Since 2015, the National Center for Dance Therapy has been offering dance therapy sessions for people aged 50 and over. In Quebec, in 2017, it was reported that 40.2% of the Quebec population belongs to this age group. Offering sessions adapted to their social and physical is therefore a priority for us, as part of our services for the public.
According to Lucie St-Pierre, who has taken part to this course since its beginning, “taking a dance therapy session represents the joy of moving to the sound of music and occupying the space freely; of letting your body express itself with confidence and assurance; of inventing a series of movements, a dance; of becoming a character or tell a story, alone or with others; of introducing yourself to the other, to let yourself be looked at without judgment and with kindness."
Indeed, dance and movement become a tool to promote the general well-being of the participants. With the support of an experienced dance therapist, they can develop, in a safe environment, body awareness, motor skills, self-confidence, creativity, expression and communication.
"Each of us advances at their own pace, whether it's working on the body and body image, accepting this or that part of one's body, drawing our silhouette in large format, representing with drawings and colours what we love about us," adds Ms. St-Pierre. “We find again our child’s heart; we reconnect with our inner child through a photo of us as a child. We let our souvenirs and buried memories rise and we observe what happens to the body. The inner child is the little voice within us. To connect with them by paying attention to emotions and body sensations, to name the emotions, to feel them, to express them through movements, is to take care of this child and of us as adults. Improvising movements, creating a dance, talking, discussing the process and learning from it, sharing your feelings, presenting your achievements, excerpts from your life story, pages from your creative diary, or a remarkable book to the group… dance therapy is all this and much more.”
Since the course has been offered, we have had the pleasure of meeting, session after session, the participants who get together in our studio with our dance therapist Andrea de Almeida. In 2020, due to public health directives, we had to offer the class virtually. This format, which was supposed to be temporary, turned out to be successful, allowing us to reach a greater number of people, who do not have the possibility of going to our studios in Downtown Montreal.
According to Sylvie du Cap, another regular at the class, “whether we live in the region, on the outskirts of Montreal, or we simply prefer to avoid public transport in the city, this unifying experience has helped us a lot to counter isolation. »
Moreover, she adds that the virtual format has led to unexpected discoveries: “In the studio or online, the dance therapy process represents a strong personal investment, which connects us with our soul. On the virtual platform, this allowed us to zoom in on what is essential, zoom in on ourselves, zoom in on others; to also zoom in on our respective intimacies, our interior living spaces, and to reveal and get to know our dance colleagues better. »
To find out more, discover our complete program on our website.