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Veterans Healing from Trauma Through Movement, Dance


On a sunny Saturday morning in San Diego, a group of veterans gathered to move their body, moving their hands, moving their feet and moving through their traumatic experiences.

These veterans were teaming up with a dance company to learn how to work through posttraumatic stress.

“I do have PTSD from my combat time in Afghanistan and from abuse prior to my time at war,” Amber Robinson said. “So, me coming to my own healing, I had to understand there are many different ways to heal.”

One of those ways is through dance. It’s part of a series of workshops by American History Theater called “Stomp and Shout.” Instructors take participants through theater improv, dance and other artistic expressions.

The goal is to help victims of military sexual trauma and posttraumatic stress reconnect their bodies with their minds.

“Trauma really robs us of connection,” dancer Erika Malone said. “It robs us of connections with our bodies to be able to connect with people in a playful way that’s not about, ‘Here’s what happened to me,” and kind of go into my story of trauma, but rather connect with them by smiling, by laughing and by playing a certain character. It’s very decentering. What I call moving away from the trauma.”

American History Theater hosts several workshops to help veterans deal with trauma. For more information, visit americanhistorytheater.org.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
Source: NBC San Diego

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