Rafi Eldor

Writer, Life Coach, and Public Speaker in Israel

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Ten years ago, Rafi Eldor could not have predicted that ballroom dance would make him famous. A respected economist and professor, Eldor spent most of his life teaching and researching risk management, future bonds, and other specialized subfields of economics. Once he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, however, he began searching for creative ways to keep his advancing symptoms under control – and a new chapter in his career began.

A Dancer’s First Steps

When he received his diagnosis,Eldor did what he had always done as an academic: he began to research unconventional solutions. One doctor told him that dance could help him to prevent further physical deterioration. Eldor’s condition was not good – he could barely stand up straight or swivel his arms – and he had no experience as a dancer. For the sake of his health, though, he was willing to step outside his comfort zone. He sought out a dance teacher at the beginning of her career, in hopes that she would be more patient with his first attempts than a master instructor. Eventually, he found Roni Peled, the therapeutic dance instructor who would change his life through dance.

From Professor to Performer

Through his studies with Peled, Rafi Eldor improved not only his healthbut his skills as a dancer. Today, the shy professor is well-known throughout his native Israel and around the world; he performs onstage as a ballroom dancer, and has given TED talks and public lectures about his extraordinary recovery. He himself has become a dance instructor, sharing the techniques he learned with new students, and has even participated in worldwide competitions alongside his dance partner, renowned Israeli TV star and dancer Anna Aharonov.

Rafi Eldor’s Claim to Fame

Eldor’s remarkable journey has become an inspiration for sufferers of chronic disease around the world. He has become a representative for the fight against Parkinson’s, and has contributed in a variety of ways to efforts to combat the disease, including fundraising and publicity. He has given those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease hope for a better, healthier future, and provided them with an innovative form of physical therapy. His fame is not limited to the community of Parkinson’s patients, however. Eldor has become a symbol of perseverance, physical and emotional, among the Israeli public and for viewers around the world.