January 25, 2016 – The “enlivening power of dance” that has touched children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities in communities throughout the Lower Mainland is now coming to Victoria.
Since 2013, the Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia (CPABC) has offered “Dance Without Limits”, a free and age-inclusive adapted dance program for children with physical disabilities. The program was launched in Vancouver, and rapidly expanded to include Surrey, Richmond and now Victoria.
Participants report greater physical fitness levels, self-esteem and confidence as a result of the dance class. Siblings are invited to take part, and friendships form between dancers and between parents.
CPABC also runs a popular adapted yoga program for youth in Victoria. Yoga participants experience increased flexibility and muscle strength. “Yoga is such an amazing activity for anyone, and having an adapted class for those with disabilities is no different,” says local volunteer Nate Schwartz. “Participants appreciate being in an accepting environment, where they can be free to do what works for them. Add to that the physical fitness and flexibility aspect and it truly is an amazing opportunity.”
Dance Without Limits classes in Victoria will be facilitated by Joanne Cuffe. “As a full-time dance instructor for mixed abilities groups, I get to witness the enlivening power of dance every day,” she says. “Participants connect with each other, build movement skills, express themselves and have fun. Each class is adapted with the group present, and there is no wrong move. Our unique ways of moving and interacting can be sources of creativity, beauty and well-being.”
Dance Without Limits has been welcomed by the Victoria community. “The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC continues to provide fantastic opportunities for people with disabilities of all ages,” says Nate. “Their programming is innovative and fun, while touching on many social needs within the disability community.”
Dance Without Limits launches in Victoria on February 2 at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre. The program will run from 5-6 pm on Tuesdays until March 8 and drop-ins are welcome. Funding for the program was received from the Telus Community Board in Victoria.
The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC was started in 1954 by a group of parents who wanted to assist their children living with CP to reach their maximum potential within society. We provide support, education, and information throughout BC. Our Mission is: To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community; To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential; and To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy recognize their place as equals in a diverse society.