Teacher Training in Adapted Tango for Older Individuals and Those With Movement Disorders

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Teacher Training in Adapted Tango for Older Individuals and Those With Movement Disorders


Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder that impairs mobility, cognition and quality of life. Recent research has demonstrated the beneficial effects of an adapted form of Argentine tango (adapted tango) for people with Parkinson disease, including improved physical functioning, health-related quality of life, strength, balance, and walking ability. These benefits have also been demonstrated in older adults and people with other movement disorders. This workshop is designed to prepare personal trainers and dance/fitness instructors to provide safe and high quality partnered dance-based programming for older adults and people with mild-moderate PD.  The workshop will be taught by a top Parkinson disease rehabilitation researcher, Dr. Madeleine Hackney, who is also a certified personal trainer and former professional dancer. Participants will learn the 6 sections of the adapted tango class and a syllabus for 10 lessons. Didactic instruction will be paired with partnered dance-based exercise experiences to ensure that participants are well prepared to work with populations with special needs.

Register for Course

Click here to download a course brochure with additional information.


For: Certified personal trainers, group fitness instructors, dance instructors, physical therapists, occupational therapists

Credits: 1.2 CECs, Approved by the American Council on Exercise (ACE)

When: TBD

Location: TBD


1. Learn about the motor and sensory impairments experienced by adults with movement disorders. 

2. Experientially learn fall detection and prevention techniques.

3. Understand the theory behind the distinct sections of the Adapted tango class (greeting & warm-up, rhythmic entrainment, partnering enhancement, new steps of the day, amalgamating patterns & closing/cool-down).

4. Learn and practice the fundamental step elements comprising the first 10 lessons (Part I) of the 24 lesson Adapted Tango syllabus. (Part II will cover lessons 11-24 and should be taken after the Fundamentals workshop).

5. Gain the skills and knowledge needed to conduct fun, engaging, and safe Adapted tango classes for older individuals with movement disorders.


Madeleine E. Hackney, Ph.D., Certified ACE personal trainer

Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine; Research Health Scientist, Atlanta VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence