Week of March 22, 2018
Making space for

Movement Workshops

Movement gives me wings and a sense of freedom. Like a bird soaring above, filled with happiness and love. Fulfilling my destiny by just being me.

Workshop Participant

The centerpiece of Community Action is a robust program of movement workshops, launched in 2000 in partnership with Sanctuary for Families. The program has since expanded to include Safe Horizon and many other New York City organizations. Community Action offers over 500 free workshops annually to individuals and families who are on journeys to healthier futures.

Intimate partner violence survivors have often lacked the power to make choices in their own lives because their impulses have been controlled by another person. A collaborative workshop environment, paired with our four-part program model, helps these survivors with issues of choice, self-expression, trust, and sharing.

Gibney Dance Company members receive specialized training in order to design and facilitate workshops that draw from their artistic practices and address the needs of survivors. The workshop format is consistent but flexible enough for the dancers to bring their own personalities, areas of expertise, and creativity to the work. Workshops are tailored to the unique needs of each shelter.

Offered during support groups under the supervision of a social worker, workshops underscore clinical themes, address group dynamics, and explore common issues. Ultimately, Community Action workshops give survivors the emotional tools to take back control of their own futures.

The movement workshops are a must for our clients’ spirit.

Shelter Staff

Four Part Model

Our workshops follow a unique four-part progression that reflects the Company’s artistic process:

1. Look Inside: Reflect. Movement and creativity foster reflection and self-awareness that lead to greater self-confidence.

2. Speak Through Movement: Express. Movement and creativity encourage choice and decision-making. These activities help participants listen to their inner voices, express their feelings, and assert their identities.

3. Work Together: Collaborate. Moving and creating in a group is an enriching experience with valuable social and artistic rewards. Working together validates the experiences of every member of the group and helps to banish feelings of isolation and fear.

4. Take Care™: Dancers share state-of-the-art tools for stress reduction and self-care drawn from extensive training in dance, bodywork, and somatic practices.


96% of clients reported the workshop helped them relieve stress.

96% of clients reported that the workshop improved their physical health and well-being.

100% of clients reported that they would like to participate in another workshop.

The most common emotion reported before the workshop started was ‘sleepy’, followed by ‘nervous’. After the workshop the most common emotions were ‘confident’ and ‘creative’, followed by ‘strong’.