Creative Momentum facilitates dance for well-being and building community. The aim is to encourage connection, shared creativity and joy, and to decrease stress, barriers and isolation.

Sessions 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. (Read more about Joanne Cuffe.)

We are focused on increasing access, equity and shared belonging, in partnership with communities, participants and colleagues. 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 myriad 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.

Art of eight people's purple silhouettes in a semicircle with their arms out. Three people dance seated, using a manual wheelchair, chair and power wheelchair, and five people dance standing. Behind the dancers there is a colourful rainbow sunset, with green under their feet, then blue, purple, red, orange and a wider semicircle of pastel yellow. Below the dancers there is a heart in the middle, surrounded by wavy lines of music notes, and a silhouette of a small hummingbird.
Creative Momentum art by Naomi Kennedy. Image description of the drawing: Eight people’s silhouettes are purple in front of a rainbow sunset. They are in a semi-circle, smiling and dancing with varied arm moves. At the centre of the image is a heart with waves of music notes curving out.

The overall style is dance improvisation: where we each choose how we want to move and interact. Each session has various 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 examples of recent program locations, see the organizations page.

Dance has an incredible array of health benefitsDancing 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 depressionreducing 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.

There is no “wrong” way to dance in these sessions, and there are no predetermined routines to follow. The sessions integrate contemporary dance, site-specific improvisation, social dance, creative movement, expressive arts, mindfulness, and a bit of dance party. Initiatives in recent years have used various terms: cross-disability dance, all abilities dance, mixed ability dance, integrated dance, and adaptive dance.

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.

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.

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