Dr. Robyn Flaum Cruz congratulates David Alan Harris, as he accetps the ADTA's Leader of Tomorrow Award

Dr. Robyn Flaum Cruz congratulates David Alan Harris,
as he accepts the ADTA’s Leader of Tomorrow Award

Friday, September 28, 2007
American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn, New York


David Alan Harris’ remarks, upon accepting the award:

Thank you. I really appreciate this.

Nine years ago, one hot July Saturday, I was sitting in my room just four blocks from this hotel, and had the idea of becoming a dance/movement therapist to work with survivors of torture and war. I’d been a choreographer in New York for a dozen years, and was working as a writer at Human Rights Watch. I dreamed that working in DMT with torture survivors and child soldiers might unite the disparate aspects of my life.

That decision has meant a lot. Little did I realize in 1998 that in the intervening years my own government would embrace the use of torture and launch a pre-emptive war. Without the skills of DMT, I’d have been struck helpless over the senseless violence perpetrated in our name. Applying the ideas and techniques each of you uses every day, however, has empowered meaningful transformations, both among the survivors I’ve served and myself. I’m grateful. Thanks again.