ABOUT SARAH ROBICHAUD
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & FOUNDER
As the Founder and Executive Director of Dancing with Parkinson's, I have had the privilege to combine my passion with purpose every single day over the last 15 years. I began this program with the intent to help people living with PD find some joy in their movement through dance and the arts.
My interest in PD began in 2007 when I was helping Andy Barrie with functional exercise to help him stay strong and flexible as he managed his Parkinson's. I learned about the Mark Morris Dance Groups innovative PD dance program and was on the next flight to NYC to train with them. My life's trajectory changed when I saw the incredible transformation in the PD dance class that took place right before my eyes. I rushed back to Toronto and vowed to start offering PD dance classes for free.
A few years later my grandfather was diagnosed with PD and I was able to dance with him in his long-term care home until his final days. We have grown from one free dance class a week for people living with PD to over 15 in-person locations, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of March 2020, we began offering free online classes 7 days a week for all seniors to help combat social isolation. Now thousands of seniors from across the country tune in to see and engage with their dance family. It is such a joyful, inclusive place to come everyday to explore art and connection.
My vision is to bring dance, joy, laughter, hope and connection to those who need it the most in our country. It is always been so important to me to engage our participants as dancers. There are no patients at DWP, just artists.
I am honoured to have received an award from the MLSE and Raptors organization for the work we have done to keep seniors active, connected and engaged during Covid-19.
For more information about Sarah see: www.sarahrobichaud.com