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Watch this video of some of our favourite moments at West Point Grey Community Centre with Desirée Dunbar Creative Collaborative Dance workshop facilitator 

 

New CREATIVE COLLABORATIve dance workshops begin JAN 2018

 

Desirée is intuitive and supportive. She is a talented dancer with a successful dance company, yet she loves being with us. What a gift she is! When you are a senior and you find a younger, dynamic person who loves being with you, it is life affirming.
— Tannis F

Here's what Dr. Claire Robson (former team member of Arts & Health, Healthy Aging for Seniors) had to say after joining in the workshop for a day at West Point Grey Community Centre/ Aberthau Mansion...

The philosopher Susanne Langer once said that dance is our oldest art form and the most pure and effective way to communicate those aspects of our inner lives that language fails to address. The senior participants at West Point Grey dance group are totally committed to this project of feeling and communication.

Their dance is immediate, improvisational, and passionate. Rather than dancing to music, they become it as they channel the eclectic soundtracks provided by lead artist Desirée Dunbar - from Neil Young to classical orchestral symphonies. The spacious room in which they move becomes a forest, or a scene of creation, or an overcrowded elevator. 

When they rehearse, these senior dancers play with flow, and height, and tempo. Their movements are free and brave. And they are not afraid to take on big themes. Their performance in this showcase provides an excellent example, as they struggle with the issue of humanity’s destruction and violation of the environment. They are assembling this dance in the moment, piece by piece, and the final production will also be an experiment in space. After each rehearsal, they decompress and help each other to settle and balance their energy through Reiki healing, another ancient practice. 

From circle dancing to Druidic ritual, the West Point Grey Dancers are part of a long and sacred tradition.

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Desirée Dunbar is an award winning professional dancer and choreographer. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in 2012 from the University of Arizona and founded Dezza Dance Company in 2013.

She is a celebrated educator specializing in healthy ageing programs and instructs weekly Collaborative Creative Dance Workshops for Older Adults in Vancouver.

The recent Dezza Dance production No Place Like Home featured an intergenerational cast with older adult community dancers and young professionals teaming up to interpret the classic tale of Wizard of Oz. The live music by string duo The End tree and the character of the Aberthau Mansion added to a delightful evening of contemporary dance.

Dezza Dance is resident dance company at Aberthau Mansion/ West Point Grey Community Centre.

 

 

Take a creative journey... 


Desirée’s professional expertise as a dance artist and educator, plus her enthusiasm and encouragement is amazing. I find her dance classes extremely worthwhile as they encompass all that a community centre dance program should be. Her classes promote health (in all aspects), creativity, joy, friendship, and collaboration for older adults of all ages, abilities and cultures in a very fun, safe, encouraging and supportive environment.
— Linda M
 
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Enhance your creativity and move your body...

I love the seniors dance program with Desiree Dunbar on Fridays! I am 72 years old, and it is wonderful to find a program where I can move to music, within my own capabilities. It is fun to play with movement, and to be creative with a group of like minded folks. I enjoy the camaraderie as much as the movement- no one judges, and we all enjoy ourselves. Lots of laughter and hugs.
— Mary
 
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Tap into your inner playful and artistic self...

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Join Desirée Dunbar in this collaborative creative dance workshop

Enjoy spontaneous movement exercises to eclectic & inspiring music

More about Desirée over here >>>

Made possible by Arts & Health Project for Healthy Aging, West Point Grey Community Centre & Trout lake Community Centre


With the passing of my 95 year old father I have used some of the meditation and energy healing and stress reduction exercises learned in class to help comfort my father in his final days.
— Glenna W

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CREATIVITY/ COMMUNITY/ CARING/ COLLABORATION

It takes a very special skill both as a dancer and understanding of community dance to create and build on an atmosphere of trust and self expression. As an older adult, not only have been able to improve my flexibility and strength, but also to connect with others through movement. I leave the class feeling more peaceful, refreshed and looking forward to our next class. I would highly recommend these classes to anyone – dance skill is not required, just a willingness to move.
— Linda R
PHOTO:BERNDA KENT | TROUT LAKE CC

PHOTO:BERNDA KENT | TROUT LAKE CC


Where, When & How

 

Trout Lake Community Centre

Mondays 12:30-2pm in Grandview Room

REGISTER in-person, by phone or on-line

3360 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4M4

(604) 257-6955

https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search

We greatly aknowledge this as a subsidized program by Trout lake Community Association and thankful to Arts & Health Project for initiating the project in Sept 2015.

