Expressing Freedom…The Dancing Heart™ and MN Vets

Reflection on Day 1 of our Dancing Heart™ program at the MN Veterans Administration day program...

I was personally overwhelmed at the amount of love and caring in this room full of men in all stages of disability. I wondered how we could touch those who sat, almost immobile, staring off into space. Kairos’, The Dancing Heart™ has taught me to take the risk, to take a chance on reaching someone who doesn’t seem to be there but is waiting to receive. I knelt down in front of Matt who had barely moved since we arrived. “May I take your hand?” I asked as I looked into his eyes that had initially averted mine. I touched my fingers to his and he responded. Then his eyes brightened and a slight smile formed on his lips. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I took his hand and we moved back and forth to the music. He didn’t move his legs but he kept smiling. When the music ended and our “dancing” was over, I thanked him. I told him I hoped he would come back next week to another Dancing Heart™ session. His answer was in the connection between us – in our eyes and his squeeze of my hand.

I don’t know who did more thank you’s that day – the Kairos staff and volunteers who were deeply touched by these wonderful vets or the vets who extended their gratitude to us for being there with them. When I thanked Ralph for his participation in The Dancing Heart™, he said, “People don’t realize when you are 18 and 19 years old and you see things that are horrific, it changes you forever. You never forget. But you came here today and you showed us you care and that makes a big difference in our lives.” How much better can we describe the power of The Dancing Heart™,  than the joy we bring and the love we receive from those who are apart of the program.



The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

3 Responses to Expressing Freedom…The Dancing Heart™ and MN Vets

  1. Joseph (Joe) Finley says:

    As a vet I say: WONDERFUL!!! Thank you, Kairos!

  2. Debra Lach says:

    Thank you to the vets, thank you to Kairos! This brings tears to my eyes as I think about the vets in my life.

  3. Patti Choate says:

    How moving, just to read about it. Keep doing the work, Kairos.

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