Move to Move Beyond

Healing through Movement

Community Action

“Movement gives me wings and a sense of freedom.”

Workshop participant

Move to Move Beyond is an evidence-based program that offers the transformative power of movement to survivors of gender-based violence and their families.

Launched in 1999 in partnership with Sanctuary for Families, Move to Move Beyond provides an environment for positive physical expression and has vividly demonstrated that movement, physical awareness and creativity can play a remarkable role in healing trauma. The program has since expanded to include partners such as Safe HorizonBarrier Free LivingHenry Street SettlementCommunity Health Action of Staten Island among many other New York City organizations. 

Over 100 free Move to Move Beyond workshops are offered annually to individuals and families who are on journeys to healthier futures, and a virtual model of our Move to Move Beyond workshops was also created in response to COVID-19 and its impact on survivors. Gibney is continuing to offer this model as a way for each partner to determine the best way to support their communities. 

The central dynamic of an abusive relationship is one person having power and control over someone else. A collaborative workshop environment, paired with our four-part program model, encourages choice, self-expression, trust-building, and sharing:

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 can 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, choices and thoughts using their bodies.

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 feel more connected to one another.

4. Take Care™: Dancers share effective tools, which participants can easily practice on their own outside of the workshops, for stress reduction and self-care.


In a recent evaluation, 82% of participants reported that the workshop helped them connect with others and gave them new ideas of things they can do to feel relaxed. The most common emotions reported at the beginning of the workshop were tired, stressed, and nervous/anxious.

After the workshop, most clients reported feeling energized, confident, or relaxed.

Click here to learn more about our research study that looks at the impact of our Move to Move Beyond program.

Learn more here or contact Emily Tellier at

If you or someone you know needs help, please call NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1–800-621–4673, the National Domestic Violence 24-hour Hotline at 1−800−799−7233, or 911 for emergencies. You can also use SafeChat to chat with an advocate at Safe Horizon, Monday through Friday between 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Move to Move Beyond has received generous support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the New York City Council, and the NYU Community Fund.