Wellness Classes

Here at the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, we believe in a whole body approach.

We feel that combined with modern treatments and cutting edge therapies, our variety of wellness classes offer a way to keep our patients on the right track to living their best life.

Offering classes like Yoga, Tai Chi, Boxing, and Dance free of charge to our patients; our hope is that you join us in our safe and comfortable setting. We understand that every day is different with a Movement Disorder and our instructors have a variety of tools and knowledge to meet the needs of our patients; however they may be feeling that day.

If you are interested in learning about the classes offered in each location along with the instructors, please select the location below. To register for the classes, please select “Book Now” and follow the instructions on the registration and scheduling webpage.

Cheshire

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.

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Suzanne SepeInstructor: Suzanne Sepe
Suzanne has been taking and/or teaching dance since she was a young teen in the early '70s, taking modern dance classes in her hometown of Darien, CT, until coming up to New Haven where she earned a BA in Art History with a Minor in Dance, concentrating on Modern and Theatre Dance. She was given her first opportunity to teach children in a Saturday program at Southern Connecticut State University. She went on to complete her certificate to teach K-6. While her child was small, Suzanne taught ballet, tap, and jazz at a studio in Monroe for seven years, working with children ages 3-14. She also taught fitness classes at several local gyms. In 2000, Suzanne activated her public school certificate, teaching first grade in the Hamden Public School System for ten years, during which time she earned her MS in Education.

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.

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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.

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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.

Vernon

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.

Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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