Soriano named a 2018 Influencer in Aging

Associate Professor of Dance and Associate Provost for Arts and Interdisciplinary Initiatives Christina Soriano has been named a 2018 Influencer in Aging by Next Avenue.

Soriano is one of 12 individuals recognized for their tireless work, passion and mission to unleash the potential power of older adults.

Soriano is the founder of IMPROVment ®, a program focused on physical and mental fitness for those with neurodegenerative diseases. Since 2012, she has led free weekly community dance classes in Winston-Salem for people living with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Along with Christina Hugenschmidt, an assistant professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Soriano recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a three-year clinical trial focused on improvisational dance. The goal is to learn how dance affects different body systems and to determine whether the movement aspect or the social engagement aspect — or both — affect quality of life in people with dementia.

“Shy of becoming a parent, this has been the most meaningful experience of my life. It all began with an invitation to do something I didn’t know anything about, but I want to continue doing this work, bringing it out there to others,” Soriano said.

Read more in this Q&A at Next Avenue.

Next Avenue is a national journalism service for America’s older population.