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Our Impact Statement

Immediate Success

The Dance for Healing Project addresses the urgent needs of youth who demonstrate physical and mental health symptoms and behaviors related to trauma. Within 12 months, we provided a therapeutic dance and follow up mentorship curriculum to a total of 213 girls and boys, ages 5-18 yrs. The reported traumas experienced by these youth include hospitalization recovery, human trafficking, parental neglect, substance abuse, domestic violence, and repeated threat of homelessness. A total of 97% of our youth participants reported witnessing or directly experiencing trauma in their previous home environments.

Evaluation and Outcomes

Post-classes, we observed through written exercises and journals, that all participants shared improved narratives and optimism. IN 2018, 92% reported feeling best when they were performing; and 98% said they wanted to continue dance after permanent placement. We discovered that the majority of youth participants gained a new perspective of healing. Additionally, our youth’s parents, teachers, lawyers and caretakers who attended our program recitals, also reported increased optimism and hope for our participant's recovery.

Partners in the Community

This project is a joint initiative created by the Center for the Empowerment of Families Inc. (CEF) and Pony Box Dance Theatre (PBDT). Our therapeutic dance & mentorship program was provided in Los Angeles County Juvenile Halls, LAUSD schools, and in-group homes throughout Los Angeles County. This program is a service to boys and girls with the opportunity to use their bodies and minds to create art versus self harm, and implement their coping & skills more effectively. In 2019, we expanded to work with youth and families recovering in hospital care.


Jamie Hammond-Carbetta is a Choreographer and the Pony Box Theatre Director with a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Renee Curry holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and she's a Registered Associate Marriage Family Therapist. Our healing skills model utilizes professional dance instructors who are themselves survivors of childhood trauma. Ninety eight percent of our youth advocates have university degrees and act as peer role models and mentors.


As The Dance for Healing Project works to enhance the quality of life for youth affected by trauma, we demonstrate that dance, for both boys and girls, is a beneficial stress intervention method.

*Ms Curry is an AMFT #109674 Employed and Supervised by Darlene Basche LCSW

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