Dance workshop flyer
Dance workshop flyer
Photo: IRC in NY

With trauma symptoms primarily experienced somatically within many cultures around the world, the IRC in NY’s Body Movement Workshop series makes use of positive findings for mental health approaches emphasizing the role of the body, movement, and play in recovery. For this fun event, seven children attended the second session in this series, with ages ranging from seven to sixteen. While the younger girls were especially excited to be dancing and playing games, some adolescents in the workshop were shy and took some time to engage with the activities fully.  

However, through the course of the workshop, the adolescent participants opened up and began to participate in activities joyfully. The games and activities ended up eliciting a lot of laughs from participants. By the end of the session, one of the shyer participants earnestly asked the Safety & Wellness team when the next body movement workshop would be. The IRC in NY is happy to hear of this enthusiasm from youth, especially in building confidence and cultivating a sense of community.  

Adolescence is a careful development stage where for some, it can be uncomfortable to be in the spotlight. This could easily lead to feelings of social exposure, self-consciousness, anxiety, and humiliation. The Dance Workshop focused on developing self-confidence and some of these development experiences. The Safety & Wellness Coordinator shares how the activities of the workshop seemed to increase connection among participants of all ages, with all of them eating pizza together after a fun dance session.  

This Dance Workshop centered around movement and play. It showed a great deal of promise, as they are accessible and effective coping mechanisms for all abilities, fitness levels, and ranges of mobility. Dance is an inclusive activity for youth to meet each other, build community, and find support as they experience acculturative stress.  

The Safety & Wellness team is excited to bring on future opportunities that may involve engaging boys in movement-based workshops by structuring the workshop to appeal to all genders and especially focusing workshops on culturally-relevant forms of dance or martial arts-based movement for all genders. 

To learn more about the Safety & Wellness Team, take a look at last year’s highlights: