Dréa's Dream Blog - Dance,
Healing and Hope by Susan Rizzo Vincent
Dréa's Dream pediatric dance therapy program has promoted healing for children with cancer and special needs and is funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation. It has also inspired dancers to combine their love of dance with compassion.
We look forward to shared stories of dance, healing and hope.
Through the Andréa Rizzo Foundation and Dréa's Dream pediatric dance therapy programming, I have the wonderful opportunity to meet young dancers as well as young pediatric cancer patients. When I open an email from a compassionate young dancer, many times they are inquiring about how they can help children with cancer and special needs through their own love of dance. This is always heartwarming.
Young dancers have been our greatest supporters. Read this email from young dancer Cari Wadman of Nebraska and find out how dance has impacted her life and how she wants to help the lives of others who wish that they could be dancing too. I've also posted my response in hopes of letting our readers know how dancers have spread the gift of dance therapy across the country through our Dance Across America initiative – uniting dancers for our cause! www.Dance-Across-America.com
My name is Cari Wadman and I am a 10th grade student in Omaha, Nebraska. I was excited to hear about your organization because I am a life-long dancer who is very interested in helping sick kids. When I was three years old I was diagnosed with a bone infection and was hospitalized for an operation and had a central line in my chest for antibiotics for several weeks. The night I went home from the hospital my parents were exhausted and fell asleep. I felt like doing something fun, so I popped an old jazzercise video tape in the VCR and started dancing. My mom still remembers finding me bouncing around with my central line flapping up and down! She says she knew I was alright when she saw me dancing. I just felt better doing what I loved to do. Since that time, I have looked up to healthcare workers and hope to someday become one.
I would very much like to participate in your organization or help to start a dance therapy program in Nebraska. I was wondering if kids ever helped out during dance therapy sessions. I really enjoy assistant teaching dance classes and the younger kids really like it when an older kid helps out. Do you think there may be a role for other kids in these sessions? If so, I would love to help.
I would also like to help fund raise for your organization and will ask my high school dance coach if we can do this.
Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear how I can help.
My response to Cari ……
I am so deeply moved by your story and your interest in The Andréa Rizzo Foundation and our pediatric dance therapy programming – Dréa's Dream. It sounds like your hospital experience has had a lifelong impact and will lead to something wonderful. You obviously understand the power of dance and how dance therapy might help children with cancer and special needs. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and desire to help kids through this wonderful healing modality.
Young dancers are our greatest supporters. High Schools, dance schools and dance companies have held dance events that are meaningful to them – any kind of event that lets each participant know that they are making a difference in the lives of fragile children. We are always happy to help you to plan an event and provide promotional materials as well as a small gift for each dancer and a plaque for the event.
Here is our most recent video – made for dancers! Feel free to share it!
And – here is a helpful link to help plan an event. We even help to bring press attention to your efforts.
I've attached our brochure and ads and can send hard copies as well.
To answer your questions:
Yes – many young dancers have raised enough funds (minimum of $5000 over a year or two) so that we have been able to institute Dréa's Dream pediatric dance therapy programming local to them. What an incredible gift they have given to children with cancer and special needs in their community! Our greatest hope is to sustain a program. All of our dancer/supporters have remained faithful in their support – year after year- so that we can sustain and ultimately grow Dréa's Dream at a hospital or school near to them. It does take some time and patience to work through administrative procedure, especially at hospitals – but in the end – we have always been successful in initiating Dréa's Dream. All because of the support of young dancers like yourself who want to make a difference.
Dréa's Dream programming is provided by registered dance/movement therapists that are funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation.
Hospitals have very strict guidelines to protect the health of the fragile children that we service so young people can't actually volunteer with the patients. As you can imagine, children with cancer are susceptible to germs. But – many dancers have created "get well" kits and delivered special items to the hospital. Some have even done a special birthday dedication to the patients. One child asked all of her friends to bring a brand new teddy bear to her party and then she donated them all to the pediatric cancer patients. Depending on the hospital, there are a few that sometimes allow performances in the playroom at holiday time – but again they have strict guidelines.
Wishing you all the best – and would love to see Dréa's Dream in Nebraska!
Feel free to contact me with any further questions!
Many thanks for wanting to help us to help children with cancer and special needs!
Susan Rizzo Vincent
The Andréa Rizzo Foundation
401 952 2423
Let your heart move your feet….®
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