Astangu’s physiotherapist highlights dance as the ultimate means of rehabilitation

15. November 2013

On Tuesday, December 10th, Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre hosted an interactive dance performance which ended a 4-month-long inclusion project “Dance for Everyone – with or without Disabilities”.

The performance, consisting of a live dance show and videos recorded in Tallinn urban space, displayed the results of a fruitful cooperation between 4 young people with disabilities (all of them are students at Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre) and 4 dance professionals. The performance was last in a series of dance performances held at various schools across Estonia.

The project was led by Astangu's physiotherapist Anneliis Jaanus who considers it as a novel means of inclusion. "So far, there had been no projects in Estonia which would use dance as a means to integrate people with disabilities into the society," Jaanus points out.

Geter Nõmmik, one of the participants regards the experience gained while being on stage as 'amazing'. "You start out feeling tiny and shy on the stage but the feeling you get when somebody watches you dancing and gives you an applause, makes you so much more confident," Geter says.

Another participant, a coreography student Marie Käige said that the project has taught her to look at dance as something that reaches beyond entertainment - she now sees dance as therapy and a unifying element.

"This project has proved that dance is intrinsically one of the greatest means of rehabilitation", project manager Anneliis Jaanus concludes. In addition to leading the project, Anneliis Jaanus is also in the midst of becoming the first certified movement analyst in Estonia.

The project and the performances were funded by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Additional supporters include EDO - Estonian Dance Organization, The Union of Estonian Dance Artists, Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre and 106 crowdfunders via Estonian crowdfunding website