Dancing Benefits Arizona Stroke Survivors


A stroke can be a devastating blow to any family.  They not only affect the patient, but all those around them.  It can be tragic and heartbreaking for family members to see someone who was once vibrant and active, become less mobile and weak.  The recovery process can be long and hard, but there are options available that can benefit not only the patient, but friends and family as well.

Arizona Ballroom Champions has taken this topic and cause to heart.  The group offers dance classes for stroke survivors and their caregivers every Wednesday at the dance studio.

Arizona Ballroom Champions co-owner Shawn Nerdahl knows how much dancing can be an outlet:  “They take a moment for themselves and really live in the day.”

There are a lot of benefits that dance can provide to stroke survivors.  Dance can aid stroke victims with their movement, coordination and in addition, help with balance and flexibility which all can be affected by stroke.

Experts recommend people start with a freestyle-type dance class.  Once strength is regained, a choreographed class can be taken and where the folks at Arizona Ballroom Champions come in.  The group offers those types of classes for stroke survivors.  Whether it is the flair of a sassy salsa or the tempting tango, not only do the classes help to build and strengthen the individual’s balance and mobility, but the choreography they are learning helps strengthen their brain’s memory recall.

Shawn and his team not only understand how vital this can be for these survivors, but they are passionate about passing their love of dance and movement on to these individuals.  With patience, care and understanding, the group can take someone who may have shrunk into a wallflower and give them back some of the confidence they need to bloom again.

Arizona Ballroom Champions has partnered with Dignity Health Foundation East Valley to put on an extraordinary event titled, “Dancing for Stroke” on October 3, 2015.  This formal fundraising event will be a fun-filled evening of dinner, drinks and of course dancing at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler.  Doctors, nurses and support staff will be paired with professional dancers and compete in a Dancing with the Stars- like competition.  At 5:30 pm, the scrubs will turn to ball gowns and tuxedos then they’ll dance their way towards not only a trophy, but a possible solution for the cause with funds raised.

More information on the event and the classes offered can be found on azballroomchampions.com.