Creative Momentum facilitates dance for well-being and building community. The aim is to increase joy, connection and belonging, and to decrease stress, barriers and isolation.
Classes and programs are available in collaboration with people of all abilities, ages 4 to 103+ (103 years young is the age of the eldest participant thus far). Joanne Cuffe has facilitated dance with more than 2500 unique participants in recent years, at 80 locations around Victoria, BC, in Lək̓ʷəŋən, Xwsepsum and W̱SÁNEĆ Homelands. (Examples of program locations.)
Sessions are co-created with people who love being creative, and who might experience barriers in typical dance settings. Current programs are in collaboration with people with varied ways of moving, perceiving and interacting, people who are 50yrs+ and 70yrs+, people who self-identify as LGBT2SQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, asexual, plus), and people who think they have two left feet.
We are focused on increasing access, inclusivity and shared belonging, in partnership with communities, participants and colleagues. Initiatives in recent years have had many names: cross-disability dance, all abilities dance, interdependent dance, mixed ability dance, integrated dance, and adaptive dance.
Dance has an incredible array of health benefits. Dancing is fantastic for brain health as well as physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being. For example, studies have found dancing to be excellent for: responding to depression, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, promoting healthy aging, and healing trauma. Dancing is amazing for bringing people together, as communities have done around the world for a very long time.
Participants at sessions have said they appreciate:
- dancing in a supportive, welcoming, non-competitive setting,
- moving their bodies in new ways,
- releasing tension and increasing fitness,
- nurturing self-esteem, confidence, and joy,
- feeling less lonely, bored and stiff,
- connecting within themselves and with the group,
- feeling accepted, lively and free,
- getting to laugh, have fun, and make new friends.
The overall style is dance improvisation: where we each choose how we want to move and interact. Each session has a variety of guided activities and suggestions; however these are invitations – each participant is encouraged to interpret it however works for their own body, brain, and senses and to be creative in the moment. For info about the facilitator, see the About Joanne page, and for an idea of recent program locations, see the Organizations page.
There is no “wrong” way to dance in these sessions, and there are no predetermined routines to follow. (If you are looking for a high-speed exercise class to Top 40 music, then these classes are not a good fit!) The sessions integrate: dance improvisation, contemporary, social dance, creative movement, expressive arts, dance-movement therapy, mindfulness, and a bit of dance party.
We are living in an uncertain time on this planet. To become comfortable with improvising is an incredibly useful skill for responding to the big changes we face in our lives. Dance improvisation provides wonderful ways to help us feel embodied, reduce stress levels, shift emotions, let go, celebrate, and find shared belonging. Creative Momentum’s goal is to provide space to renew how we want to be with ourselves, each other, and the world.