Moving Together: The Dance-Play Event

Moving Together: The Dance-Play Event


Recent neuroscientific research has identified important links between movement and children’s learning, calling into question traditional models of classroom design. Very little research has been conducted to explore how children with different abilities move together in integrated classrooms and other everyday environments. This study will provide new knowledge about the relationships between cognition and movement. The proposed project will illuminate previously unknown connections between movement, neurological processes and children’s environments. This knowledge could be used to optimize the design of integrated classrooms and movement interventions that enhance all children’s physical, social and cognitive development in these and other play/learn spaces.


Barbara Gibson, PhD, MSc, BMR(PT)Tom Chau, PhD, PEng, Coralee McLaren, Geoffrey Edwards, Cheryl Missiuna, Sheila Bennett

Who can participate

Children and youth currently enrolled in a Holland Bloorview Arts or School program who are: ages 6 to 12 inclusive, who speak English, who are able to mobilize independently with or without mobility aids (walkers, wheelchairs, etc), and are able to understand and follow simple movement instructions. 

What's Involved

Children will participate in a dance/play event guided by Coralee McLaren (study investigator, Adjunct Scientist, and former professional dancer) and assisted by members of the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. Each child will take a turn ‘observing’ one dance-play session. We will take measurements of the brain and other body signals during one session. 

Participants will come to ten sessions. The first two sessions are to learn about the study and for the study investigator to learn about the child’s movements. The next eight weekly one hour movement sessions will be held at Holland Bloorview from [dates]. Participants will receive a $25 gift card and a T-shirt with the study logo on it as a token of our appreciation, at the end of their participation. 


Recruitment for the study will continue until November 30th, 2015.

Interested in participating

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact the study coordinator, Bhavnita Mistry, at 416-425-6220 ext.3403 or or with your interest, and she will get back to you shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you to participate in the study. 

Funding Agency

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Learn more about this study