According to instructor Catrina Choate, “Dance and movement can be enjoyed by people of all abilities, and so far, the St. Louis Center residents in the program are having a great time and enjoying their experience.”
Choate grew-up in Michigan, and moved to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet. She then danced professionally for two years in Miami, and moved on to become a ballet instructor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She returned to Michigan to be closer to her family, and recently accepted a position with Ballet Chelsea to direct and create the “Adaptive Dance Program” as part of a grant that was received from the Chelsea Wellness Foundation.
Choate uses the Felden-Krais Method of Somatic Education that focuses on creating new movement patterns for people with special needs. “It’s all about having fun with movement and music with the people I’m training.” By definition, Somatic Psychotherapy encourages the “communication” of experience between the mind and body, enabling sustainable movement towards greater health and well being.
Residents Lisa and Sarah talked about the impact of the program in their lives. “I think it’s awesome” said Lisa.
“I like Catrina a lot, and I hope we keep doing it. It’s like God sent an angel to us.” Sarah added, “I enjoy dancing for aerobic exercise, and it helps me to be happy.” The grant program runs through June, but may be extended for another six months.