Alzheimer’s Cases Expected To Continually Rise, Dance Performance To Showcase Talents Of Older Women, Wisconsin Faces More Flooding

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Dancer Heidi Latsky will be performing in this weekend’s “Dancing on The Ceiling” Show.
Photo by Darial Sneed

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Alzheimer’s cases in America will likely triple by 2060. We find out what’s leading to this prediction and some preventive treatment for the disease. We also learn about a dance performance in Madison this weekend that will exclusively feature women over age 50. And we get a state flooding update on the hardest hit areas.

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  • 'Dancing On The Ceiling' Performance Showcases Female Dancers Over 50

    A dance performance putting the spotlight on female dancers over the age of 50 is coming to Madison this weekend.

    Seven women will take the stage to perform solo dance routines in a performance called “Dancing on the Ceiling” on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

    For an art form that typically features younger performers, mature dancers still contribute in an important way that lead to a richer, more nuanced performance, said Simone Ferro, chair of the UW-Milwaukee Department of Dance.

    Simone Ferro. Photo by Meredith W. Watts.

    “Of course, athleticism is one part,” she said. “But there is this wisdom that is provided by that mature body that is undeniable, and this is I think what we bring to the performance.”

    While age has changed the way she approaches dance, she hasn’t let it hold her back from taking risks, said Li Chiao-Ping, Vilas research professor at the UW-Madison Dance Department and one of the performers.

    “I know that myself, as a dancer choreographing on my own body, that I have to work with what I have,” she said. “I have … visions of what I like to be doing and I probably push that edge a lot.”

    But it has also brought a newfound depth to her performances, she said.

    Li Chiao-Ping. Photo by Meredith W. Watts.

    Born out of a wish to see more unconventional performances in dance, Ferro saw an opportunity to connect with other dance instructors around the country. This weekend marks the performance’s third incarnation.

    Each of the solo performances is a reflection on the dancer’s lives and experiences, she said.

    Along the way, Ferro said women have told her that they feel represented and connected to the performers, which she said comes from seeing other women do something untraditional.

    “As the body ages, the body becomes in our society almost insignificant,” she said. “Where women are working with their bodies and with their capabilities … when we share those experiences, we are sharing the stances of pain, of happiness, also of transcendence.”

    Regardless of skill, Chiao-Ping encourages people of all ages to dance.

    “I firmly believe in one being able to dance through life. And I think that we can enter into the dance at all stages throughout our lives,” she said.

  • A Quest To Prevent Alzheimer's Disease Amid Bleak Prediction

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it expects the number of Alzheimer’s cases in America to nearly triple by 2060. We discuss the agency’s reasoning for the prediction. We also talk with a Milwaukee psychologist about her search to find a preventive treatment for the disease.

  • 'Dancing On The Ceiling' Features Talents Of Female Dancers Over Fifty

    A Madison dance performance puts the spotlight on female dancers over the age of fifty in a show called “Dancing on the Ceiling”. We’ll talk to the show’s organizer and a performer about the experience of being an older women in the dance industry and the joy dancing can continually bring.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Natalie Guyette Producer
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Li Chiao-Ping Guest
  • Simone Ferro Guest
  • Karyn Frick Guest