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Dance and movement therapy for orphanages

Children are often exposed to traumatic experiences despite our efforts to protect them. Unlike adults, children lack the skills and mechanisms to cope with stress effectively. These experiences not only interfere with their ability to live a fulfilling life but can also cause them to fall behind their peers in terms of mental and physical development. This, in turn, can have negative consequences that extend far into their future.

For several years, the Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation has supported dance and movement therapy for children from orphanages, provided by the “Hope for Children” CRC Policy Center. Such classes are needed by children who have lost their parents and faced bullying and cruelty, as well as those who have been sexually assaulted. Helping traumatized children requires more than simply immersing them in a safe environment. It is necessary to allow children to overcome stress independently, regain self-confidence and believe that the world around them can be secure and trusted.

When children engage in movement, they become more open and expressive with their feelings. They also learn to work as a team again. Dance is a wonderful way to help children become more aware of their emotions, learn to control them, and understand how to cope with fears on their own. This type of therapy is especially effective for children because they learn about the world mainly through bodily sensations. Children have more freedom of movement than adults, and improvisation is encouraged during dance therapy to enhance imagination. Through dance, children can express their emotions and experiences through movements, which helps them become more aware of their true selves. Dancing also allows them to release negative energy and reduce stress.

All such children require a safe and nurturing environment and timely assistance. Without it, they may struggle in their future attempts to integrate into society. Unfortunately, some children are subjected to experiences that even an adult would find terrifying. It is the responsibility of adults to demonstrate that these children are deserving of protection, care, and love, regardless of the circumstances they have faced. And that even in the most challenging of situations, there are people ready to offer support and extend a helping hand.