It Takes Two to Tango: Professors Work Together on Parkinson’s Study

A Kent State University professor is conducting a collaborative research project to studying how ballroom dance can help to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Angela Ridgel

Angela Ridgel, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise science and physiology in the College of Education, Health and Human Services, began the research with Joan Meggitt, who had been an associate professor of dance in the College of the Arts, using a $10,000 seed grant from Kent State’s Brain Health Research Institute. Since Meggitt has left academia, Ridgett said she would be continuing the project on her own and in conjunction with researchers at Ohio State University.

Michael Lehman, Ph.D., director of the institute, said the grants are available to encourage professors to start new research projects, but also to work in collaboration with researchers outside their departments.

The research project is called “Optimizing dance interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease and healthy older adults.”

Early research has shown that the tango offers some of the greatest benefits, Ridgel recently told the Record-Courier.

Ridgel developed the SMART Cycle, a therapeutic bike for Parkinson’s patients, and she has been researching the impact of exercise on the disease for many years.

Meggitt has taught a class called “Yes…I Can (!) Dance” for Parkinson’s patients for the past six years, at In Motion, a resource center in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, for people with motion disorders.

To read more about the professors’ research, visit

For more information about Ridgel and her work, visit


POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2019 - 10:12am
UPDATED: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 4:28pm
Lisa Abraham