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If you have any questions or require any accessibility accommodations, please contact Sarah at urban@kaeja.org.

Background


Moving Connections was conceived, directed and developed in 2018 by Karen Kaeja. The project is an umbrella for her three decades of research of intergenerational collaborative dance-making using personal stories. Workshops include a warm-up, collaborative choreography, and gentle guided movement explorations. The workshops are a non-strenuous movement practice that warms the body and activates the mind. The Moving Connections Heart Dance was created by Karen in collaboration with a community of older adults just before the pandemic and was shared with community participants throughout the pandemic. This practice evokes a distilled reflection of hope, and embracing meaningful connections made with people in our lives. Read more about the positive effects of Moving Connections on body appreciation and social connection in these articles published by Frontiers in Psychology and the University of Calgary, based on research by Dr. Pil Hansen on Karen’s work.

About Moving Connections: Dancing Collected Stories

Join us from the comfort and safety of home! Introducing a new variation of Kaeja d’Dance's beloved Moving Connections, called Dancing Collected Stories! Moving Connections is a free virtual community movement practice, conceived and developed by Karen Kaeja in 2018. During the 2021 pandemic, this practice took the form of virtual workshops delivered via Zoom. Dancing Collected Stories offers participants the opportunity to collaboratively create new movement experiences in each session that are based on personal stories. Participants will be led through the workshops by a team of professional dancers who can work with all movement levels and ability requirements. Two of four experienced Moving Connections instructors will guide you: Nickeshia Garrick, Mio Sakamoto, Katherine Semchuk, and Irma Villafuerte. Allen Kaeja will be overseeing the 2022 Dancing Collected Stories program with his storytelling expertise.

 

Our focus is on all ages, bodies, and abilities with little or no previous dance experience. Adults ages 50+ are encouraged to participate. Moving Connections provides a place for friends, family, and community to come together to move and connect. It’s a great way to stay creative. connected and active through the winter months. All are welcome. Committed to making our programming accessible during the pandemic, we are pleased to continue to offer all Moving Connections sessions free of charge. Closed Captioning is available for all workshops.


 

Moving Connections: Dancing Collected Stories will have two six-week workshop modules that will run on Sundays from 10 am -11am EST on Zoom. The first module will run from January 30 until March 6, 2022, and the second module will run from March 27 - May 1, 2022. Participants are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. Drop-ins are welcome!

MOVING CONNECTIONS PROGRAM FOUNDER & DIRECTOR: Karen Kaeja

DANCING COLLECTED STORIES 2022 PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Allen Kaeja

DANCING COLLECTED STORIES FACILITATORS: Nickeshia Garrick, Mio Sakamoto,  Katherine Semchuk, Irma Villafuerte

CONSULTANT: Dr. Pil Hansen

 

Full biographies can be

found on our  Collaborators and Staff pages.

2022 COMMUNITY LEADERS: Jane Deluzio, Mai Duong, Lori Eisler, Lori Endes, Brina Levin, Phyllis Whyte

2019 COMMUNITY PARTICIPANTS: Pramila Aggarwal, Nadia Alpert, Mary Barr, Linda Bayliss, Pat Beaven, Pieter Biessels, Jane Deluzio, Joanne Desjardins, Lori Eisler, Luisa Giacometti, Christine Jackson, Suzanne Jaeger, David Keshen, Ana Lima, Sallie Lyons, Mary Anne Quance, Brenda Somers, Jini Stolk, Harold Tausch, Dianne Taylor, Cylla von Tiedemann, Patricia White, Phyllis Whyte, Myriam Zitouni

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 COMMUNITY SUPPORT TEAM: Elizabeth Bowes, Jane Deluzio, Lori Eisler, Lori Endes, Christine Jackson, Sallie Lyons, Lori Pacan, Phyllis Whyte

2021 PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FACILITATORS: Drew Berry, Nickeshia Garrick, Mio Sakamoto,  Elke Schroeder, Katherine Semchuk, Irma Villafuerte

Moving Connections: Dancing Collected Stories is Supported by:

 

Moving Connections: Dancing Collected Stories Partners:


 

Past Moving Connections programs were made possible by the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, New Horizons Program and University of Calgary / Kaeja d’Dance partnership SSHRC grant  - Moving Connections and aging partnership: sharing danced memories to build meaningful relations, led by Dr. Pil Hansen.

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All Moving Connections: Dancing Collected Stories workshops are offered free of charge. Should you wish to support Kaeja d'Dance and help us to offer more free programming in the future, consider making a donation today!

Moving Connections
in-studio workshops 2019

Moving Connections
Zoom + Outdoor Workshops 2021

"Thank you so much for today! Such a beautiful experience. I kept smiling with amazement and joy...that a group of strangers could perform a series of actions creating intimacy and cohesion. I loved it."

- Phyllis Whyte, Moving Connections Participant

 "I truly appreciated the sensitivity and generosity you and your team extended to us non-dancers.  It felt such a safe and supportive space."

- Brenda Somers, Moving Connections Participant

Here’s what our 2020/2021 participants said about Moving Connections:

"[I felt emotional] during the experience and after, connecting through movement to my heart and to others -

feeling vulnerable and safe at the same time"

"Feeling joyous and a surprising sadness is coming up for me, too. Grateful for how tender the approach is. Humbled and moved. And so happy to be moving my body with others in this disconnected time..."

"Seeing all of us moving together as a group in our individual interpretations was so beautiful and moving."

"[It was meaningful] to be able to move without judgement of myself, to be in real time with my moving body

and feeling present was a real blessing"

“The workshops have helped me to feel more at home in my body - a huge gift.  They have made me feel less isolated during the pandemic, and a little less self-critical and more accepting of my body.”

“So healing and also helped me feel connected to others as well as my own body”

"I am delighted to send my sincere congratulations to Kaeja d’Dance for the work that they have been able to accomplish in the last year with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s.The Moving Connections Program could not possibly be blossoming at a more important time, when we are all faced with isolation due to COVID-19. Your work is not only inspirational, but impactful, and I am incredibly excited to see what lies ahead for the entire team at Kaeja d’Dance. You have shown us once again why it is vital that we invest in Ontario’s artists, a cause that will always have my support.”