Established in 2001, the Performing Arts Ensemble has established itself as a unique and truly valuable program over the years. Performers are provided with a creative outlet to express themselves through song, dance, poetry, and comedy. Through the rehearsal process, all performers are challenged and supported to reintegrate into the community. They accept responsibility to attend rehearsals, arrange their own transportation, and communicate with the program director. The program motivates many of them to push themselves physically, whether it be to walk on stage, to learn to dance from a wheelchair, or to strengthen their breathing for better vocal production.
Participation also helps performers overcome adversity and regain their confidence and self-esteem despite existing physical limitations. Performers develop a renewed sense of self and a strong sense of pride from putting themselves in the spotlight and appearing in public, many for the first time since their illness or injury. For those lucky enough to be involved with the program, they become enveloped in a special community, where participants support one another, care for one another, and reach out to one another long after a performance ends.
Some other benefits of the Performing Arts Ensemble include:
• Promoting health and well-being
• Encouraging emotional expression
• Increasing social participation
• Building a sense of community
• Developing leadership skills
• Developing skills needed to return to school and work
• Developing confidence following disease or disability
• Providing an environment where individuals can work on productive, purposeful tasks
• Establishing an environment that allows engagement in active listening, establishment of a support system, and communication of humor and courage
• Improve quality of life for those recovering from and living with physical disabilities
• Develop artistic talents to be utilized for work skills within the field of entertainment
• Provide a venue for professionals already working within the field of entertainment
The Performing Arts Ensemble has benefits that go beyond the performers themselves: family members and friends revel in the accomplishments of their loved ones; Rancho staff celebrate the improvements of those they helped to care for; and current patients become inspired to overcome their adversity.