Dance Therapy | St. Louis Public Radio

Dance Therapy

Kelly Pratt | Kelly Pratt Photography

Ballerina Vanessa Woods came up with the idea for Vitality Ballet when she was looking for a side hustle that involved making a meaningful impact through movement. 

The founding principle of the organization is that no one is too old to learn to dance.

“I actually got the idea from my mom,” Woods said. “She’s an occupational therapist, and she works with older populations ... and I loved that idea. It immediately captured my imagination.”

For Woods, the major question was, “How could I create a dance program that would allow seniors to experience ballet?”

Arianna Dougan became a local celebrity and has inspired dance therapy initiatives. | Used: 2/21/19
Provided by Lori Zucker

Arianna Dougan, an 11 year old who captured the attention of thousands, loved to dance.

“By the time she was two, she was begging for dance lessons,” Dougan’s mother, Lori Zucker, told host Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air Thursday. “I wanted her to wait until she was old enough to appreciate them, so I told her she would have to be three to start lessons. I didn't know the lessons would have to start in the hospital.”