Announcement, Industry Listing.

Announcing funding from the Trillium Foundation and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

In December 2019, Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance launched the Moving Connections Project, supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Moving Connections engages adults over 60 in a shared creative dance practice. The explorations continue Kaeja’s life work of integrating every-day people into experiencing the language of movement, the stories held in the body, and eliciting a sense of connection. In this project, Kaeja focuses on sourcing and sharing meaningful recollections of what has touched participants in their lives through journaling memories and collaborative, creative, and task-based means of dance making. The goal of her integrated practice is to foster a sense of connection and increase a sense of belonging, empathy, and collective wellbeing.

Kaeja’s interest in dance and aging started when she fell into dance through the Dance Therapy undergraduate program at York University in 1980-84. As part of her studies she initiated the first Dance Therapy program with the aging population at North York’s Baycrest Centre. Now her journey with this topic comes full circle with the Moving Connections Project and affiliated research project.

Kaeja is also partnering with Dr. Pil Hansen and her team from the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Dr. Hansen and her team received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to conduct the Moving connections and aging partnership: sharing danced memories to build meaningful relations. The researchers will support Kaeja’s creative interventions with older adult participants, with evidence-based insight and measure the effects of Kaeja’s program. This will contribute to the development of Kaeja’s artistic methods for working with adults of all ages. Dr. Hansen’s team will also provide a measurement of some of the benefits of dance participation for senior adults and contribute to this emerging field of research. As the demographic of Canada changes and people live longer, interest in how dance can benefit healthy aging is growing.

Posted by: Kaeja d'Dance
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