A teacher who can help you dance your ailments away

Moving a step farther from entertainment, dance movements have a therapeutic impact on ailments. This explains why Pune’s Nritya-Prerana School of Dance has been thriving for over four decades, training people who are visually challenged as well as those with orthopedic issues, autistic and special children with facial and limb movement challenges.

“We even include patients of Parkinson’s disease,” says Suchitra Date, director and founder of Nritya-Prerna. April 29 is marked as World Dance Day. The 65-year-old uses ‘Nrityaopchara’ , a form of dance therapy using Bharatanatyam movements, to teach and treat her students.

“Understanding how dance can channelise energy and train the mind, which in return increases attention span in students, Nrityaopchara started gaining popularity back in 1982-83,” recalls Date.

This journey commenced way back in 1976 when Date came across a student with a heart ailment. “l always look at these situations from an emotional point of view and tried to use my knowledge to understand how the body can be treated with regulated movements,” Date tells The Indian Express.

In the run-up to World Dance Day, Date has been holding multiple free-of-cost sessions for patients of arthritis, osteoporosis, insomnia and cancer survivors. On April 29, another session will be organised for senior citizens.

While the day is celebrated to promote the creative form of dance, the therapeutic dimension has been recognised by UNICEF, and a 45-minute regimen can keep several ailments at bay, says Date.
“This was a great coping mechanism during the Covid-19 pandemic for students, adults, and people,” she adds.


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