Community Resources – What Program is Right for Me?

All Stepping On Falls Prevention Workshops are Canceled Until Further Notice Due to COVID-19. While we are not offering workshops to improve balance at this time, please remember that it’s important to keep moving at home during this time of social distancing. Please Click Here for examples of some exercises you can do at home that will help with balance. If you have concerns about balance, home safety, or falls during this time of social distancing and would like to speak with a trained Stepping On leader, please call Ron Dorr at 608-212-9120 between 10am – 12pm Monday through Friday.

Select a risk level for falls

Physical Therapy

Stepping On™

Tai Chi Fundamentals™
Moving For Better Balance
Balancing Act
Living Falls Free

Tai Chi (Traditional)
Standing Strength & Balance Classes
Dance, Bowling, Golf, Ping Pong, Badminton

High Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Referral to Physical Therapy

You may want to consider referring your patient to a physical therapist, preferably one with special training on older adult falls. Many physical therapists are trained to find out why your patient is falling, and help them with recovery solutions, such as strength and balance exercises to help reduce the chance of falling again.  Two physical therapy programs than have been shown to reduce falls among older adults are the Otago Falls Prevention Program (developed in New Zealand) and Sure Step. If you refer your patients to physical therapy, it is possible that the therapist may be using similar programs.

For clinicians – research on Otago from CDC

The UNC School of Medicine is offering an online training in the Otago Exercise Program: Online Training. This training is not available anywhere else and is accredited by Greensboro Area Health Education Center, NC and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy through the ProCert Program. Receive 3 CEUs for only $25!

“Otago” is one of only three evidence-based falls prevention programs being promoted across 18 states as part of major federal funding initiatives through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Administration for Community Living, and The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, is proud to sponsor this course written by APTA members. PTs can call  919-843-6675 or register online.

Medium Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Stepping On™

Stepping On is an evidence-based workshop meeting once per week for seven weeks, two hours per week, with a reunion class three months later. The class is led by trained leaders who work with you and your classmates to help improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling by reviewing medications, exploring the role of vision and falls, teaching strength and balance exercises, and offering help to improve your safety at home. Members of the class support each other’s efforts to take action to prevent falls. Older adults who may have balance problems or fear of falling are the best fit for this class. According to studies, people who complete Stepping On classes see a 31% reduction in falls. A Stepping On workshop costs $35 for the seven week session and includes the reunion class.

Click here for an 8-minute video produced by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Focus onHealth TV. This video introduces Stepping On to potential participants, sponsors, partners and guest experts.

*Please advise patients to add an additional 15-30 minutes to the first Stepping On class to complete paperwork (surveys and data collection).

For clinicians – research on Stepping On from CDC

Available Classes:

Jewish Social Services

Temple Beth El

2702 Arbor Dr., Madison

Thursdays, April 23 – June 4; 1:00pm – 3:00pm

To register, contact Jewish Social Services at 608-278-1808

Waunakee Senior Center

333 S. Madison St., Waunakee

Thursdays, May 7 – June 18; 1:00pm – 3:00pm

To register, contact the Waunakee Senior Center at (608) 849-8385

Tai Chi Fundamentals™

Available Classes:

Madison Senior Center

330 W. Mifflin St., Madison

FRIDAYS, 10‑11 AM Tai Chi builds core strength and stamina through its slow, precise movements. Its focus on posture and alignment helps release tension, and the emphasis on mindful action promotes stress reduction, improves mental health, and can even improve sleep quality. Tai Chi is recommended for people trying to improve their balance. All levels welcome. Pay the $2 per class fee when you check in. Scholarships are available.

Tai Chi Center of Madison:
301 S. Bedford St., Madison
Schedules online at or call 608-663-8299
Classes, times and dates vary. Contact Tai Chi Center of Madison for details.

Goodman Community Center: Tai Chi Fundamental Form
149 Waubesa St., Madison

This is a remarkable, easy, and fun to do movement class which involves all muscles joints ligaments and bones of the body. Instructions as to how to perform the exercises are given during the session. Chairs are used for stabilization and no mats are necessary. Can be done in ordinary clothing.

Hours and donation: Fridays from 1-2 p.m. in the Ironworks building. No registration needed, there is a $2 suggested donation.

Contact: Rachel Sandretto at 608-630-4066

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR): Tai Chi-Yang Style
For more information, call 608-204-3000 or visit
Class focuses on 24 forms of Yang style sequence with variations in movements and breathing. For beginners or those familiar with the form.

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR): Tai Chi For Balance
For more information, call 608-204-3000 or visit
Instruction in a Yang style Tai Chi form for cultivation of physical and emotional balance, strength, flexibility and body-mind integration.

Medium Low Falls Risk Classes & Therapies


NoFalls is a 15-week course lead by a trained fitness instructor. The class focuses on balance, and is designed for people who may have some balance problems. It is taught by a trained fitness instructor. Dane County is one of only a few places in the United States that offer this class, which was developed in Australia. According to studies, people who complete the NoFalls class and who also add a home safety review and a vision check, are 30% less likely to have a serious fall. NoFalls course costs $35 for the 15-week session.

For clinicians – research on NoFalls from CDC

Available Classes:
Additional class information will be available soon. Check back for details!

Living Falls Free

Living Falls Free is a practical falls risk reduction exercise class. Course content includes learning the exercises of the as well as learning falls reduction strategies specific for your life. Class includes a take-home exercise program and pre/post performance testing. This is a moderate level class with walking, rocker boards, strength work and exercise at standing, chair and floor level. Gait dynamics and movement technique are emphasized.

