The Andréa Rizzo Foundation // April 2018

Foundation News  

New Website LAUNCHED!  Read All About It In Our Dream Team Section

This month, we are grateful for...
Julie McDevitt - Web Developer Extroardinaire
We have a new look! The Andréa Rizzo Foundation's team of volunteers has been working behind the scenes to give our website a new look. We've added new information and made it mobile friendly! 
Stop by and check it out. Let us know what you think!
We are so very grateful to web developer, Julie McDevitt for lending her extraordinary talent and donating her valuable time to make this happen!
Thank you, Julie!

The Global Dance Initiative Collaboration with Teddy Bear Angels
Teresa Taylor , co-founder of the Global Dance Initiative and  one of our supporters, had a great idea when she met Colleen Perry of  Free2BeMe Dance  program for kids with Down Syndrome.
Colleen and her mom create adorable Teddy Bears as a fundraiser for their organization. Terry wondered if by teaming up with Dréa's Dream, their efforts could impact even more fragile children.
Click here to see how
Global Dance Initiative is promoting the team work of
Dréa's Dream and Free2BeMe Dance program. We are so grateful to Teresa and Colleen for this thoughtful idea!

MSKCC Features Dréa's Dream Dance Movement Therapy Program
We are so very honored to be featured in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Cente r's  blog!!
Click here to read about their Creative Arts Therapies and our very own,
Jennifer Whitley, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA. We are proud of our 15-year relationship, providing Dréa's Dream dance therapy at  MSKCC , the same hospital where Andréa was treated and cured as a small child. Under the direction of dance therapist Dr. Suzi Tortora, Ed.D, BC-DMT, LCAT, LMHC, CMA and with Jennifer Whitley, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA, we have touched many young lives through the power of dance!

Dréa's Dream Team

I' m constantly asked how the Andréa Rizzo Foundation has grown far and wide through the efforts of a completely volunteer staff. My answer is always the same, "Dréa has sent us a "Dream Team" of angels!"
E ach month we will spotlight a different volunteer to show our appreciation.  There are so many compassionate and dedicated volunteers and "angels" so I will randomly choose one to introduce to you each month. 
We hope you'll enjoy reading about each of these individuals as much as we love presenting them to you. 
Susan Rizzo-Vincent

Dréa's Dream Team -  March  Spotlight on Julie McDevitt and the Website Committee

At our Annual Meeting in January, our Board proposed that we refresh our look and after 15 years of excellent representation by our existing website (created by supporter and web developer, Jesse Pugh), we finally admitted that with so many technological advances made over these many years, it was time to start over. We needed a new website! Knowing the hard work and expense involved, we had put it off for as long as we could. But who would create it and how could we afford the cost?
Within weeks of our declaring this as our goal for 2018 our questions and prayers were answered. An email arrived from web developer, Julie McDevitt. Julie explained that she had just read Jane Seymour's new book, The Road Ahead, and was inspired by each of the stories and wanted to help some of the causes she read about. With her years of expertise in web development, she knew the gift of a new website would be the perfect and most valuable gift she had to offer any non-profit organization.
As with so many of the magical gifts that have been bestowed upon The Andréa Rizzo Foundation - Julie chose us as the benefactors of her first gift. Julie was drawn to the story of Dréa's Dream as she read Jane Seymour's book and offered her services, free of any charge. To say we were ecstatic is an understatement. The timing could not have been better and Julie's style, sensitivity to content and graphic display was a perfect match for Dréa's Dream. A match made in heaven!
Julie jumped in and began seamlessly transferring the old website into a new and fresh format. I knew immediately that we would need "a village" to complete this awesome task and update all content, videos and photos to truly represent the evolution of Dréa's Dream. With Julie's guidelines, I was able to put out a request for help from many of our faithful volunteers and an amazing and dedicated committee was formed. Our webmaster, Dan Amaral had the "know-how" to make all of the technological transfers that Julie needed. Jenn Whitley (this newsletter's publisher) created the updated content for everything related to our programs and dance therapy, and I filled in the rest of the updates with the help of supporters, Laura Harlan and Susan Sonner. Dan, Jenn and our Vice President, Mike Battaglia, defined the structure that would best represent Dréa's Dreamand volunteers, Laura Harlan and Janice DeFrances, did the final editing.
Our new website was created with a lot of blood, sweat and thankfully, much joy - because of this amazing team effort!
Thank you, Julie, Dan, Jenn, Mike, Laura, Susan, and Janice - from the bottom of my heart!
VOILA!! I present to you the new website for Dréa's Dream pediatric dance therapy program funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation!! Check it out!


Amazon Smile

You can raise funds for the Andréa Rizzo Foundation while online shopping at Simply sign into your Amazon account at and click "Your Account" in the top right side of the toolbar, then click "Change Your Charity" in the scroll-down column. When prompted to select a charity, type The Andréa Rizzo Foundation and do all of your shopping for a good cause! (you only need to type in your choice of charity the first time you set this up). Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
Dance Therapist Corner

Lori Baudino is our dance therapist in California who has created and developed the Dréa's Dream dance/movement therapy program in Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  Her time, talent, and expertise has made such an impact.  Enjoy this vignette of her work to see how powerful dance/movement therapy can be. 

