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The Dance for Healing Project is much more than a traditional dance program; it's a movement that's been created over time through intense observation, credible research, and participant outcomes. We encourage trauma recovery and rehabilitation through rhythm and mental health acheivement. Youth and adult participants receive tools and follow-up reinforcement to encourage sustained healthy habit forming skills. In 2018, we exceeded our goal to target more than 300 youth and adults affected by trauma experiences. In 2019, we intend to increase our community outreach by 25%.


Our mission is to provide therapeutic dance and follow-up trauma recovery mentorship to populations in underserved and marginalized communities throughout Los Angeles County, CA. 


The Dance for Healing Project creates an environment for trauma recovery, by providing therapeutic dance and mentorship support combined, for populations identified as underserved, marginalized and special needs.


Youth and communities affected by recent trauma exposure have a much better chance of recovery if they are exposed to resiliency methods and trust building relationships. Our work is supported by role modeling, consistency, and evidence based trauma informed recovery method. 

Meet The Founders

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Jamie Carbetta-Hammond

Executive/Creative Director

Pony Box Dance Theatre

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Jamie knows firsthand that dance saves lives and that all people need the joy, beauty and freedom of dance.  Jamie had a difficult childhood and dance provided a much needed way to transcend her circumstances.  Jamie began making dances for the neighborhood children at the age of five to her dad’s Shirley Bassey records. Gradually she morphed into a light theatre ingenue before earning a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) in Dance degree from the University of California, Irvine.

As a dancer, Jamie has toured and performed throughout the United States and Japan.  In 2012, she founded Pony Box Dance Theatre, LA's only all male contemporary dance troupe.  She has received grants from the National Museum of Dance; The Arts Council for Long Beach; The California Arts Council; The Los Angeles Center for Cultural Innovation; The Department of Cultural Affairs, and the University of California, Irvine. Her choreography placed as a finalist in McCallum Choreography Festival and has been presented in Japan, Ohio, Washington, New York and California.  Jamie has been teaching dance for over 30 years and has worked with hundreds of students in LA County.  Currently, Jamie teaches at several Los Angeles Colleges including West Los Angeles College and Pasadena City College, and is certified in Pilates and yoga.

Renee Curry

Executive Director

Center for the Empowerment of Families

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Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. was founded in 2006, by Dr. Sharon Jacques-Rabb. Dr. Rabb grew up in the foster care system, and subsequently, she experienced many traumas but sought education as her route to freedom. After 35 years of private practice as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Rabb closed her practice and created CEF to provide mental health skills to underserved & impoverished communities.  Renee continues to build upon her mother’s legacy today, after losing Dr. Rabb to her battle with breast cancer in 2014.

Renee has a Master of Science degree and she is a *Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). She is an active member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), and LA-CAMFT, and the Southern Regional Chapter of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). Renee has provided core trainings to more than 1200 law enforcement officers, and she's co-authored curriculum with Dr. Rabb, which has been facilitated for Homeboys Industries Inc., the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department; the California Rehabilitation and Corrections Department; and the San Bernardino and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Currently, Renee provides Trauma Informed Care staff training for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

In 2015, Renee received an award from Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti for completing the City’s fifty-four hour LAPD Crisis Response Team training, and following in 2016, Renee was accepted by the Violence Prevention Coalition to present her trauma recovery follow up care model at the 5th Annual LA Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention Conference. In 2018 Renee was chosen to facilitate 8 hr CE courses for the Los Angeles County Black Probation Officers Association Conference, and the California Parole and Probation Corrections Association. In 2019, Renee hosted So Cal SAHM's Human Trafficking conference at the Los Angeles Childrens Hospital. 


Come and meet the members of our team that help to make The Dance for Healing Project a success. Through giving their time to be role models to our youth, they are a big part of this program.


Through healing skills, we address the urgent recovery needs of youth who demonstrate physical and mental health symptoms related to their experiences with traumatic events. With a combined 16 years as non-profit service providers, The Dance for Healing Project model was planned in 2014 to respond to observations and evidence of youth recovery and healing intervention. By first offering therapeutic dance with mentorship in 2016, we collected youth outcomes over the course of 12 months.

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