We partnered with Les Grand Ballets Canadiens and their National Center for Dance Therapy to offer a hands-on dance and movement therapy workshop with American board certified dance movement therapist Dr. Suzi Tortora. Dance therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to teach patients to manage pain and other symptoms, improve self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills, and creating new options for coping with mental health, rehabilitation, and other medical issues. The newly opened National Centre for Dance Therapy is the first project of its kind to be conceived and implemented by a cultural company, and the only one in the world offering three interconnected services: dance and movement therapy, clinical research, and Canada’s first graduate-level dance therapy training program. The Centre is directed by Department of State Alumnus Christian Sénéchal who recently traveled to the U.S. to share best practices with the American Dance Therapy Association.
During her visit to Montreal, Dr. Tortora shared her expertise in the field of infancy mental health and development with approximately 20 dance therapists and dance therapy students. The participants were able to learn more about the techniques she uses with patients in both her private practice and at hospitals in the U.S. Christian Sénéchal and Dr. Tortora also met with local health practitioners to discuss opportunities for implementation of similar techniques in Canada.