Thank-you to everyone for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ideas. If you would like to see a question added to this page, please be in touch.
Q: “How much dance experience do I need?”
None! All levels of experience are welcome. Classes are geared both to people who feel hesitant about dancing in a group and who might not have any formal dance experience, as well as to people who have studied dance. The activities are focused on each person moving in their own way and dancing creatively – it does not matter whether you haven’t danced in couple decades or you work as a dance artist.
“The space that Joanne creates on Thursdays feels very safe and respectful. Joanne is able to adapt each session to the needs of those present and how they are feeling. I attend as many as I can fit into my schedule as regardless of if I am feeling up or down when I arrive I know that when I leave I will feel connected and happy.” – Tracy
“Her creative themes and gentle facilitation make her classes welcoming for seasoned dancers and newbies alike. Highly recommended :-D.” – Participant
Q: “What type of dance are these classes?”
The overall style is dance improvisation: where we each choose how we want to move and interact. Each session has a variety of suggested activities and games; however these are invitations – each participant is encouraged to interpret it however works for their own body and intuition in each moment. There is structure, but not too much structure, to the classes.
The sessions integrate dance improvisation, creative movement, contemporary modern, social dance, dance-movement therapy and expressive arts. There is no “wrong” way to dance in these sessions, and there are no routines to remember.
“i really enjoyed my experience in joanne’s dance class. i went for my first time recently and i appreciated joanne’s gentle and thoughtful facilitation, her encouragement, and the flexible structure of the class. it felt really good to get to freely move my body in a space that welcomes and promotes different kinds of expressions and different kinds of experiences.” – Annie
“I enjoyed dancing! Also, your reminders to let go of tension and not to restrict body parts really brought me back into myself. I enjoyed the mix of individual dancing and the closer collaborative work – shared energy. I experimented with many different movements and levels.” – Gabriella
Q: “What should I wear?”
Please wear clothing you find comfortable for moving in (no special clothing needed).
At Heart & Hands Health Collective, shoes are not permitted on the studio floor; barefeet, socks, wheelchairs, mobility aids, and soft-soled slippers are all great.
Q: “Can I buy a gift certificate or class card for ______ (my sister/ Dad/ employees/ friend/ etc.)?”
Definitely! Please be in touch about how many classes you would like to buy as a gift, and we can confirm what is most convenient for you (e.g. mailing a cheque or meeting in person and paying with cash, and where you would like the gift certificate delivered).
Q: “I have trouble following steps. / I have two left feet. / I’m feeling fatigued. / I’m super stiff and can’t touch my toes… Are the classes still for me?”
Yes! You are definitely welcome and encouraged to give a session a try. There is no “wrong” way to dance in these sessions, and there are no routines to remember. Everyone is encouraged to move in whatever way works best for their body. The main thing is to be safe: make sure your moves feel good. Please dance at your own speed and take breaks as needed.
“I appreciate the ‘everything you do is OK: no wrong moves’ attitude. I feel a bit more relaxed about dancing again.” – Nancy
Q: “I feel shy and self-conscious moving in front of people – will the sessions help me overcome this fear?”
There are MANY participants who have expressed this. Feeling “awkward” or feeling shy is very welcome at the sessions. The focus is on creating a supportive space together.
People who come to the sessions regularly have commented on their confidence having greatly increased, finding more ease in moving in a variety of ways, and starting to feel okay about dancing in public.
“Joanne`s ability to make me comfortable and calm in the space helped me move less self-consciously than I would normally have. It’s a gentle and fun space.” – Bharat
“I like not having to explain, justify, describe or have any rationalizing of what I feel or how I move… No self-consciousness… well, not much.” – Participant
“I like your classes because they are fun. Lots of laughing. I feel like I am getting less shy.” – Participant
Q: “What do you mean by a ‘safer space’?”
Creative Momentum strives to facilitate supportive, nurturing learning spaces. No space can be guaranteed to be “safe”; however here are guidelines for creating a “safer” dance space together: Dance in your own way; Respect your own boundaries and those of others; Take a break whenever you need to; If you’re not comfortable with anything please bring it up or adapt the activity to what works for you; Ask permission before engaging in touch or contact.
Feedback is welcomed and appreciated. If you experience dynamics, language or behaviour at a session that feels discriminatory (e.g. racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism, sizeism, etc.), please bring it up when and how you prefer (e.g. during the session, afterwards, through phone, email or talking in person). Thank-you!
Participants have expressed appreciating:
“calm, non judgemental, safe space”
“Great positive energy; free expressive space.”
“safe interacting; the flexible/ playful leadership”
“facilitating was inclusive”
“no pressure, comfy atmosphere”
Is there something you are still wondering about? If so, please be in touch.