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WED 25 OCT // 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Primary Content Focus: Arts & Neuroscience

Secondary Content Focus: Neurodegenerative Disease (e.g. MS, Parkinson’s disease)

Tertiary Content Focus: Complementary Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine

In recent years, research has demonstrated the beneficial effects of diverse forms of exercise, including dance, for social, physical and emotional aspects of well being for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and older adults. To provide services that address multiple needs of older adults as well as people with PD, this teacher training course for Adapted tango dance fundamentals has been created. This course includes background information about mobility challenges those with PD and older adults face, research that supports adapted tango classes’ efficacy, pedagogical and logistical tools for providing safe and effective partnered dance classes.


  1. Describe motor and sensory impairments of older adults with movement disorders and demonstrate fall detection and prevention techniques
  2. Discuss the theory behind the distinct sections of the adapted tango class
  3. Demonstrate and guide a fellow student in the fundamental step elements comprising the first 4 lessons of the 24 lesson adapted tango syllabus
  4. Demonstrate skills and knowledge for conducting interesting, and safe adapted tango classes for older individuals, and those with movement disorders


Madeleine Hackney, PhD
Emory University School of Medicine


Dr. Madeleine E. Hackney, Ph.D, holds a BFA in Dance from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Movement Science from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer since 2000. She is a Research Health Scientist at the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation and Assistant professor of Medicine, in the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Hackney’s work has characterized the effects of gender, attention, disease and unfamiliar skills on locomotion by examining backward and dual task gait. She has designed and analyzed challenging exercise programs, e.g., traditional exercise, Tai Chi, partnered dance & tango classes for people with Parkinson Disease (PD), older adults with visual and/or sensorimotor impariment, and serious mental illness. Dr. Hackney’s research has been funded by the VA, the National Science Foundation, the National Parkinson’s Foundation, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health. Currently, Dr. Hackney is keenly interested in identifying movement programming, pedagogical methods of movement instruction, and related aspects (i.e., music accompaniment, assisting devices and tools, environment) that will optimize group physical activities for older populations. Dr. Hackney is using functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques for her VA project to identify changes in neural pathways which have been affected by effective internally or externally guided training. Her research has received media coverage in the New York Times, Scientific American, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, National Public Radio and in Musicophilia, by Oliver Sachs. She is the recipient of the 2015 Selma Jeanne Cohen Award from the Fulbright Association and was a finalist for the Atlanta Magazine 2016 Groundbreaker of the Year.


ACRM Annual ConferenceProgress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR#2017)

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*For the latest programming info, schedule, session and faculty details, and room locations, please see the Searchable Online Program & Scheduler and/or the ACRM App.  Although significant changes are not anticipated, the schedules, sessions, and presenters posted on this website are subject to change.