The last year at the National Centre for Dance Therapy has been an opportunity both to look back to pre-pandemic times, to resume past projects and approaches (and abandon, for most activities, computer screens) and to kickstart new initiatives.
In January, the year began with the reinforcement of confinement measures: our partners and facilitators have taken up the challenge of going back to virtual sessions to protect our participants, who are often at higher risk. Gradually, starting in spring and even more in fall, most of our projects have moved either to our dance studios or to our partners’: what a pleasure to meet again in person, in some cases after over two years!
During the year, we have collaborated with 26 organizations (from the school, community, health, and private sectors): thus, over 1200 people from vulnerable or marginalized communities have benefited from our services. We are proud to mention, among our many partners, some new entries: the schools Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Étincelle and Irénée-Lussier, the LGBTQ+ Community Centre, the Rising Sun Child Care Centre and the Petite Maison de la Miséricorde.
When thinking about our projects, we cannot forget our adapted dance and dance therapy classes for the public, which, either virtually or in studio, allow us to join even more people. It was great, in December, to attend the shows organized by our participants for their loved ones, to celebrate the end of the year… We cannot wait to see you again in January!
This summer, during the break, our company studios have been somewhat crowded, with our different clients running into each other in the corridors. The members of the Montreal Association for the Mentally Handicapped have danced and developed their creativity during our three weeks of summer camps in dance and creative arts.
Moreover, in June and July, we have welcomed for the first time students from the fourth cohort of the Alternate Route: the 24 students, who have studied hard, can now begin working with supervision, as dance therapy interns.
And it’s not all when it comes to training! In winter, thanks to the support of the RBC Foundation, we have offered as usual a series of continuing education workshops, which were complemented, in June, by a whole day of conferences dedicated to the role of dance therapy in Quebec.
Last but not least, we have been proud to welcome the public to various events: in March, for the very first time, we organized a relaxed performance of the first act of Romeo and Juliet in our Studio-Théâtre, for almost 500 people with varied abilities. And, in September, the Place des Arts opened its doors for a relaxed show of the Four Seasons. In November, we turned to breakdance: the international crew ILL-Abilities has presented their last choreography at the Grands Ballets, to then leave the stage to Montreal bboys and bgirls for a No Limits competition. Finally, in December, the screening of the film Dear Audrey has led the way for a discussion on caregiving.
And now, back to work for the new year, which I hope will be full of joy and positivity for us all.
Manager, National Centre for Dance Therapy