The summer season at the National Center for Dance Therapy stands for vitality, and this year was no exception. For five weeks, we offered dance and creative arts camps, led by our talented dance therapists. Teenagers living with autism spectrum disorders, Down's syndrome or intellectual disabilities, as well as members of the Montreal Association for Intellectually Handicapped, had the opportunity to explore a multitude of dance styles. The studios of Les Grands Ballets were the stage of meetings with artists, where they were able to learn opera, theatre, visual art, percussion, and much more. In an indescribable way, their talents were revealed and their smiles lit up this time of year.
To run its activities, the NCDT relies on a dedicated team of dance therapists, educators, attendants and volunteers. Their commitment is essential to encourage participants to step out of their comfort zone and explore new horizons. With their support, we can create an environment conducive to discovery and growth, offering participants the opportunity to broaden their interests and achieve their full potential.
In this testimonial, Magdalena, a volunteer during the summer camps, shares her experience with our dancers of various skills:
“My time in Montreal was marked by an extraordinary experience. A summertime capsule rich in shares and emotions. Indeed, I had a great opportunity to participate as a volunteer educator in the summer camps of the National Center for Dance Therapy of Les Grands Ballets.
These dance and creative summer camps take place in the magnificent studios of Les Grands Ballets where classical music already resonated as soon as I entered the building and you can come across ballerinas ready to start their rehearsals. It brought me back to my ballet years as a child.
A first meeting takes place with these extraordinary dancers who have come to share a unique week. The first day begins with shyness, observation and discovery. After a few warm-ups and exchanged smiles, it's time for exploration through movement, where everyone's creativity and personality are revealed. Hearts open and the artists reveal themselves through the dance session. The bond is forged not only through adapted dance, but also through creative workshops in body percussion, theatre, opera or even visual art.
The workshops take place in a warm atmosphere, where we reveal ourselves and have fun in a compassionate setting with an incredible team of dance therapists, the fairies of the National Center for Dance Therapy of Les Grands Ballets in my opinion! But also, a caring and professional health team.
As a dancer, an art therapist in constant learning and passionate about the world of disability, having the chance to observe, participate and help these fantastic weeks run smoothly has been a great source of enrichment, satisfaction and inspiration for me, both professionally and personally.
The week ends on a high note with a show where the participants proudly present their work to their loved ones who have come especially to encourage them. Happiness is easily read in the eyes of the public and the dancers. It is a real reward at the culmination of an extraordinary experience.
The NCDT summer camps are a real breath of fresh air for these young artists and for their families. As a volunteer educator, I come out of it stronger, moved and determined to continue this fight for light, for a fairer society where art is for everybody.
To find out more, discover our complete program in this photo album.