Linda Gattegno Berghoff
Dance Teacher, Board Member,"Dancing Through Parkinson's", and person living with Parkinson's Disease
Throughout Linda’s life, she has had a passion for music and dance, dancing recreationally and semi-professionally, performing in musicals, and teaching tap and ballet classes to children. When Linda was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2006, she feared that PD would bring an end to her ability to take dance classes--her most beloved activity. However, she continued to stay active and take Pilates, tap, jazz, hip hop, and Latin dance classes. While in NYC visiting her adult children and grandchildren, she learned of the "Dance for PD®" program at the renown Mark Morris Dance Center. The internationally-acclaimed program offered dance classes for people with PD, empowering them to explore movement and music in enjoyable, creative, and safe ways. When back in Los Angeles, Linda mentioned these extraordinary classes to her close friend and neighbor, Laura Karlin, the Artistic Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles performance company that was praised as "engaging" by the LA Times and as "one of the top trend-setting companies in Los Angeles." Laura Karlin, in her interest to make dance accessible to all, enrolled herself, Linda, and other dancers in "Dance for PD's" Teacher Training program in Brooklyn. By March 2011, Invertigo Dance Theatre launched Dancing Through Parkinson’s in Los Angeles, a program that provides weekly dance classes designed for people living with Parkinson’s disease, as well as for their friends, family, and care-partners. Since 2011, the Dancing Through Parkinson's program has expanded to six locations throughout the Los Angeles area, providing class members with inspiration, community, and renewed joy through movement. Linda is proud to collaborate with Invertigo Dance Theatre and to teach alongside other professional dancers in the creative DTP program. These invaluable dance classes bring body awareness, balance, rhythm, and especially, cheer, to its participants with PD. Each DTP class integrates movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk, jazz, hip hop, Latin and social dancing to engage participant's minds and bodies. The DTP classes have been featured on CBS News programs, NPR news, in local Los Angeles newspapers, and in many health magazines.