FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2018
One-of-a-Kind Program Uses Dance to Help Veterans and Families Cope with PTSD and Brain Injuries
Louisville, Kentucky –
Uplifting community dance experiences are being offered to help veterans and families affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Brain Injuries (BI). A series of ten dance sessions are being held February through mid-April in Louisville Kentucky. The unique opportunity features live music, small group interaction and a dance caller to lead participants through simple dances tailored to their needs. Veterans are welcome to bring loved ones or come alone and be partnered with friendly volunteers. Families and loved ones are welcome to come with or without their veteran. Dances are provided by Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, Inc., a non-profit organization, and are free of charge. Dances will be held from 6:00 – 7:30 on Tuesday nights from February 6 through April 10 at a central location in Louisville. (Location is kept confidential until participants pre-register). Older children are invited to join the dance, while free child-care is provided for younger children. Transportation can often be arranged to area participants upon request.
The program was developed in dialogue with a staff psychiatrist at Fort Knox. Dances are modified to ensure that those with PTSD, BI and other physical and mental challenges can participate fully and benefit. Modifications are made to the venue for safety and comfort.
“Anyone who is challenged from PTSD or BI, the most important thing is for them to get out and do things,” said Martin Traxler, Director of the Robley Rex VA Medical Center 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.”
A scientific study of the program was held in 2017, with preliminary results showing statistically significant improvement in feelings of connectedness. This is important because isolation is a common factor in people who suffer from PTSD or brain injury. Isolation often leads to increased levels of depression and suicide.
In earlier dance series with veterans in Louisville and a series offered at Ft. Knox with soldiers with PTSD and BI, participants reported
• feeling more at ease around a group
• decreased anxiety
• improved outlook on the future
• improved mood and memory
• improved relationships with their spouse or family
Some also experienced a decrease in their physical pain level. Spouses and partners reported benefits 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 and volunteers are needed to support the work. All participants must preregister.
Media are encouraged to contact Dancing Well to schedule covering the events or conducting interviews with the Executive Director or participants.
For more information, to register, or to support Dancing Well in bringing dance to wounded warriors, contact Deborah Denenfeld at (502) 889-6584 or Deborah@DancingWell.org.
Media: For more information, please contact Deborah Denenfeld, Executive Director of Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, at 502.889.6584 or Deborah@DancingWell.org. Media are encouraged to contact Deborah to schedule filming or interviewing.