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The Healing Powers of Dance

Dancing is more than fun — it's therapeutic

Valerie Perdue, 55, was diagnosed at age 42 with Sjögren's syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease that left her exhausted to the point of immobility and in debilitating pain. "The doctor told me, basically, I wasn't going to get well," says Perdue. Then a friend introduced her to a modern dance class. Although she only had the strength to watch, she "was so emotionally moved by its beauty," she kept going, and eventually was able to participate: First she'd just breathe deeply, and move her arms while seated, then could stand for longer periods during the class. After many years of dogged practice, Perdue says, "I became physically stronger, mentally clearer. It was so transformative and healing to me." … Back to Article

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