Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Music and Dance

First Advisor

Laura Zimmerman

Second Advisor

David M. Pierce

Third Advisor

Diane L. Winder


Moving Wheels and Heels is a Dance Therapy workshop in White Planes, New York for adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. Following a daily schedule, the dancers led by Sabatino Verlezza, Barbara Verlezza, and Nancy Lushington take part in May O'Donnell dance technique classes and choreograph themed pieces for the final performance at the end of the week-long workshop. One of the participants is a dancer with Down syndrome and inspired further research into the benefits of dancing for persons with Down syndrome. Dancing works to target and improve genetic, structural and muscular weaknesses, masks the task with an enjoyable activity, and increases social and emotional experiences and feelings. Materials provided include: description of fieldwork as an intern for Moving Wheels and Heels, gathered research on Down syndrome and Dance Therapy, and an interview with Barbara Verlezza.

Included in

Dance Commons