Veterans on the Move

“I’ve had a wonderful time attending Veterans on the Move! It was so amazing how you all were able to easily transition to Zoom sessions when COVID-19 was at its peak. I’m physically and mentally stronger after moving and talking with the teaching artists. I've learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I feel more confident and more in tune with myself. These sessions have been a source of light and love for me during COVID and aided my mental health recovery. Thank you so much for offering this program! I look forward to attending online sessions in the fall.”

Cecily MathisArmy Vet

Veterans on the Move is a 12 week series of workshops created with the lived experience of veterans and their families. Over the course of 12 weeks, veterans, their families, and service-providers are invited to participate in short – 45 minute – weekly workshops in dance, music, theatre, visual art, and writing. In recognizing the traumas that can stem from military service, participants will use artistic expression to explore topics such as belonging and hope. The program is funded by the California Arts Council, making it free for all participants

To launch Veterans on the Move, Heidi Duckler Dance commissioned the work of three musicians/composers that have also served in the U.S. military to collaborate on a trailer for the program. These artists are Camellia Akhamie Kies (U.S. Navy Veteran), Steve Pradd (U.S. Air Force Veteran), and Yeti Tears (U.S. Army Veteran). We simply asked each of these artists for a one minute work that spoke to their soul. Without offering them any guidance outside of time length, we received works that spoke of reclamation, trepidation, and liberation. However, as the music changed, the choreography of our dancers remained the same. The purpose of this? To investigate perspective.

How do we see life differently?

How do we see life similarly?

What connects us?

What divides us?


This project is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn More at


Our intergenerational programs facilitate intergenerational relationships by encouraging participants to work collaboratively and create original movement in a practice that embodies empathy.

The curriculum focuses on activating memory through storytelling. It includes an introduction to site-specific dance, a daily movement warm up, exercises for flexibility, strength, and alignment, and dance improvisation activities with meaningful items used as props. Using the tools of relation, expansion, and interruption, movement invention can be imagined, composed and collaboratively created. These choreographic techniques help build awareness of oneself and others, increase sensitivity and curiosity for one’s surroundings, and give participants the foundation to create their own work. To culminate the workshops, participants perform movement pieces based on the meaningful items they encountered in the program and share their experiences with their community.

These workshops are a fun way for seniors and youth to connect, share, and learn from one another through movement. With the belief that the creative body is an empathetic body and is key to good physical and mental health at any age, HDD teaching artists encourage self-awareness, self-management, and relationship skills as the participants develop their creativity.