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Dancing for Duchenne

Nova Jazz is twirling toward a cure for muscular dystrophy

At the heart of the award-winning The Pulse Performing Arts Studio in Bedford Hills is Nova Jazz, a non-competitive group of young dancers that have been performing for communities and charities for the past 22 years. Created by Jennifer Dell, founder of The Pulse alongside her husband, Bill Doran, the mission of Nova Jazz is to give its dancers the experience of public performance coupled with the opportunity to support charitable causes through the art of dance. “We handpick a nonprofit organization each year and then raise funds to support its mission,” said Dell. 

In 2023, Nova Jazz raised more than $4,000 for The Mental Health Association of Westchester. This year, Nova Jazz is raising funds for a cause that’s affecting one of its own: fighting to end Duchenne, the most common muscular dystrophy in children. “We’re dancing for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy in support of Ethan Rabinowitz, the brother of one of our young dancers,” said Dell. 

Ethan, a sixth-grader, was diagnosed with Duchenne in 2014. He is 1 of 5,000 boys diagnosed with Duchenne each year, and 1 of 2 in the Katonah-Lewisboro district. There are also two boys living with Duchenne in Ridgefield. “It’s unheard of that there are three other children with Duchenne in our neighboring towns,” said Inna Rabinowitz, Ethan’s mom, who only recently shared Ethan’s diagnosis with him because “we wanted him to enjoy his life.” Ethan is a big brother to third-grade twin siblings, a role he takes seriously despite his mounting physical limitations. “Family is everything and we are hopeful,” says Inna. 

While there is currently no cure for Duchenne, there is power in community support. You can help fund advancements in potential treatments by purchasing tickets to the Nova Jazz Public Fundraiser, May 30th, 7pm, John Jay Middle School. To inquire, call 914-241-0200. To donate or to learn more, visit parentprojectmd.org. | Discover dance classes for kids ages 2-18 at performthepulse.com

“Duchenne is in our community and we’re raising awareness through dance.”

- Jennifer Dell

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