The Richmond Parkinson's Dance Project was founded in 2011 by Veronica Nugent in honor of her father, Gustav Milan Braun, who passed away from Parkinson's-related complications.
Dancing helped Veronica's father so much in his last years that she was inspired to spread same joy, life, and freedom of movement and mobility to people in her Richmond community with Parkinson’s Disease.
RPDP is based on the idea that professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to people with PD as stretching and strengthening muscles and improving core stability are key focuses of dance training. Our classes integrate movement from different styles of dance: modern, theater, ballet, folk, tap, improv, and ballroom to address PD-specific motor concerns like balance, flexibility, and coordination, while also providing a social environment to ease feelings of isolation and depression.
In 2015, Richmond Parkinson's Dance Project reached 501c3 status, allowing us to operate as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. In 2016, we were awarded the United Healthcare Grant, enabling us to build a wheelchair ramp for our studio at Simply Ballroom.