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Helping Prisoners Overcome Trauma with Dance

Dance to Be Free is a program helping female prisoners overcome trauma with dance. While the inmates at the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections are physically incarcerated, the freedom that comes through dance helps them open up, enjoy themselves, and regain self-confidence.

Founder Lucy Wallace began teaching dance in prison in order to help inmates, who often had unaddressed PTSD from physical or emotional trauma, regain ownership over their bodies and spirits. Prison dance therapy is also aimed at reducing rates of recidivism; according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 30% of adult offenders are re-arrested within 6 months of their release, and within 3 years, 67% return to prison.

Dance to Be Free programs are now available in prisons in Mississippi, Nebraska, Arkansas, Washington and more, and Lucy Wallace even spoke at the first TEDx talk live-streamed from a prison. If you know a prison that could benefit from Dance to be Free, get in touch.

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