How DMT can address the psychological causes of fainting
Using the Effort profile to differentiate between a medical or a psychological issue.
Psychologists know that fainting can have psychological causes or non-medical explanations. In my time offering dance/movement therapy in hospitals, I have seen how using movement and the Effort profile can help differentiate the medical and psychological factors. The following vignette is inspired by real clinical experience.
A 14-year girl came to to the hospital because she had "fainting bouts." She sought a second opinion, since no medical explanation had yet been found. Upon admission, she was given tests and blood work to figure out what was causing her fainting.
I was given the referral to support this patient's anxiety in handling the upcoming procedures and tests.
I met her in her room at bedside. As a psychologist, I know that fainting is a serious concern while at the same time can be seen as a defense. Fainting can be seen as a third mechanism of survival, after fight and flight. It is another way of handling trauma.
Given this knowledge, I started the session by asking the patient: "How does fainting benefit you?" She looked at me, surprised. "What can it do for me?" she repeated.  "It's bad, not good. It doesn't do anything for me." 
We spoke some more about her experiences in her body before, during, and after fainting. She realized and acknowledged that during fainting, she doesn't feel anything and that this is very pleasurable to think about. Before fainting, she feels fear: she feels her heart beat faster, her hands sweat, her muscles tighten, and her eyes glazed over. After fainting, she feels pain in her body because she has fallen and bruised her side or arms.
She expressed that it was a unique experience to speak about how it feels and what happens during her fainting bouts. She was becoming more aware of her body.
After this, we began to move to music. I told her about the Effort qualities of Quick and Sustained. She stated: "I am quick. People always want me to slow down, to stop my moving."  
And this is where the therapy began ...
I asked her, "Have you ever been stopped? Either physically by another person or verbally?"
Her body immediately moved into the state she described earlier: she glazed over, her breath became shallow, her heart beat faster. I brought her awareness to her body to show what happened to her when faced with these memories--and as a result, she could feel it all and was able to stop it. She was able to remain calm and not faint.
We continued. She moved with Quickness and began relaying stories: about running at school, running away from things she did not like. Then, she transitioned to safe places of Sustainment: her soothing grandmother and being rocked slowly.
She was able to use the Effort qualities to evoke memories and bring awareness to her body. In this short session, she began to learn coping strategies for acknowledging a feeling state in her body and for remaining present and aware.
At the conclusion of the session, she expressed that she was thankful for this new knowledge and showed excitement at moving and accessing her memories.
Dance/movement therapy gave this patient an outlet to communicate her emotional experiences. Through movement, which appeared to be less intrusive, she was able to access difficult memories and to avoid fainting. The experience provided her with techniques applicable to her life that she could continue to access on her own.

Lori Baudino,  Psy.D., BC-DMT
Dance Therapist
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

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The Andrea Rizzo Foundation
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Charlestown, RI 02813
Create your own
Dance Across America®  e vent!

Join dancers across the country today and start planning your dance-a-thon, performance or any dance event of your choice - big or small - to raise money for Dréa's Dream programming nationwide. Email: . We'll help you plan.
Dance Across America® participants receive a plaque for their dance school as well as individual tokens of appreciation for each dancer.  Your school will be featured on our website, social media sites, and our monthly newsletter.

Already have an event scheduled?  Don't forget to tag us in your pictures and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube using #dreasdream or #danceacrossamerica.  We look forward to seeing your events on-line!

Dance Across America® - Dancers Dancing for Dréa's Dream
As we begin to reach Spring, there are always a flurry of benefit performances and dance shows that are helping our cause.  What a wonderful way to welcome this new season.  We can't wait to see all of the photos of beautiful dancers from all over the country!

April Events
St. Rita's School - Hamden, CT
April 20 & 22 - Newport, RI - Salve Regina University Dance Club geared up for their Spring Showcase, "Bounce" that raised funds for the Foundation.

April 28 - Bluffton, IN - Tiger Dance Company formed by former HGDC member, Amanda Burman, will hold their dance performance at Bluffton High School to benefit the foundation and it looks like it's going to be gorgeous.
April 29 - West Lafayette, IN - Purdue University's dance club, Higher Ground Dance Company, will once again dedicate their Spring performance to our cause. We are so grateful to each and every HGDC member for their years of support!

May Events
May 12 - Matawan, NJ - Arts in Motion

Sponsor Spotlight
Talent on Parade  has become a loyal sponsor, helping us get Dance Across America up and running for the past two years. They are an official sponsor of the Dance Across America campaign in support of Dréa's Dream nationwide. 



We thank the Rhee Gold Company for continuing to support our efforts and spreading the word of Dréa's Dream in their Dance Studio Life magazine and through DSL Dance Wire news on-line.    

The Moret Group has provided prizes for our Dance Across America pledge-raising competition each year. We are so grateful to John Debease at The Moret Group for arranging the donation of fabulous activewear for our top pledge raisers.