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Brooklyn Holocaust Survivors Dance the Night Away

Dance Therapy Helps Elderly with Repressed Memories from Shoah

By: David Shear
Published: March 4th, 2013 in News » World
The physical, spiritual and psychological benefits of dance, like all cardiovascular exercise have been well documented.

And now, it appears that Brooklyn’s Holocaust survivors are taking to that philosophy regularly at a dance club known as Minnie’s Place.

Situated in Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighbourhood, Minnie’s Place has attracted the survivors where they are taking part in exercise and dance sessions as they enjoy “Sweating to the Oldies”, most notably the unmistakable beats of the most popular club music not heard for decades.

Minnie’s Place, which is in Canarsie’s Hebrew Educational Society, spares no expense to give these elderly men and women a full mutli-sensory experience, and includes the always popular mirrored disco ball hanging from the ceiling, as well as an aromatherapy diffuser, with psychedelic images being shown on the walls of the club.

The free dance sessions, which occur once a week, last between 30 and 45 minutes.

The idea behind the therapy being dispensed at Minnie’s Place actually comes from a similar approach created during the 1970s by the DeHartenburg Institute in the Netherlands, and is designed to help the survivors come to grips with the emotional trauma caused by the Shoah, as well as their recurring memories.

“I feel like I’m in heaven,” Dora Zalcberg, 89, said in an interview with the New York Post. “This makes me forget all my problems and what I went through.”

It is expected that as many as 350 Holocaust survivors will enjoy the benefits of Minnie’s Place this year.

Related articles: Brooklyn, New York, Holocaust, Survivors, Dance Therapy, Elderly, Seniors, Shoah
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