 

West Point Grey Community Centre

Fridays 12:30-2pm in Oak Room

Free (registration required)

REGISTER in-person, by phone or on-line

4397 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V6R 1K4

 (604) 257-8140

https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search

We greatly aknowledge this as a subsidized program by West Point Grey Community Centre and previously an Arts & Health Project initiative.


This is what Arts & Health, Healthy Ageing for Seniors director Claire Robson said about our Trout lake Workshops as we prepared for the Arts & Health Showcase at the Roundhouse Community & Arts Centre in 2017.

The senior dancers at Trout Lake are a fine illustration of the collaborative work conducted in this project.

Deeply engaged, they move, invent, compose and choreograph every Monday afternoon at Trout Lake Community Centre. Dogs and their owners stroll by the windows, oblivious to the large themes being investigated in the sunny spacious room inside – topics such as gratitude, beginnings, and opposites.

With two shows pending, the members of the group are searching for an appropriate ending for their dance. They know that it’s out there somewhere, but it eludes them, and it has to be exactly right. They experiment, revise, and try again. And always, they talk the language of artists – “How about…?” “What if…?” They offer suggestions and counter-suggestions, sometimes grabbing each other to demonstrate refinements or new ideas. It is a loud and productive form of controlled anarchy as they try out this and that, revisiting central ideas. Lead artist Desiree Dunbar orchestrates the unfolding conversation, both listening and suggesting, directing and letting the process run. She too moves as she offers feedback, and everyone watches her and nods.

By the end of the workshop, it would be hard to say exactly what has been decided, but clearly something has. The dancers try again. It is the same music, but the dance has evolved, and this time everyone applauds at the end. It feels right! This is it! An ending has been found, though no one could say exactly who or where it came from.

Creative group process is a wonderful thing to watch and even better to be part of. As one of the Trout Lake dancers put it, “When I dance, it’s beyond words.” Or as another put it, “It’s like you free part of yourself, and allow that part to act on its own.” Those deeper parts of the human spirit are in conversation in the Trout Lake dance, “Beginnings.” We know that you will enjoy the results. 


LINK Community Dance Showcase 2017

Beginnings (2017)

Older Adults Creative Collaborations Class

Trout Lake Community Centre

Oh Mother (2017)

Older Adults Creative Collaborations Class

West Point Grey Community Centre

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PHOTO: BRENDA KENT | TROUT LAKE CC

PHOTO: BRENDA KENT | TROUT LAKE CC


 Watch part of our Trout Lake class above


HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

We now have weekly classes to either pre-reigseter for (10 weeks sessions) or to drop-in to. Mondays at Trout Lake Community Centre and Fridays at West Point Grey Community Centre. Both are from 12:30-2pm.  

To register call:

Trout Lake Community Centre | 604-257-6955

West Point Grey Community Centre | 604-257-8140

Joining Older Adults Creative Collaborations is for you if:

  1. You're looking for a weekly, fun activity
  2. Want more creative expression in your life
  3. Love music
  4. Want to enhance creativity
  5. You are willing to be curious, playful & joyful
  6. You enjoy being with creative, kind & adventurous folks
  7. You see the importance in continuing to move your body

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO DO?

We will meditate, stretch, move, learn steps, memorize phrases, co-create dances, discuss art, learn hands on healing techniques to heal yourself and others and have fun!

Move at your own pace.  Healing an injury or working with pain?  This is an opportunity to bring skillful awareness to healthy alignment of your body and how to create healthy movement patterns.  You will find yourself getting gradually stronger, more flexible and agile.

This isn't a workout class- it's a creative and artistic experience... but you will find you get your heart rate up and that you stretch, lengthen and tone your muscles.

Don't worry we won't be moving the entire time.  There are lots of times we are sitting on chairs and stretching or taking water and chat breaks or pausing to watch a group and discuss what we saw.

I always ask that you move at your best pace and adjust anything for your own body.  Please let me know if you are working with injury, pain or trauma.  I'm here to help.


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WHAT DO I WEAR?

Good question!  No tutus or special shoes required.  Be your self and wear any comfy clothes that allow you to move freely.  Layers are helpful to adjust to temperature changes.  Sometimes we are still and sometimes we are moving more. 

Bare feet, cotton socks or runners are all great options.

Bring a water bottle.  You'll get thirsty.


THANK-YOU TO DAVID COOPER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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