Volunteer Opportunity Announcement

DANCE ASSISTANTS SOUGHT for Dance to Improve Gait, Balance and Mood For Individuals Post Stroke.

Class Dates/times: TBC MARCH 25th-JUNE 2019 Toronto, Canada. Location TBC 500 University Avenue

FUNDED BY: Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian – Partnership for Stroke Recovery and IN PARTNERSHIP with: Miriam Schacter, danceABILITIES(tm); LEAD INVESTIGATORS: Dr. Kara Patterson, Dr. Dina Brooks; RESEARCH COORDINATOR: Wade Michaelchuk, MSc., R.Kin TEAM LEAD: Shariq Jaffery

THE STUDY: This “Canadian 1st” randomized controlled trial will include accessible/inclusive group dance classes for individuals post stroke over a 3-year period. Dance genres include ballroom (latin styles and waltz), social dancing, ballet, jazz, contemporary, elements of authentic movement and contact dance, collaborative choreography, mirror-work, across floor work and so on.

COMMITMENT: We support you in creating a volunteer schedule that suits your availability, however, a commitment of 5 classes is preferred

WHAT IS A DANCE ASSISTANT? assist the clients/dancers with safe entrance and exit, support the dancers in various ways during the class (such as sharing encouragement or light balance support), assist the instructor/facilitator (such as setting up stereo, demonstrating a move or gesture). For this position, it is best to have some training in dance, fitness, or med/rehab. During the program, “dance-assistants” will be introduced to the elements of an “inclusive-dance” program, ongoing networking opportunities, safety practices and so on. Many dance assistants have been able to lead their own classes following this volunteering/training.

THE DATES and TIMES: TBC 2x weekly. Please meet on main floor cafeteria, 15 min before classes. Again, I support you in creating a volunteer schedule that suits your availability, however, a commitment of 5 classes is preferred.

LOCATION TBC: U of T Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation Sciences Centre, 500 University Avenue at Dundas Street West.


If you are interesting in being a dance-assistant, please contact the Pilot Partner & facilitator, Miriam Schacter, at danceabilitiescanada@gmail.com or call/text (416-939-16-Seven-Two). * Please contact me as soon as possible however, I do take on dance-assistants after the program has already begun as well.


“I am so grateful to have been a part of the “We Love to Boogie: Dance Post Stroke” study at U of T (2015-17) Miriam Schacter choreographed or facilitated the dance sessions in this study, and truly opened my eyes to the beauty, and importance of adapted/inclusive dance. Miriam was able to bring about an atmosphere of love, curiosity, and bravery among all of the dancers in our group. As a volunteer, I saw dancers grow in their confidence in movement, and understanding of themselves through choreographies and guided improvisations. It was a true joy to volunteer“ – Eden Champagne, dancer and Masters of Psychology candidate

“Assisting in the study allowed me to further develop my skills working with people with accessibility needs. It was fun and playful. What was especially gratifying was witnessing how people transformed from unsure how to move and engage their body in dance to a greater body awareness and openness to movement in whatever way was available to them.” – Marla Gold, Workplace Health and Wellness Educator

Let’s have a talk to find out if this is the right volunteer position for you.

Relevant links:



Dance Assistant Training, video, class planning page:


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