Old Westbury woman starts dance class for others with Parkinson's disease
An Old Westbury mother of two is using a devastating diagnosis to help others fight their disease with positivity and perseverance.
Beth Hochstein was diagnosed just before her 37th year with young onset Parkinson's disease.
She says dance has helped her in dealing with symptoms from the disease, so she wanted to spread the message to everybody else "to keep moving and keep going."
Dance classes are now held for dozens of Long Islanders battling Parkson's disease thanks to a collaboration between Hochstein's Dance Party for Parkinson's Foundation and the Tilles Center. With the help of fundraisers, the class is offered free of charge.
"We try to have fun, smile and make people happy and make people forget about the fact that they have Parkinson's," Hochstein says.
Studies have shown that dance is beneficial for people suffering from Parkinson's disease by slowing its progression and improving overall movement.
The class has proven not only physically therapeutic but also has given students an emotional boost. Those struggling with movement and speech because of the disease say the dance lessons give them a sense of freedom.
"I love this dancing with Parkinson's," says Elizabeth Haller, of Bayville. "I get to meet up with other people that have the same disability and I've been helped with, some of the dance steps have just helped me."