Little Big Ideas
October 19, 2019

Davis Phinney Foundation For Parkinson’s

Austin, TX - (October 19, 2019) A Parkinson’s Innovation Event. A dynamic, interactive event featuring thought leaders and innovators from around the world taking action to help people with Parkinson’s live better today. Together, let’s help shape the future of living well with Parkinson’s.

Dance To Prevent Decline: Dementia And Parkinson's

Ivanhoe Syndicated News Feed

San Antonio, TX KSAT news (June 2019)

How Improv Dance Helps People With Memory Loss

A piece on UNC-TV highlighting the research investigating improvised dance and memory loss.

2018 Influencers In Aging

Christina Soriano, MFA was recognized as one of Next Avenue’s 2018 Influencers in Aging. She was distinguished as one of 12 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts who continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older. Read more here:


The NIH-funded study involving the IMPROVment® method was highlighted on the local WXII12 News featuring Christina Hugenschmidt, PhD. To find out more, watch the full video here:

6 Outstanding Women of the Triad

In March 2018, Christina Soriano was recognized as one of six Outstanding Women of the Triad by ForSeniorsOnly Magazine. This article highlights her work at Wake Forest, in the Winston-Salem PD community,  her research collaboration, and the Intergenerational Dance Project.

Dance for Brain and Body Health: Artsblog by IMPROVment team member Kamryn King

Kamryn King, a student at Wake Forest University who assists Christina Soriano as a dance teacher and a research fellow, published a blog depicting her experiences and next steps on Artsblog For Professionals In the Know, part of Americans for the Arts.


State of the Arts: Right in the Moment

While in New York City for the APAP Conference, Christina Soriano and Christina Hugenschmidt were invited to two interviews with WBAI-FM free speech radio. The link features one of these interviews.


Striking a chord, NIH taps the brain to find how music heals

This article from The Associated Press spotlights NIH-funded studies investigating the brain, music, and dance.The IMPROVment® team's upcoming clinical trial, which aims to determine the mechanism by which dance improves quality of life in people living with mild cognitive impairment, was featured.


Arts Council 2017 Newsletter: Enriching your every day life

In a newsletter highlighting some of the various ways in which the arts serve the needs of the Winston-Salem community, Christina Soriano was interviewed about the improvisational dance interventions.



Dancer, conductor, supporter honored with Arts Council awards

 Christina Soriano received the Arts Educator Excellence Award that recognizes an educator or teaching artist who has enriched the education of the community’s youth and inspired the next generation of artists, patrons and creative individuals.

Smithsonian to display WFU research addressing global challenges

The IMRPOVment team, along with other projects at Wake Forest, was chosen to present at the ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival,  held at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. on October 13-15. This is a three-day celebration of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts, and design.

Study to examine how improvisational dance can help people with dementia

The upcoming clinical trial is gaining media attention as recruitment will soon commence for the study starting in January. This press release is by News Medical.

A big step? Trial will test improvisational dance as dementia therapy

Check out this press release from Wake Forest News, highlighting the research team's upcoming three-year-long clinical trial that will commence in January 2018. The $1.5 million grant from the NIH will allow researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest University to determine if this type of self-generativemovement can improve gait and balance problems associated with cognitive impairment and memory loss, as well as improve quality of life issues, such as apathy and depression.

Study to determine if dance could help people living with dementia

Fox News interviewed Christina Soriano, Christina Hugenschmidt, two weekly Parkinson's movement class participants, and a participant caretaker to shine a light on the impact IMRPOVment has had on those affected with neurodegenerative disease and their loved ones, to spark recruitment for an upcoming 3-year long study funded by the National Institute of Health. This study will look at the mechanisms by which spontaneous movement improves quality of life for people with mild cognitive impairment.

Arts festival will highlight artistic talents of 60-plus crowd

Check out this article about the Second Spring Arts Festival, at which Christina Soriano was the keynote speaker.

Aging Out Loud

A great article spotlighting Carol Roan, a long-time IMPROVment® dancer with an inspiring story and perspective.

The Art of Aging

Check out David Ford's piece on Christina's work with Parkinson's in the Winston-Salem community. The interview features Christina, her class members, and her colleague, Christina Hugenschmidt.

Reynolda House, Wake Forest University Presents 'Dancing with Parkinson's' Sunday at the Museum

Documentary Film:  People with Parkinson's Disease Coming Together

Center for Design Innovation

This documentary film follows a 2012 collaborative study investigating the effects of improvisational dance methods on people with Parkinson's Disease. A team of physical therapists, scientists, dancers, animators, and people living with PD met in Winston-Salem, NC for seven weeks at a local dance studio. The project combined an improvisational dance curriculum with techniques for high-speed, 3D motion capture, visualization, and analysis. The results suggest that improvisation helps patients develop self-generating strategies for improved independence and quality of life.