Dance for All Facilitator Training

DFA Logo_Web"The universe is your stage. Your mind dances with your body, guided by your heart.” Yogi Tea Bag

Originally designed for teens and adults with developmental disabilities, Dance For All is an innovative therapeutic program based in dance/movement and yoga that is easily adapted to a variety of populations. In addition to elementary and middle school special day classes, Dance for All has been successfully delivered to children in traditional Pre-K and elementary schools as well as to older adults.

While regularly-scheduled classes are offered through the Dance for All organization, we have co-developed a one-day facilitator training that allows participants to learn the tenets of Dance for All so that they may bring the program into their own work.

The comprehensive Dance for All curriculum for this training includes eight theme-based modules, each with three sections, which can be mixed and matched according to needs of participants. Step-by-step directions, pre- and post-discussion prompts, props/music suggestions, and helpful hints are included for all movement activities.

This highly experiential training highlights the importance of self-care and personal development for the facilitator, with an emphasis on participant connection and collaboration. The course will be taught by both Dance for All lead teachers and mentors to demonstrate a working model for sustainable leadership.

Watch a short introduction video on the Dance for All curriculum.

sample themes:

  • Introductions: Fun and creative methods for beginning a class

  • Friendship: Building social skills and recognizing social cues

  • Feelings Identification: Identifying emotions to facilitate self-regulation

  • Posture: Developing body awareness

  • Calm Body: Creative and soothing methods to facilitate self regulation


Saturday, September 16, 2017


9:30 am to 5:00 pm (with a one-hour lunch break)



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Kathy Cass MA, BC-DMT, C-IAYT, AHC
Hilary Kern, MA, LMFT, ATR, CYT
Clory Rossi-Shewan MA, MFTI
Vicki Alvarez, BA


8090 Crenshaw Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90305

additional information:

Kathy Cass MA, BC-DMT, C-IAYT, AHC is a board certified dance/movement therapist, certified yoga therapist, and Ayurvedic Health Counselor with over 25 years of instructional and clinical experience with a variety of populations. In 1996, Kathy founded Chance to Dance (now Dance for All), a non-profit therapeutic dance/yoga organization serving persons of all ages and abilities, and served as its director until 2008. Kathy was also on the national BC-DMT panel of the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board for three years, one year as head of the panel. She has been a guest lecturer at Scripps College, Center for Movement Education and Research at Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, and Los Angeles Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Kathy is currently a part-time faculty member at Santa Monica College Emeritus Division, El Camino Community College, the Center for Movement Education and Research, and is a lead-instructor for UCLArts & Healing’s Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. She has been an Advisory Board Member for California State University, Fullerton, Extended Education in Expressive Arts Therapies, and has worked as a choreography, musical staging, and character-movement consultant for both theater companies and individuals. She maintains a private Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy practice in Santa Monica, CA.

Hilary Kern MA, LMFT, ATR, CYT is the director of Dance For All, where she inspires sustainable leadership and community engagement through mentorship and education. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Art Therapist, and wellness expert in private practice, Hilary integrates mind-body therapies and creative arts approaches to help people uncover their best self. Hilary helps people reconnect to their vitality and aliveness in the domains of sexuality, love and relationships, and heal through a variety of life’s challenges, including chronic illness, depression, anxiety, life transitions, and grief.  Hilary also serves as a co-chair for the Expressive Arts Therapy Committee for the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Clory Rossi-Shewan_HeadshotClory Rossi-Shewan MA, MFTI is a lead instructor at Dance For All, and has been a committed member of the team for about seven years. Clory is originally from Italy, where she trained and performed as a professional dancer, as well as worked as a dance instructor and choreographer over the course of 20 years. She studied ballet and modern dance mainly at Balletto di Roma - Centro di Danza, and IALS - Centro Danza Musica e Teatro, in Rome. In 2001 she won a dance scholarship, and was able to train and perform in New York City with Ajkun Ballet Theatre, and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. Clory’s scholarship also offered her the opportunity to take classes at American Ballet Theatre, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps on Broadway. Clory discovered her love for psychology in the US, and graduated with an MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University LA in 2013. Clory’s clinical experience includes facilitating therapeutic group activities such as art, dance-movement, yoga, drama and play therapy designed for children with special needs at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. She has been working with children with Autism, Asperger’s, behavioral, emotional and learning difficulties, as well neurologically impaired children. Clory is currently a registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern at Southern California Counseling Center in Los Angeles, where she provides psychotherapy for individual adults and children, couples, and families.

