Q. What is the mission of Moving for Life?
Moving For Life™ Dance Exercise for Cancer Recovery is a woman-led non-profit organization with 12 years of leadership in the field of cancer recovery through exercise. Our staff of movement therapists, exercise specialists, psychologists and doctors employs a holistic approach to emphasize self-awareness, self-respect, and community through movement classes for patients with cancer and other life-threatening and chronic conditions in New York City and around the nation and globe. Our teaching is science-based, and we integrate music, compassionate interaction, and somatic movement therapy to shift participants from a sedentary to active lifestyle.
Q. Tell us about the history and founding of Moving for Life.
Moving For Life™ (MFL) was founded as a volunteer program in New York City by exercise physiologist, registered movement therapist, and dance educator Martha Eddy, EdD, together with breast cancer survivor Allison Stern Rosen, PhD and Jan Albert in 1999.
Q. What are the key programs or initiatives that help Moving for Life deliver on the mission?
MFL educates and shares critical information through its free lectures, small, individualized classes, Dance to Recovery DVDs and online education—all led by well-trained teachers. Audiences and students learn how to alleviate pain and experience joyful recovery through these specialized dance and movement classes. Each of our offerings is designed to share life-enhancing knowledge of healthy movement and lifestyle choices, encouraging people to regain control of their own health during their cancer recovery.
Q. Is there a specific experience or participant story that you believe exemplifies the Moving for Life mission and the benefit you provide cancer survivors?
MFL sponsors a drop-in class at the Comprehensive Breast Center of Mount Sinai St. Luke’s in New York City. Even with participants coming and going over the weeks, we build bonds together. Women often share resources and discuss concerns about medical choices and physical challenges before and after class. During classes, stress subsides and smiles abound. One day one member of the class who had been gone for a few weeks was welcomed warmly. However, when we did our group check-in during the warm-up, she began to cry. As she said her name, she told us her son had recently been killed. This level of sharing is representative of the bond we all feel when dancing together and moving back out into our daily lives. MFL instructors and participants serve as an active support group for one another through the trials and tribulations of cancer treatment, recovery, and beyond.
Q. What are your goals for the future development of Moving for Life?
MFL’s primary strategic goal is to serve as a national resource on low cost and free exercise programs for cancer recovery that are healthy and carefully designed. The MFL team envisions MFL programming available to every hospital, community agency and home where people are concerned about health. MFL strives to give all participants the tools to develop their mental and physical well-being through standing or seated fitness workouts, informative lectures, somatic movement education (body awareness that increases safety while exercising) and wellness support groups that are tailored to varying degrees of need and ability.
Q. How can readers learn more about your work?