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The National Centre for Dance Therapy, an Initiative that Changes Lives
September 7, 2017
A young boy smiles during an adapted dance class at the National Center for Dance Therapy
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Artists, whether professionals or amateurs, art teachers, cultural workers - all those who place art at the heart of their everyday lives - know the positive impact art can have on us. In Ancient Greece, Aristotle was already talking about the notion of catharsis, in which a spectator could soothe his woes by witnessing the drama lived by a hero onstage. Nowadays, more and more research is proving the multiple benefits of practicing art. Research is quite useful in demonstrating the positive impacts of dance, but I’d like to share what is fundamental to us at the Centre with a glimpse of what our team and participants experience during our adapted dance activities.

In September, when our Ballet for Down Syndrome and Ballet for Autism students came back from summer break, it’s with a round of hugs and kisses that they greeted us. Seeing these dancers run to the studio’s door to take off their shoes and start dancing as soon as possible, under the enthusiastic eye of parents and teachers alike, is the greatest testament to our success. Also seeing the worry in the eyes of new parents - not yet convinced that their child will be able to follow the class nor enjoy it - turn to enthusiasm when they see their little dancers come out with a radiant smile and sparkles in their eyes, there is nothing that gets us more motivated.

’’Did you like it, honey?’’

’’Yeeesss mom and I did great! Are you proud of me?’’

When we’re asked why Les Grands Ballets embarked on this adventure… It’s to confidently say that we, at the National Centre for Dance Therapy, are proud of our little dancers.

  • Christian Sénéchal, Director of the National Center for Dance Therapy