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Connectivity and confidence through creativity.

Working with young people and adults with disabilities and special needs, Dance & Arts Therapy NZ’s dance movement therapy sessions encourage greater confidence, improved sensory and motor skills, and greater emotional literacy and social interaction.

This year Dance & Arts Therapy NZ  successfully applied to the North Shore Fund for a grant to bring its successful "Dance 4 Us" (for adults) and "STARS" (for children and adolescents) programmes to Takapuna Methodist Hall and the North Shore YMCA.

Both programmes, which also run in South, West and Central Auckland, are facilitated by qualified Dance Movement therapists, and provide fun, social and, importantly, accessible activities each week for people with disabilities.

Thanks to the recent grant, 86 adults and 84 young people on the North Shore have had the opportunity to develop their creative self-expression as well as improve their self-confidence.

Programme Co-ordinator Alice Rich says the impact on those who attended the sessions has already been commented on by caregivers, families and whānau.

"The group dynamic during the workshops was strong and positive, and our participants have clearly benefitted. It’s been wonderful to see significant changes in their behaviour, the way they interact and their level of self-confidence – we had participants who went from being non-verbal to visibly more confident throughout the workshops, and even starting to suggest ideas and images!"

"We are hugely grateful to have received a grant from the North Shore Fund. Being able to support and empower these young people and equipping them with skills to help them succeed throughout their lives is incredibly gratifying."

Photo supplied by Dance & Arts Therapy NZ.