Dear parents, guardians, and educators,

My name is Dr. Christina Donaldson (Dr. T) and I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Currently, I live in Santa Barbara, CA where I have a private practice and teach. Additionally, I serve as the Education Coordinator for NEAMA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes safety and wellness for movement artists through education and advocacy. 

NEAMA will be offering three group workshops led by me and other licensed mental health clinicians and professionals. Two interactive workshops will be held on Friday, December 30th and one on Wednesday, January 11th. These are virtual gatherings via Zoom:

  • Supporting Youth Through Grief (18+ only) - for parents, guardians, and educators to support youth through questions, grief, and healing;
      • Date: Friday, December 30th, 2022
      • Time: 11-12 pm PST, 2-3pm EST
  • ‘Processing Loss - When Our Heroes Are Human’* (ages 11-18) - Guidance for youth and parents.
      • Date: Friday, December 30th, 2022
      • Time: 12:30-2:30 PST, 3:30pm-5:30pm EST
      • This workshop will incorporate dance. Please prepare accordingly.
  • ‘Breathing Through Grieving’ (18+ only) - Guidance for adults navigating grief and loss.
      • Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2022
      • Time: 10am-12pm PST, 1pm-3pm EST
      • This workshop will incorporate dance. Please prepare accordingly.

We have a two step registration process for these workshops. To enroll please visit NEAMA Events.

In the virtual meetings we will be discussing the sudden passing of Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss. This is a place to share all feelings, including joyful memories of Stephen. As you know, Stephen was a very beloved icon, teacher, and mentor in the dance industry and world. Many are trying to process the loss and are wanting a safe place to discuss how the news has impacted them. The intent of this letter is to inform you of the group discussion as well as to get your consent for your child to participate in the group discussion.

The purpose of the first workshop, on Friday December 30th, is to discuss ways in which we as adults can support young people through times of loss and grief. Mental health and suicide can be hard topics to discuss with children. However, it is important for them to be able to ask questions and share their thoughts and feelings. The reality is many children are reading and seeing a lot about suicide and Stephen through the various types of media and social media outlets that have been disseminating information on this 24/7. This can add to the overwhelm and grief and make it even harder to process and talk about. That is why we must talk about it with youth. The second virtual workshop welcomed children ages 11-18 (we included 18 yo due to the fact many seniors at dance studios may be 18 yo) impacted by Stephen’s passing and provide a trauma-informed space for support and community. This will end with accessing the healing medicine of dance to celebrate Stephen and release grief.

Parents, guardians, and educators are encouraged to attend the second workshop, also on Friday December 30th, for continuity of care. Adults will not be participating in the second workshop, but are welcome to be present, as knowing what is said and shared can help you better process the experience with your child. However, we leave the decision for the parent to attend the second workshop with their child to be made between the child and parent. 

This discussion is not meant to be therapy or take the place of therapy. This meeting will discuss in an age-appropriate manner the following: grief and loss, mental health, impacts of suicide, and coping skills. It will also provide emotional education about thoughts and feelings and most importantly provide a safe place for dancers to come together as a community and share. The intent is to create a safe environment where everyone will feel respected and valued.

To offer support at home, I have enclosed some signs on recognizing depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Mental health is a continuum and there may be moments in your child’s life where they have periods of despair or angst.  There also may be episodes where you notice your child is struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy. It can be hard to know when the child is going through a phase and when they need to seek some help. Our hope is to offer you some information to help you navigate the continuum of mental well-being.

The purpose of the third workshop on Wednesday, January 11th is for adults to receive this same type of Holistic support. One of the best ways we can support the children in our lives is to support ourselves. I acknowledge many adults are hurting, while simultaneously trying to support their child and/or students. Wednesday, January 11th will be for you. This workshop will also close with dance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly at  


Christina Donaldson (aka Dr. T)
NEAMA Education Coordinator


*Note on ‘Processing Loss - When Our Heroes Are Human’: Parental consent must be provided for participation of children under 17. Attendance of parents or guardians is optional, and up to the discretion of each child.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 988, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.