‘Every body’ invited to Cummings Centre’s virtual dance workshop
The Cummings Centre is inviting you to Dance for Joy! on February 21 in celebration of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month (JDAIM). The exclusive intergenerational program, to be held virtually from 12:00-1:30 PM, will be led by Yukon-based dancer and educator Gurdeep Pandher.
“Gurdeep uses the traditional Punjabi Bhangra folk dance style to anchor people in joy,” said Victoria McNeill, Program Manager, Inclusion & Engagement at the Cummings Centre. “His whole philosophy is that lots of emotions exist, but we can make joy our home and a place we can come back to during difficult moments. Whether you are using your arms or legs, or watching Gurdeep intently while he’s demonstrating the dance, it’s hard to resist the feeling of the Bhangra dance.”
Pandher, who gained widespread notoriety during the pandemic via his social media channels, will guide participants through the dance style during the opening half of the program, followed by the creation of individual hands-on creative art projects. The program is free of charge and open to all ages.
The program is one of many being organized throughout the month of February to mark the 14th year of JDAIM, a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions and those who love them. This includes a free multigenerational art exhibition being held for the second year at the Cummings Centre.
“The Cummings Centre has an identity and reputation of serving the 50+ Montreal community, said McNeill. “Like many community spaces, our doors have always been open to people of different backgrounds, religions, or languages. We are always looking to welcome people and help them find a community space. With JDAIM, it’s been really important journey for us as an organization to be more and more aware of the needs of people in our community who live with disabilities they have carried through their lives and have shaped who they are as people. It’s been a wonderful experience for us at the Centre to collaborate with organizations that are doing this good work.”
McNeill is excited to participate in the program herself and hopes others join in on the fun, too.
“It should be a real energetic space online,” she said. “It will be my first time dancing with a group on the Internet. I am really looking forward to experiencing that with all the people who want to join us.”
The free program Dance for Joy! will take place online over Zoom on Tuesday February 21 between 12:00-1:30 PM. Interested participants are invited to secure their free spot by February 20 by calling the Cummings Centre registration desk at 514-343-3510 or by registering online at cummingscentre.org/.