NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Ballet Association has begun free dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families, caregivers and friends.

The chronic neurological disorder causes tremors and movement difficulties.

Organizers say Dance for Parkinson’s instructors will deal with symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skills, depression and physical confidence, but the classes are designed as an enjoyable aesthetic experience rather than as therapy.

A spokeswoman says 80 people registered for Wednesday’s kickoff. There’s no limit on the number who can sign up. Classes begin Oct. 4, and will be Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center.

The Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust is presenting the program modeled after the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program, which is based in New York with affiliates worldwide.