April 21, 2009 - A new program of dance classes for individuals of all ages with mental disabilities is now available in Harrogate, Tenn. The dance classes will take place in Room 105 of the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) building.

The dance classes are offered by Sunshine Ambassadors, Inc., an East Tennessee organization that teaches dance to children and adults with mental disabilities. Most students in the classes have Down’s Syndrome, but Sunshine Ambassadors also has experience working with individuals with autism.

There are no age restrictions on the classes, and the students simply need to be able to stand, walk and mimic another person’s actions. Classes are designed to build self-esteem, provide exercise, build friendships, develop social skills and encourage aspects of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Students receive a practice DVD to take home and the dancing in class is taught at a slow pace with lots of repetition. There is a suggested donation of $8.75 per session, but no one is turned away because of lack of funding.

Sunshine Ambassadors is currently seeking individuals interested in participating in the dance classes. Contact Lurley Noe, director of Sunshine Ambassadors, at (865) 219-8697 or if you are interested. Classes are scheduled for Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide healthcare in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, e-mail, or visit us online at

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