Vicki Alvarez HeadshotVicki Alvarez, BA graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2016 where she received her Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology and minored in Dance. She was born and raised in San Francisco where she was in a theatrical hip-hop dance company, Academy of Villains. This company has given her opportunities to perform at many competitions as well as TV shows such as America's Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. She has also been trained in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary and modern. In March 2018 she will begin her Master's Program at Pratt Institute for Dance/Movement Therapy. As an advocate for mental health, she was a clinical assistant at Paradigm Malibu where she worked with adolescents suffering from mental health illness. Shortly afterwards, Vicki spent three months in London where she interned for a mental health organization for adults. She began as an intern in 2014 and is currently a lead instructor at Dance For All. She is an Assistant Director for Steve and Kate's Summer Camp in Mar Vista where she works with children ages 4-12. Her goal is to use dance and movement for therapeutic healing across many populations.

from dfa trainees

"I've been using the new techniques you taught us, such as starting with a simple, rhythmic song to get them dancing, clapping out the syllables of their name while they say it to the group, and inviting each person to pick a part of the body for us to warm up!  We are getting a lot of participation now. I also looked for signs of engagement from one young man who refuses to dance with us. By the end of class his legs were bouncing energetically while he sat in his chair." – Sarah Haykel, Dance and Yoga Instructor and Life Coach

"I had a great experience teaching Dance For All. The notes provided by Hilary Kern and Kathy Cass were very helpful for me in order to formulate a certain structure for the class, as well as a fun way to introduce the topic of balance. I felt like I was free to experiment and develop my own teaching style throughout the class. I learned and practiced different ways to communicate instructions to the dancers by using words that were more clear and understandable for them. I feel like I learned a lot of effective communication and leadership skills by teaching this class, and I'm looking forward to teaching my next class." – Clorinda Rossi-Shewan, MA, Lead Instructor, Dance For All

“Learning dance techniques have helped me in every day of my life (e.g. walking in crowds and crowded intersections). My favorite DFA moments are when we are all happy laughing together. DFA has brought me increased sociability—increased physical fitness and a better mood.” – Kellie, Dance For All Program Participant and Mentor

from dfa recipients & their care givers:

“For someone like Elisa whose cognitive skills and verbal expression are limited, dance has been a wonderful vehicle for her to express herself. Dance class is also a social environment where she is fully accepted and appreciated, which helps bolster both her social skills and her self-esteem. As Elisa’s mother, I have always wanted Elisa to participate in activities that she enjoys and to have as rich a life as possible despite her limitations. I also want to surround her with people that truly care about her and want to contribute to her joy, sense of well-being, and good self-esteem. It fills my heart when I see her happy and when she tells me, 'I love my life!' I know DFA has helped Elisa feel that way about her life.”  – Lora Jerugim, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Dance For All Parent

“Lexi was only ten years old when we found out about a dance program for youth and adults with special needs. We were invited to bring her by to see if it would be a good 'fit.' Well, Lexi started dancing that day and,thirteen years later, she hasn’t stopped. At Dance For All, Lex is a dancer, a friend, a helper, a choreographer, and a valued and contributing member of a group of very special individuals who want nothing more than to have fun together and bring joy and light into our world. At the helm of this remarkable program is Hilary Kern — a beautiful young woman who is not only a teacher and guide, she is starshine personified. - Hillary Kessler, Program Manager, Client Services, Westside Regional Center, Dance For All Parent

Continuing Education credits for LCSWs, MFTs, and RNs can be requested during the registration process for an additional $35. This course meets the qualifications for 6.5 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


learning objectives for ces:

  1. Gain an understanding of the core philosophy and definition of “special needs” (i.e., that behavior is communication)

  2. Learn and implement the basic format of a therapeutic class—creating a ritual with a beginning, middle, and end

  3. Practice specific tools for successful group facilitation, including raising and grounding of energy, and establishing group cohesion

  4. Create lesson plans that utilize structured improvisation

  5. Understand the overall power of creative self expression through movement for social, emotional, and cognitive learning

  6. Be able to state two activities or techniques that are useful for the practice of nursing.

For directions, click here.

Free and accessible parking is available at the venue. Entrance is on 80th and 81st streets.

Click here for FAQs.

For further inquiries, or for more information, email us at or telephone us at (310) 452-1439.

For further inquiries on DFA class schedules, events, stories, and for volunteer and internship/training opportunities, contact Hilary Kern at

  • We suggest that you bring lunch, snacks, and water, as there is no convenient source of food nearby; although, it is possible to drive to a local restaurant during the lunch break.

  • Wear comfortable clothes to move in, and dress in layers, as the room can get chilly.

  • Bring a pen and notebook for your insights!