifts of Dance and Yoga.

"I am honored and excited to participate in this amazing program!", says Amy.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient practice that originated in China as a martial art. Today, Tai Chi is also well-known around the globe for its many health benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, focus, and relaxation, as well as improving immune system function and much more.

Book Now
 

Risa Gaull, MQTInstructor: Risa Gaull, MQT
Risa has B.S. in Health/Fitness, has been teaching Tai Chi and QiGong for over 20 years, and is the Founder of Full Circle Wellness in CT. She has specialized training in Medical QiGong - using particular exercises to stimulate and balance energy in the body for disease prevention and healing. Risa also offers individual Medical QiGong Therapy (like acupuncture without needles), and virtual Energy Healing sessions.


Yoga

Yoga is a great life skill for people living with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. Paying attention to your breath to calm the nervous system, bringing awareness to the body, increasing flexibility to spine and all joints, developing core muscle strength to support balance can all bring ease to the body. An additional benefit is increased confidence and grace in the body. Small improvements of flexibility can have far reaching benefits for the quality of daily living.

Book Now
 

Linda DerickInstructor: Linda Derick
Linda Derick, MA, MA, RYT, LMsT, has been practicing yoga for 50 years and has been a licensed massage therapist for 40 years. She was the Director of the CT Center for Massage Therapy for 20 years, retiring recently to return to her roots and the work that she loves; her massage therapy practice and teaching yoga. She was certified by the American Canoe Association as a Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) instructor in 2014 and after graduating from the Sacred Rivers 200-hour certification program, became a Yoga Alliance certified instructor in 2015. She runs the SUP Yoga program on Andover Lake in the summer. She teaches all-level yoga classes as well as yoga for people with movement disorders.

 

 

Support Groups and Clubs

 

Parkinson’s Living Room

Description: Virtual support group for people with Parkinson’s disease and Care Partners. Guests from various disciplines, such as physical therapists, home care agencies, and speech professionals, provide valuable information with time to ask questions.
Dates/Times: Fourth Friday of every other month, at 1:00 p.m.
Additional Information: Download the flyer or contact our office for details @ 860.870.6385.

Download the flyer

In-Person Caregivers Support Group

Description: Support group for caregivers/care-partners with spotlights on various topics. Leading with a brief clinician presentation will follow an opportunity for participants to share and contribute thoughts and experiences related to the topic.
Locations:

100 Perkins Farm Drive
Wellness Room
Mystic, CT 06355
Directions >>

Dates/Times: Third Tuesday of the month, at 10:00 a.m.

Download the flyer

Book Now

35 Talcottville Road
Wellness Room

Vernon, CT, 06066
Directions >>

Dates/Times: First Friday of the month, at 10:30 a.m. 

Download the flyer

Book Now

Parkinson's Disease Journal Club

Description: Medical information at your fingertips! Virtual group where we will be discussing a new clinical trial, medication, or exciting new research. This is an engaging, back-and-forth conversation to keep you appraised of all of the ground breaking research being conducted in the world of Parkinson’s Disease. A week before the meeting you will be sent the medical article to read and digest. Active participation is encouraged! Please note there is a limit capacity.
Registration Information: Click the button below

Book Now

Parkinson's Disease 101

Description: Parkinson's Disease 101
Registration Information: Click the button below

Book Now


Additional Classes & Events (Movement Disorders)


Additional Classes & Events (Parkinson's)


Movement Center

Patient Support

Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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    Phone: 860.870.6385
    Fax: 860.870.0625

  • Clínica Hispana del Centro de Trastornos del Movimiento Chase Famil

    Teléfono: 860.870.6385 
    Fax: 860.870.0625

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