“ballet after dark” program aims to help sexual trauma survivors heal through dance

March 1, 2017

Life after sexual assault is hard and the healing is harder, but more and more survivors are turning to alternatives to traditional counseling and the results are breathtaking. Ballet After Dark is an international workshop project documenting survivors of sexual assault as they use dance as a form of therapy. Dance has always been a form of communication, whether it be the dances of West African rites of passage or the contemporary dance of Alvin Ailey, but rarely does dance get applied to the mental and spiritual health. Ballet After Dark is an international program that runs filmed workshop series allowing women who are survivors of sexual and domestic assault to heal using the power of ballet. All over the world, women will have access to a network of survivors in the process of reclaiming their personhood and empowering themselves.

The team behind Ballet After Dark have launched a Kickstarter to help fund their goal of providing support and healing for women worldwide. On their page they say, “Sexual assault is a horribly, shaming act of violence. Most survivors are left with embarrassment and guilt and often believe the act was brought upon them by something they’ve done. Often, women are left feeling helpless as they navigate through their pain and trauma. We often feel less than human and we’re left with an unfamiliarity when it comes to our bodies. At Ballet After Dark, we strive to help women reconnect with their womanhood and sensuality by using ballet to help heal and reconnect with our femininity. We’re making ballet accessible to all women! While our workshops all open to women of all ethnicities, our goal is to partner with organizations within the African Diaspora who may be unfamiliar with ballet altogether.” Their vision is to provide this service internationally, but that’s only possible with your help! So watch the video below and consider contributing to this powerful movement via Kickstarter.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor