The National Centre for Dance Therapy (NCDT), a division of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, is dedicated to the promotion of dance/movement therapy. The NCDT, which combines clinical research, training and therapy, aims to improve the well-being of individuals through the benefits of dance, thereby reinforcing the utility of this art form for the community while promoting and developing Les Grands Ballets’ focus on health.
The NCDT wants to be a leader in the promotion of dance therapy and the development of this sector by taking the following actions:
Since its opening in 2013, the principal activity of the Centre has consisted in developing dance therapy and adapted dance for people with specific needs. These services are offered either to institutional partners or directly to individuals, in our adapted dance class program. To ensure the quality of the services, two training courses have been set up devoted to artists and health care professionals eager to provide therapy, by way of dance, in social and health care contexts. At the same time, the Centre has partnered with a number of researchers to develop the state of our knowledge about dance in Canada.
We define dance therapy as a treatment modality used either as a complement to certain medical treatments or psychotherapy, or as the main therapy. The objectives of this therapy are determined jointly between the beneficiary and the dance therapist. With their specialized training in the analysis of movement, body expressiveness and psychotherapy, these therapists use dance and movement as a tool to achieve wellbeing through techniques of communication and body awareness development, motor function, creativity, expression and self-esteem.
Adapted dance is a recreational dance practice adjusted for people with special needs: a functional limitation, for instance, but not exclusively. The teaching of danced movements is done on the basis of the abilities and strengths of each participant, and allows for the development of better mobility and body awareness. It’s a friendly and tolerant space where the pleasure of moving lies at the very heart of the work.