I am not a dancer -- I am a clumsy reporter! At the age of 70, I also have Parkinson's Disease, but I still struggle to work, and have been covering the White House and the world since l968. Several things have helped me to keep going. They include terrific doctors (including my husband ), skiing, swimming, and now, some gentle, wonderful dance classes by the Bowen McCauley Dance company. They teach and perform for all groups of people -- those with and without disabilities, and sometimes those with little income, who may not have had the opportunity to learn beautiful, graceful, and athletic ballet and modern dance. The Company was formed in l996 by Lucy Bowen McCauley, who has her own health issues and is sensitive to the needs of others. None of us gets through life without some problems, so we all need help and understanding!
I have been a McCauley student in Virginia for about a year. Our class is taught by Joanna Estes Janascius, who manages some events and wears many hats for the company. She is warm, friendly and a terrific dancer. Often, my fellow Parkinson friends and I stagger into class, fatigued and in great pain. At the end of an hour, many of us feel on top of the world. I am awful and cannot move all of my body around, but still, I have never had so much fun in years!
If you want to see the real dancers of the McCauley Company, they have two performances at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on February 12 and 13. The theme is "An Evening to Love." I have seen one rehearsal and it was so beautiful it made me cry. The tickets are $40 to $45, or $125 for the performance and a Soiree at the Roof Terrace Restaurant after the Thursday performance. The event is a benefit, which helps support Bowen McCauley arts and education programs.
Like many organizations, BMD needs funding to continue their work. They have received generous contributions from the Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capitol Area, but they also have a variety of other programs to fund. Both are non profit organizations, and contributions are tax deductible.