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Soldiers Who Salsa & More Recreational Dance Therapy Program

 

                          our most requested dance class does not define our program, but it definitely sets the corner stone for it. The Executive Director for Soldiers Who Salsa (an organization no longer active) is the same founder and CEO of Warriors Beyond War. Leading an organization that utilized salsa dancing a tool to heal our wounded warriors (see video below), David Murcio quickly realized the potential for an organization to go beyond one form of dance style in order to reach more wounded in need. Therefore, Warriors Beyond War was created to incorporate various forms of dance in addition to salsa or Latin dance in it's recreational therapy program. The Soldiers Who Salsa & more program (not affiliated with the dissolved Soldiers Who Salsa organization) is a program that uses Salsa dancing as it's main form of Latin dance, but can & will include other forms of Latin dance such as Cha cha cha, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia and more.

Salsa,

The Meet Soldiers Who Salsa video is produced and provided courtesy of U-T TV San Diego

"An important goal of our recreational dance therapy program includes replacing the feeling of pain, distress, illness, injury, disinterest, inactivity or anxiety and the experience of combat or an inconceivable event with happiness, optimism, a peace of mind, hope and purpose."
 
- David Murcio

Reporter; Jeanette Steele

Although the name of our Latin dance program Soldiers Who Salsa & more may sound somewhat similar to the now dissolved Soldiers Who Salsa organization, they are not to be confused for each other, as they are extremely different from each other. We have upgraded our program with lessons of dances from around Latin America such as the popular bachata & cumbia dances, we have added a Latin dance etiquette portion to our program which includes social skills and life lessons to be learned and practiced on and off the dancefloor. We are also focusing on new dance programs designed for the healing and empowerment of women who may have been wounded or injured. Our unique program is designed to not only enrich and save the lives of our wounded veterans and active duty personnel, but our first responders and the immediate family of those warriors who were killed in action.

A Warrior or Soldier

As for the word Soldiers in the title, it is not used in a term to describe the U.S. Army but more so as a word or term to describe a Warrior. A warrior which puts the concern and safety of others above their own while fighting to do what is right.  Therefore Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers from the U.S. Army & National Guard, Coast Guard and first responders are who we speak of when we say "Soldiers" Who Salsa. These are amazing men & women (warriors) who are selfless and fight for a transcendent cause, for something greater than themselves. 

Physical Benefits of Dancing
  • Increased endurance
  • Promotes aerobic activity.
  • Spatial awareness. communication with others.
  • Increased balance and coordination.
  • Advanced agility and muscle 
  • Improved Flexibility
Social Benefits of Dancing
  • Exposure to multiple distractions within a safe environment.
  • Promotes communal boding.
  • Improved communication with others.
  • ... and many more
 
Cognitive Benefits of Dancing
  • Increased memory recall
  • Ability to follow process function from mental to physical.
  • Improved balance and coordination.
  • Reduce stress
  • Diminish depression

The use of dance/movement as a psychotherapeutic or healing tool is rooted in the idea that the body and the mind are inseparable. The idea that the use of body movement, particularly dance, as a "therapeutic" tool may be as old as dance itself. In many primitive societies, dance was essential for many everyday functions. It provided individuals with a means of self-expression, communications of personal feelings to others, and unity among tribes and members of a society. Dance rituals frequently accompanied major life changes that promoted personal integration as well as fundamental integration of the individual with society. This is what we seek to achieve at The Invictus Program and with the Soldiers Who Salsa & more therapeutic dance sessions.

Video Clippings from News reporting video by Estrella TV of Soldiers Who Salsa (the organization) not affiliated with Soldiers Who Salsa & more the program 

Warriors Beyond War chose to incorporate Soldiers Who Salsa and more

as one of its first recreational therapy programs to save the existing programs that were at risk of closure after the board leadership decided to abruptly dissolve the  Soldiers Who Salsa nonprofit "organization". Although our Soldiers Who Salsa & more program is not affiliated with the Soldiers Who Salas organization, the founder and CEO of Warriors Beyond War had great success in leading that same organization. He taught and established the first salsa program at the Chicago, IL VA Hospital and took part in several of the programs already established in California.  Teaching salsa to wounded veterans and active duty personnel and seeing its benefits spread across the country is very personal to founder David Murcio as it was Salsa dancing which helped him reintegrate in society after he struggled  with his experiences in combat as well as the loss

of several fellow Marines while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

A warrior is not a person with fancy weapons and armor. It’s not the guy who is armed with an AR15 and 30-round magazines. The warrior is someone who says: “This is what I love. This is what I hold dear. This is my family. This is my country. This is my faith. And this is what threatens it. This is the enemy. You will not hurt what I hold dear. You will not hurt what I love, without coming through me.” 

Warriors Beyond War

4355 N. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL. 60618

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