It was quite exciting to see Children with Disabilities gathered together accompanied by their parents/caregivers to undergo sessions in Dance Movement Therapy [DMT] last Saturday, September 3 at the CBR Center. The Heart at Play Foundation led by Teacher Ana Rivera and her daughter Patti were there to train them.
We witnessed varied expressions of anticipation from the participants of CBR-SMILE [Samahan ng mga Magulang na Iniingatan ang Lahat ng batang Espesyal Inc.] as they wait for the program to start. Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] is co-sponsoring the project].
When the GMEFI group led by its president Even Dominguez, Community Education Fund Assistance Programs Head Mirana Medina, and Administrative Staff Nina Padua arrived, Mr. Ranil Sorongon, former ASP Executive Director, and currently the PPCWD Convenor and Norfil Foundation Consultant was giving the group a warm up talk, so to say.
The program started with the singing of the National Anthem led by a low-vision child, Perlyn Brevano followed by a prayer by Renea Leyva, mother of Terrenz Lukas Leyva, a child with cerebral palsy. The opening remarks was delivered by CBR-SMILE coordinator, Nitz Caliwan, in behalf of their president, Mrs. Sanny Bautista who came late because she had to attend another important meeting. GMEFI President Even Dominguez was the Guest speaker while Ranil Sorongon gave an inspirational talk. When Ms. Bautista arrived, she thanked GMEFI and all those who extended their hand to make the project possible like The Heart at Play Foundation, GMEFI and Norfil. Her voice cracked at one point.
An intermission dance was amazingly performed by CBR SMILE KIDS, namely: Bryan Bautista, Levilyn Bendal, Marie Claire Yeong, Teza Carl Cervantes, and Judy Ann Goyala. They danced and swayed their bodies gracefully and with gusto. They visibly enjoyed dancing; their talents, honed by patient teachers, and/or parents evident.
Finally, an introductory lecture on what Dance Movement Therapy is – as a combination of science and art — was explained by Patricia “Patti” Rivera who was aiding her mom, Teacher Ana. The Dance Movement Therapy session then started. THP prepared an IEP-Based Movement Grading Sheet to serve as their tool to gauge the development of the individual participating child.
Their main criteria, physical baseline has percentage of 40%, while the Elements of Dance were set each at 12%, as follows: Direction, Size, Level, Speed, and Balance.
Indeed, it was “heart at play” [to borrow from THP’s acronym] that we, as outside observers witnessed. For only committed hearts and soul could make such a unique activity happen in the name of love and in embrace of Persons with Disability.
Unfortunately, we had to leave early so we were not able to watch the entire session. Sayang!!
We could not wait to see the development and/or the improvement of the child participants four months later when the 10 sessions end on December 10.
Hoping for the success of the project, joy for the participating children and their parents!