Whether it’s the use of dance therapy for a person with Parkinson’s disease, autism spectrum disorder, neurodegenerative disease or a physical disability, the connection between dance and health has long been recognized in a number of countries. In Canada, however, this field of study is just beginning to emerge, and one of the principal actors involved in its development is the National Centre for Dance Therapy.
In November 2016, the NCDT organized the First National Symposium for Dance and Well-Being, at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, during which practitioners and researchers exchanged knowledge and expertise on the topic of dance as a means to promote health. The NCDT is gearing up now for another symposium on the same topic, this time with an international scope. Sylvie Fortin, professor in the Department of Dance, Université du Québec à Montréal, and a member of the UQAM Research Chair for the Development of Innovative Practices in Art, Culture and Well-Being, sits on the committee responsible for selecting oral presentations, workshops and poster presentations for the upcoming First International Symposium for Dance and Well-Being: Collaboratively Advancing Research, Policy and Practice, scheduled to take place May 24 to 26, 2018, in the Edifice Wilder; home of Les Grands Ballets.
“We don’t only examine the topic of dance, health and well-being from a psychological, physical or social perspective,” explains Fortin. “We examine any and all types of intervention that use dance. Some people will speak about dance therapy; some will speak about adapted dance, since they may be physiotherapists or occupational therapists who are not dance therapists, but who use dance to contribute to the health and well-being of the individuals they work with.”
Slated to draw dancers, dance therapists and health professionals, as well as students and researchers from a number of disciplines, the Symposium will explore how dance, whether therapy or art, promotes health and well-being in those who practice and derive pleasure from it.
Learn more about the Symposium.