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Project Facts

In 2009, when Danish wounded soldiers began returning home with missing limbs and other life altering injuries, worrying reports were highlighted within the media, concerning lack of rehabilitation efforts. The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation initiated a voluntary project to help these wounded warriors.

Two Ballet Dancers/Pilates instructors joined the project using their skills as movement specialists - and so began “The Wounded Warrior Project. (DWWP)”An affiliation with Rigshospitalet was established and two double amputees began training with the dancers on a weekly basis. 2014 – the dancers have volunteered over 4.300 hours of their time and have contributed to the rehabilitation of thirty one soldiers.

In order to give these men the very best rehabilitation opportunities within the Pilates community, the dancers sought international guidance from leading experts in Pilates for Polytrauma patients. World renowned Pilates expert Elizabeth Larkam MS Ed, was invited to Denmark to hold a workshop at Rigshospitalet. Where wounded soldiers, doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists, dancers and military personnel gathered under the same roof. Following the workshop, Finn Warburg (Army Surgeon and senior consultant with the Orthopedic Trauma Unit at Rigshospitalet) stated: “It is not every week you feel your life is brought to a higher level, but the work of the dancing Pilates instructors with our "wounded warriors" and the workshop indeed made things swing, opening eyes and showing new ways ahead".

In the summer of 2011 the dancers received a sponsorship to study the unique field of Pilates for Polytrauma patients with Elizabeth Larkam in USA. Here they had the unique opportunity of visiting the San Diego US Naval Medical Center, C5 unit. (Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care division) where Pilates is used alongside regular rehabilitation devices. The trip to the USA gave the dancers/instructors invaluable information to help their education in this special field of rehabilitation.

The international network had officially begun and the dancers were now corresponding with both American experts on a regular basis concerning the Danish wounded warriors – which strengthened the “Knowledge team” in many ways.

The improvement of the soldiers has surpassed even the dancer’s expectations. None of the thirty one soldiers are any longer dependent on wheel chairs and are no longer reliant on caretakers, friends or family. New life opportunities have opened up, as they are more able and new visions/goals are opening up before their very eyes.

The DWWP has over its four year journey, created a demand for continuing rehabilitation for the soldiers. It is becoming increasingly more difficult meeting this demand, without adding more resource. 

The project was initiated by three people on a 100% voluntary basis and has now, with more than 4,300 hours invested in the project by the originators.

What began as Dancers reaching out to help wounded warriors – has escalated to great heights and over time has created a demand, based on results. The Dancers now want to strive to meet these demands by being able to provide more resources for the patients that are asking for this training. The DWWP therefore envision sponsorship based Funding to enable the soldiers/Polytrauma Patients, the access to the specialized Pilates training, the space to provide it and the Instructors/International.

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