Multiple Sclerosis

Yes, You Can Dance! is proud to offer the MS Ballroom Program through a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Physical Therapy Department in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the MS Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Those with a confirmed diagnosis of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis are eligible to participate. No previous dance experience is necessary.  Each participant is paired with a trained Volunteer Dance Partner, who provides individual attention and support to his/her partner as they learn and practice various ballroom dances.  You may also attend with your own partner if you prefer.

More than just a fun activity or art form, dance is gaining attention as a health benefit in several different ways. We know that the brain exhibits plastic changes throughout life, rewiring its neural pathways in response to challenging situations. Activities such as partner dancing, which require split-second decision making, and the need to perform directional changes on a regular basis routinely force the brain to respond to new and challenging stimuli. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 (J Verghese) reports that dance is associated with a reduced risk of dementia—the only physical activity out of those studied to do so. While physical activity is important for everyone, particularly for those with chronic disease, not everyone can run a marathon. It is imperative, however, that people find a physical activity in which they can participate and enjoy doing…”enjoy” being the key. Dance not only provides a form of physical exercise, but also a fun, social experience, and we believe, is a stimulus for positive neuroplastic changes capable of improving both physical and cognitive functioning, while at the same time improving quality of life. Our hope is that people with MS who participate in our dance program will gain improvements in both physical functioning and quality of life, and ultimately, have the to confidence and ability to dance at family parties and social dance events in the Pittsburgh community.

The eight-week sessions are held weekly for one hour on Saturdays at noon at the Pitt School of  Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  MS Ballroom classes sessions are offered twice a year.

Try it out!  MS Ballroom students pay a mere $60.00, thanks to The MS Society of Western Pennsylvania, who generously underwrites half of each student’s $120 tuition.   If you decide that the MS Ballroom Program is not for you after the first class, you can get a $50 refund on your $60 tuition.  After the second class, you can get a $40 refund.

If you are interested in learning more or joining our next session, click here or email us at Volunteers, please email or call 412-341-1286 and we will place you on the roster.



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