Available Classes:

Living Falls Free
January 22 – April 15, 2020 (no class 4/1/20)
Wednesdays, 10:45am – 11:45am
UW Health Sports Medicine Center
621 Science Dr., Madison
263-7936 to register or visit
For Class Flyer, Click Here!

Balancing Act

This program is designed to increase balance and decrease the risk of falling by using tai chi movements and principles. Standing and chair-based exercises are adapted to individual needs. Classes are held at Madison School & Community Recreation locations. Instructor: Jody Curley. Visit the MSCR website for more details.

Available Classes:

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR)
MSCR offers multiple classes which can improve balance and help prevent falls. The “B” (for balance) symbol identifies exercise classes that help prevent falls in older adults. The “B” classes incorporate both balance and strength training. Scientific literature has shown balance training to be the best exercise for fall prevention.

Low Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Balancing and Strength Exercises

Research shows that to reduce chances of falling, people must include balance and strength exercises that are progressive (get more challenging over time), and that are practiced for at least 50 hours over 15 weeks. Anyone interested in preventing falls should add these activities to their daily and weekly routine. And it’s important to keep going – any improvements to balance can be lost quickly if we don’t keep it up. And keep walking, swimming, stretching – or moving any way you like – it’s worth it!

For clinicians – research on use of Yaktrax as a falls prevention measure

Tai Chi Classes

Available Classes: Check back soon for classes!

Ballroom Basics for BALANCE™

Challenge your balance and make it better with basic moves of ballroom dance!  Research shows that dance is one way to improve balance and reduce falls. This class is for you if:

  • You want to get better at walking or moving around on various surfaces, both inside and outside (like carpets, grass, and snowy walkways).
  • You have had at least one fall in the past year or have a fear of falling.
  • You are able to participate in medium-difficult activity without major health symptoms (like chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness).
  • You are able to move about on your own with or without a device to help you.
  • You can hear and see well enough to participate in a group class.
  • You are interested in having fun!

You will learn basic movements of traditional smooth and Latin style ballroom dances with and without music; you can practice on your own or with a partner in this group class.  We will learn to dance while learning about improving balance.  No experience or partner needed! Taught by physical therapists and other health care professionals.

Available Classes: 

Madison Senior Center/Madison Central Library

201 W. Mifflin St, Madison (3rd floor)

FEBRUARY 21–MAY 8; FRIDAYS 10–11:30 AM (12 WEEKS) Practice balance and learn to prevent falls while dancing. Get better at walking or moving around on various surfaces and improve your confidence! This class is for you if: You move around on your own with or without a device, have fallen or have fear of falling. No experience or partner needed! Have fun while improving your balance, and challenge yourself in a safe environment. Taught by physical therapists and other health professionals. Meet on the lovely 3rd floor (elevator available) of the Central Library. The cost is $70. Call the Madison Senior Center at 266-6581 to register. For more information:

Madison School & Community Recreation – East

4620 Cottage Grove Road, Madison

MARCH 3 – MAY 12; TUESDAYS 2:30pm – 3:45pm (11 WEEKS) Practice balance and learn to prevent falls while dancing. Get better at walking or moving around on various surfaces and improve your confidence! This class is for you if: You move around on your own with or without a device, have fallen or have fear of falling. No experience or partner needed! Have fun while improving your balance, and challenge yourself in a safe environment. Taught by physical therapists and other health professionals. The cost is $42. Call Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) at 608-204-3023 to register. For more information:

Stepping Classes

Line Dancing for Seniors 60+ (No Cost)

Every Saturday from 10 – 11:30am

Sponsored by NewBridge Madison- West

Meadowood Center

(608) 512-0000

Location: Vera Court Neighborhood Center

614 Vera Ct, Madison, WI 53704

(608) 246-8372

Madison Smooth Stepper Instructor:  Judy Young

For more information, check out the Madison Smooth Steppers on Facebook!
(Note: this class is not affiliated with Ballroom Basics For Balance, but is a
recommended class by local physical therapists.)

EnCore Performance/Laughing Bodies, Dancing Minds 2020

Li Chiao-Ping Dance has taught movement classes at area senior centers since 2001, providing opportunities for older adults to be physically active in a creative and intellectually stimulating way. EnCore Performance is a somatic approach to gaining athleticism. The classes focus on building upper body and core strength, improving balance and coordination, and exploring creative expression through movement. In addition, these older adults participate in the creative process, as Artistic Director Li will create a new dance in which they will be given special parts to perform on stage along with Li Chiao-Ping Dance’s company of professional dancers. Techniques include inversions, floorwork, and falls that facilitate personal growth and creative exploration, giving participants a chance to perform not just on stage, but in other areas  of life as well. The participants learn to focus their mind and body to execute movement sequences that are learned, understood, and delivered clearly.

No prior dance experience needed. Scholarships are available for those with a limited income. Dance registration necessary.
Call 608-266-6581
SESSION I (8 weeks):
Thursdays, January 9 – March 5, 2020 (no class on Feb. 13)
11am – 12pm
SESSION II (8 weeks): 
Thursdays, March 26 -May 21, 2020 (no class on Apr. 30)
11am – 12pm

The Madison Senior Center is located at 330 W. Mifflin St., Madison, WI