Our Rainbowdance Attunement Program for Foster and Adoptive families offers an experience of playfulness and consistency that instills self-regulation, self-esteem, and social empathy in children and caregivers alike. Each week, participants engage in a repeated sequence of gesture-integrated songs that establish safety, dependability, and trust. As participants internalize this work, it becomes integrated into their daily lives as a tool to help navigate challenging moments as well as build a secure, lasting bond. This intervention provides foster and adoptive parents with a concrete tool through which to connect with their children.
“My daughter Anna arrived in my arms in Nanchang, China in May of 2009, at 16 months old, weighing 16 pounds and barely able to sit up…We brought Anna home, fed her lots of cream, and slowly she started to put on weight. Within a month she started to crawl…Her little legs were so skinny and lacking muscle tone – she had clearly never used them to support herself in standing position – and it took time for them to strengthen. At the very end of August… Anna took her first steps at 19 months old… She wasn’t very steady, but she was extremely determined…
In January 2010, just as Anna was turning 2, we started our first class at Dicki Johnson Macy’s Rainbowdance Attunement program for toddlers and parents. I knew immediately that this was exactly what Anna needed: a therapeutic practice of repetitive movement and balance, accompanied by gentle music and singing, with mom by her side. Anna was, and remains, extremely wary of strangers. During our first class, she kept her face hidden in my lap most of the time, by the second she started watching the group leader with studied interest, and by the third she was smiling and following along with most of the movements. Through her dance classes, as the spring progressed, Anna started to see movement not merely as an objective, but as a means of expression and a source of great pleasure.
Rainbowdance has provided us with exactly the kind of supportive and loving movement therapy that Anna most needed. These days Anna is running, hopping, jumping, and we are full of anticipation for the coming year of Rainbowdance.”