Adaptive Dance Programs

For more than 15 years Hubbard Street’s Education, Youth and Community Programs have created inclusive classrooms where everyone is welcome to dance. Our Adaptive Dance Program focuses on participants’ strengths — on their talents and potential, as they learn to see themselves as we see them: dancers and choreographers. The Adaptive Dance Program currently includes The Parkinson’s Project (the Midwest’s oldest dance program for Parkinson’s patients), and The Autism Project.

Fall classes for the Autism Project will begin August 31, 2015.  Registration will open
July 1, 2015. To be added to our email list please
fill out the Interest form.

Questions? Please email

Support the program: Lend your support by making a tax-free charitable contribution today.


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is proud to offer the oldest Parkinson's dance program in the Midwest, Hubbard Street Parkinson's Project. The program uses contemporary dance techniques to work to slow the progress of the disease, as well as providing a community of support for our students.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder with symptoms such as tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness in movement, and postural instability. Live musical accompaniment, dance, and a positive atmosphere help our participants improve mobility and overall well-being.

Kathryn Humphreys, Director of Youth, Education, and Community Programs, explains about the program, "This is a dance class that combines the artistry of dance with live music to encourage one's natural instincts for movement and the benefits that movement can produce physically and socially. It's an opportunity for participants and their loved ones to do something fun together."

All Hubbard Street Parkinson's Project dancers explore improvisation, technique and artistry in the long-running class and community. Classes are designed to be drop-in for participants or as multiple opportunities for dancers to meet and learn together. Pre-registration is required for attendance but there is no cost to join.

The Parkinson's Project runs September through June with classes that meet weekly and monthly. Please see the detailed calendar at the bottom of this page for any holidays or breaks when class is not offered. There is no cost for these classes, the program is completely underwritten by our generous sponsors.

Interested in observing a class? Please Register here

What class participants are saying:

"As we dance together, we forget physical limitations typically associated with Parkinson’s Disease…Instead, we focus on possibilities and find inspiration through the possibilities."

"By challenging me to moves and balances I would never have done on my own, I have been able to expand my physical capacities which had been dormant."

"I move more freely by the end of class, and my movements are more fluid the next day. But aside from improved movement, my spirit is better. I have shown MYSELF that I can do something that in the everyday world people would say 'Stop! You can't do that. You will hurt yourself.'"


2015 Spring Session

THURSDAYS, 1 pm – 2:15 pm
March 19, 26
April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21, 28

April 18
May 16


Hubbard Street’s Adaptive Dance Programs create environments in which everyone dances. The Autism Project (TAP) focuses on students' strengths — on their talents and potential, as they learn to see themselves as we see them: as dancers and choreographers. This clear, structured curriculum, developed collaboratively with the Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays at the University of Illinois at Chicago (RCADD), uses dance-specific visual supports to ensure success for all students. Students explore dance technique and the choreographic process using developmentally appropriate methods, supported by a 1:1 teacher/student ratio if needed. The Autism Project classes are held August - May, with two class offerings: one for students ages 5–8, and a second for students ages 9–14.

Hubbard Street’s Autism Project began with findings and research gathered from work with students on the autism spectrum, in both inclusion and Special Education classrooms, as part of our school partnerships with the Oak Park School District and the Chicago Public Schools. Hubbard Street continues this work in schools, utilizing the supports developed for this studio program, under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Classes utilize Hubbard Street’s Creative Movement curriculum, with developmentally appropriate structures, to provide continuity and promote comfort through routine, as well as clear visual supports, developed by RCADD and Hubbard Street, to facilitate success with all students. Families are provided with Social Stories prior to the start of class to help familiarize students with class structure, location, and concepts. Please note, these classes are not therapy (although therapeutic benefits may be gained), but are regular dance classes. All participating staff have received additional training in the specific needs of students with Autism and the curriculum has been created with the support of staff from RCADD, as well as members of Hubbard Street’s Adaptive Dance Advisory Committee.




Join Us!

If you are interested in joining us for one of Hubbard Street's Adaptive Dance Programs, please complete and submit a registration form.

The Autism Project
Registration Spring 2015 session is full. To receive notification of the next session registration, please fill out the form below.

The Parkinson's Project
Parkinson's classes are open to new students year round.

Please contact the Education & Community Programs department at
or 312-850-9744, ext. 194 to


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Kathryn Humphreys Director of Hubbard Street Youth, Education, and 
Community Programs
Kristen Jacobson Manager of Hubbard Street Youth &
Community Programs
Advisory Committee
David Amaral Red Kite Project Chicago Children's Theatre
Rebecca Boudos Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Jessica Bucher Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Laura Downey Columbia College Chicago, Creative Arts Therapies
Sarah Fuller Founding Teaching Artist, Hubbard Street Parkinson's Project
Cindy Housner Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association
Susan Imus Columbia College Chicago, Creative Arts Therapies
Joshua Krasne Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays
Apryl Levy Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays
Cheryl Olendzki Hubbard Street Teaching Artist
Paul Sznewajs Ingenuity Inc. and Snow City Arts
Ellen Tanner Occupational Therapist
M.K. Victorson Hubbard Street Teaching Artist and Dance Teacher at Murphy School
Donna Williams Rehabilitation/Physical Therapist Rush Orthopedics
Jennifer Wolff Occupational Therapist

Adaptive Dance Program
Hubbard Street Parkinson's
Project Sponsor