RCA Grantee: Critical Mass Dance Company

from Lyn Bradford, Ambassador, Critical Mass Dance Company

May 6, 2022

Since its founding in 2010, Critical Mass Dance Company (CMDC) has supported the healing, wellness, and empowerment of women in and around Los Angeles through movement. Through a trauma-informed somatic practice called Dance from the Heart, CMDC offers healing movement programs that help girls and women reconnect with their bodies, heal trauma, cultivate resiliency, and realize their personal goals in a supportive community with others.  CMDC currently provides three community programs, which are free for participants and offered in partnership with nonprofits around Los Angeles. These three programs provide one-time workshops and 6–12-week classes in English or Spanish throughout the year for teen girls, women in need, and the nonprofit professionals who help them.

This is the second year that the Ebell’s Rest Cottage Association (RCA) has supported CMDC’s Women Empowerment Program which supports women healing from illness, war, sexual violence, domestic abuse, or other traumas. Over the years, they have cultivated collaborative partnerships with organizations like Peace Over Violence, East Los Angeles Women’s Center, New Economics for Women, WeSPARK, and others.

Using CMDC’s Dance from the Heart, participants report the following outcomes:

  1. Decreased stress and anxiety
  2. Less physical pain and/or feeling more connected/safer in the body
  3. Increased self-confidence and more positive outlook on reaching their goals
  4. Greater sense of support, belonging and community.

The women who attended the programs last year have this to say:

Each class allows me to return to my body, inhabit it again fully, no matter how disconnected or pained I may have felt at the beginning. I believe all of us are being moved into greater wholeness and health, each time we meet.”

“The class was very freeing. The different stages helped me deal with issues that I have experienced in my cancer journey and life journey in general. I loved the process of throwing things into the fire. It was very cathartic to take things from my physical body and just let them go.”

“I learned how to relax myself to release the tension and let go of what is bothering me. The chronic pain in my hands from arthritis has gone away. It’s made a huge difference for me.”   

“Dance from the Heart was a truly transformative and healing experience. The workshops allowed me to connect to my body, to heal my body, and to connect with my spirit. It was a joy to participate every week. The workshops not only supported my own personal growth but also my parenting and relationships. I plan to continue participating in Dance from the Heart and highly recommend the series to anyone looking to connect with their body and heal from trauma or for overall mental health.”

To encourage their expanded support for other in-need women in the community, and know an organization who would be interested in their Women’s Empowerment Program, feel free to connect with Sophia Kozak, Founding Director, at Sophia@criticalmassdancecompany.org.