January 6, 2016


One-of-a-Kind Program Uses Dance to Help Veterans and Families Cope with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries


Louisville, Kentucky – A unique program will offer uplifting community dance experiences to help veterans and families affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). 

Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, a local non-profit, will provide a series of ten dance sessions in January and February at a central location in Louisville.  Dances will feature live music, small group interaction, and a dance caller who will lead participants through simple dances. 

“Anyone who is challenged from PTSD or TBI, the most important thing is for them to get out and do things,” says Martin Traxler, Director of the Robley Rex VA Health Care System in Louisville. “So the movement, live music, all those things are important to help the veterans feel like they’re part of something and that they’re doing something to move their life forward and enjoy life.”

The program was developed in dialogue with a staff psychiatrist at Fort Knox.  Dances are modified to ensure that those with PTSD, TBI, and other physical and mental challenges can participate fully and benefit.

Veterans are welcome to bring loved ones or come alone and be partnered with friendly volunteers.  Dances will be held from 6:00 - 7:30 on January 12, 14, 19, 26, and 28, and February 2, 4, 9, 11, and 16.  Older children are invited to join the dance, while free child-care will be provided for younger children.  Transportation is available to veterans and their families upon request. 

In earlier dance series offered to veterans in Louisville and soldiers at Fort Knox, participants with PTSD and/or TBI reported: 

  • feeling more at ease around a group
  • decreased anxiety
  • improved mood and memory
  • an improved outlook on the future
  • improved relationships with their spouse or family

Some also experienced a decrease in their physical pain level.  Spouses and partners reported benefiting from socializing and networking with other affected veterans, soldiers, and families.

Dancing Well invites veterans and their loved ones interested in participating to join in the fun. Dances are open to the public as well, and volunteers are needed.  All participants must preregister.

For more information, to register, or to support Dancing Well in bringing dance to wounded warriors, contact Deborah Denenfeld at (502) 889-6584 or


Media: For more information, please contact Deborah Denenfeld, Executive Director of Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, at 502.889.6584 or Media are encouraged to contact Deborah to schedule filming or interviewing.



Louisville Dance Series. Photo credit: John Nation


Louisville Dance Series. Photo credit: John Nation


Louisville Dance Series. Photo credit: John Nation


Louisville Dance Series. Photo credit: John Nation