After acceptance to the Grantsmanship Center in 2014, Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. and Pony Box Dance Theatre Executive Directors pitched similar goals for youth programming. This was the onset of planning for therapeutic dance and mentorship programs. In October 2016, CEF initiated a two week pilot of dance training skills at Los Angeles Juvenile Hall’s Eastlake Juvenile Hall entitled "The Grace Behavior". This program included girls ages 14-16 who were able to experience the benefits of healing through movement therapy and its value to their mental and physical health. CEF also introduced "Healing Through Ballet" in 2016, through a reel video and GofundMe to initiate the process of funding to sustain the project for future dance programs. The "Ballet For Healing" Phase II introduced the choreography of Pony Box Dance Theatre, also a fellow recipient of the Annenberg Alchemy Grant. The partnership of Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. and Pony Box Dance Theatre, officially combined mentorship and therapeutic dance services through The Dance for Healing Project, to LA County underserved youth and families. Our partners include LAUSD, LA County Probation Department's Juvenile Halls, Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and several Foster Care and Group Homes throughout Los Angeles. Serviced populations include special needs youth and adults; sex trafficked girls and boys groups; homeless minors and domestic violence victims have all benefited from The Dance for Healing Project.

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©2019 Center for the Empowerment of Families

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