Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: South Sound Dance Access


Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Alice Grendon, executive director for South Sound Dance Access.

South Sound Dance Access is a new nonprofit created by South Sound Dance, to ensure access to dance, movement and performing arts for people of all ages in the south sound region.

“We are an arts access nonprofit and we’re specifically focused on dance movement and the performing arts,” says Alice. “Our mission is to ensure all people have access to dance movement and the performing arts as a means of physical and mental health.”

The nonprofit achieves its mission by bringing dance to public schools, community workshops and through scholarships that allow children from lower-income families to attend classes at a studio.

“I really believe dance is one of the best things we can do to strengthen the mind-body connection,” explains Alice, “and more and more of the research that’s coming out right now about the nervous system and how children learn really shows us that children cannot learn unless they’re in rest and digest, unless they’re able to be in their parasympathetic nervous system. One of the quickest and fastest ways to help access that is through the body and through movement. So when we bring dance into the schools, or when we enable more children to access dance, we’re helping them settle their nervous systems. We’re helping them connect their minds and their bodies and that’s making their brain receptive to learning.”

Dancing is more connective than some exercises regimes because you need to learn the steps and remember them, engaging your brain while you move. South Sound Dance Access uses Brain Compatible Dance Education, created by Anne Green Gilbert, that focuses on mind-body connection and the developmental stages the brain goes through from inside the womb and once born.

The dances teach concepts like relationships in space, time and tempo, self-space versus general space, and more. “Those concepts directly translate to the same concepts that children are learning in their classroom education in school,” shares Alice, “and so they’re getting to learn through their bodies some of the same concepts that they’re learning in the classroom and so it really reinforces that learning and supports it.”

If you are a teacher looking to get dance into your school, you can email them at access@southsounddance.com.

You can help support the nonprofit’s missions through donations.

For more information, watch the full video above and visit the South Sound Dance Access website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thurston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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