New RSVP instructors trained for Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance

Special guest Riana Lewis, RSVP volunteer instructors and trainer Dawna Pidgeon, demonstrate the ‘Holding a Ball’ form. From left are Riana Lewis from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Betty Maute, Chuck Potter, Susan Lacey, Ellen Wahl and TJQMBB trainer Dawna Pidgeon.

OSWEGO COUNTY - Oswego County residents who have balance issues or the fear of falling will soon be able to join classes to help decrease their risk of falling by 55%. Recently, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) held a two-day training workshop for senior volunteer instructors for the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) program in Oswego County.

Dawna Pidgeon, a certified trainer from Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging led the training which included learning the eight forms of the program as well as additional aspects of instructing a class. A special guest from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Riana Lewis, visited the training and was able the see the new instructors in action. Once trained, these instructors can conduct classes of between eight and 15 students at sites located throughout the county.

This form of tai chi focuses on improving strength, balance, mobility, and daily functioning to help prevent falls in older adults and those with balance disorders. This unique approach offers a “yin-yang” style of prevention by combining states of instability with stability for equilibrium training. TJQMBB practice is a self-initiated program that emphasizes an orchestrated “movement sway” around ankle and hip joints, with control of one’s center of gravity, rotational weight shifting and eye-head-hand coordination.

Studies have proven that this form of exercise helps individuals gain lower limb muscle strength and sensory integration, as well as improvement in cognitive ability and balance. Participants in these classes had fewer falls and fewer fall injuries.

For more information about becoming an instructor or to be added to the participant wait list contact Oswego County RSVP at or call 315-312-2318.

Additional information about Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) is available at

RSVP of Oswego County is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the NYS Office for the Aging; SUNY Oswego and the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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