Ballet After Dark is the only program that provides trauma-informed, holistic dance therapy to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. With a goal of helping survivors reprocess, rebuild and reclaim relationships with their bodies, we’re building a global community of support for survivors and creating spaces for women (and those who identify as women) to safely explore freedom of assembly and association following sexual and intimate trauma. Trauma can affect us physically, change our behaviors, intensify our emotions, and transform our psyches. Often, our reactions to trauma can include denial, anxiety, fear and helplessness. Healing following trauma is often a difficult, life-long journey that can have devastating lasting effects on survivors. This unique, free PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) service aims to bridge the gap between trauma experienced and safe spaces for survivors and other disenfranchised individuals to heal. This work requires trust building within groups of people who work together. The 9 month curriculum introduces participants to various elements of self-care while infusing beginner's ballet and athletic conditioning. Survivors can expect to develop ballet fundamentals such as technique and terminology while being encouraged to heal in an empowering, trauma-informed environment. Quarterly workshops include visits from guest speakers, facilitators and mental health professionals. The program culminates in a showcase performance that highlights ballet technique learned throughout the program.
Our organization’s mission is to foster relationships between survivors, provide support and education, and create spaces where survivors can envision and experience the world we/they deserve. We honor art and expression as invaluable communication tools that make a better world–and value survivors’ stories in all their vast diversity as holding the answers.
Ballet After Dark is the only program that provides trauma-informed, holistic dance therapy to survivors of stalking, sexual and intimate partner violence. Our program has also engaged survivors of various levels of trauma such as illness, homelessness and more. We’re building a global community of support for survivors and creating spaces for youth and women (and those who identify as women) to safely explore freedom of assembly and association following sexual devastation and trauma.
Ballet After Dark initially began as a series of community based workshops before being developed into a curriculum. Between 2014-2016, a total of 30 Ballet After Dark workshops were hosted. These community workshops began as 45-60 minute open dance classes featuring fitness fundamentals
and drop in self defense classes. These classes were specifically aimed at exposing black and brown trauma survivors to the classical discipline as a healing modality. Classes were promoted via word of mouth and light marketing via facebook campaigns.
Beginning in 2016, we implemented our self care workshops. This was the development of our holistic approach to providing trauma survivors with programming that restored autonomy to survivors allowing them to reprocess, rebuild and reclaim their lives following sexual and domestic trauma. These extended workshops (90-120 minutes long) gently engaged survivors in conversations about self-care strategies, beginner's ballet technique, fitness fundamentals, self-defense classes and meditation. During this time, we also began facilitating conversations led by volunteering mental health professionals, community organizers and social workers. We saw a dramatic increase in attendance as we promoted through paid Facebook campaigns and press release submissions to local event calendars and media platforms. Between 2016-2018, a total of 22 self-care workshops were facilitated with a total 176 participants.
Tyde-Courtney Edwards is the Founding Director of Ballet After Dark, a classically trained ballerina, art model and survivor of sexual assault. Born and raised in Baltimore City, she is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and has over 20 years of dance training and experience. Trained in various styles of dance including classical and contemporary ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop, she conceptualized Ballet After Dark after struggling with recovery following her sexual assault. Tyde-Courtney has trained with Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Peabody
Conservatory, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey and other institutions while receiving training from local dance pioneers such as Anton Wilson and Stephanie Powell. She currently resides in Baltimore City.
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