To the dance community,

Our community and communities far beyond have been grieving the loss of the beloved Stephen Laurel Boss, known to many as ‘tWitch’. Young and old alike, from across the globe, have shared powerful tributes of how Stephen impacted their life. 

We at NEAMA are grateful for so many of you reaching out to us for guidance and support in this terribly difficult time, because that is what we are here for. Many of you are experiencing the pain of trying to make sense of his passing. Many of you are the parents, guardians, or teachers of children who looked to Stephen as a role model and mentor and want guidance in how to support them in navigating their grief. Some have shared they were already in a vulnerable place when they received this news and would like a place to honor and celebrate the joy Stephen contributed to our world. 

So, let’s come together as a community, and process.

To best serve the community, NEAMA has created three free virtual workshops, on December 30th and January 11th, addressing suicide, death, loss, mental health, and grief in age-appropriate manners. These workshops are not therapeutic sessions, but a safe online space where community members can learn how to manage loss and support one another and be supported in their grief:

  • 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: 2-3pm EST, 11-12 pm PST
  • ‘Processing Loss - When Our Heroes Are Human’* (ages 11-18) - Guidance for youth and parents.
      • Date: Friday, December 30th, 2022
      • Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm EST, 12:30-2:30 PST
      • 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.

All three workshops will be led by a panel of experts with experience in trauma, grief, and loss as well as having direct ties to the dance community (panel subject to change):

  • Dr. Christina Donaldson - licensed clinical psychologist, dancer, NEAMA Education Coordinator
  • Topazz McBride - Founder of Rediscovery Through Wellness, trauma and grief therapist for children and adults
  • Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts - research psychologist, specialist on the impacts of social media on mental health, NEAMA Vice-President
  • Leslie Scott Zanovitch - dance educator and advocate, NEAMA President
  • Dr. Dionne Stephens - research psychologist, specialist on health disparities of marginalized communities, NEAMA Education Faculty
  • Sammi Rader - social worker, dance educator, NEAMA C.A.R.E.S.
  • Patricia Sylvester - dance educator and advocate, NEAMA CEW Coordinator
  • Amanda Tuohy - LMHC, RDMT, CDE, dance studio owner, dance educator
  • Terri Cheshire - social worker, NEAMA C.A.R.E.S. 
  • Bradley Rapier - Founder Groovaloos, Groove Theory
  • Teresa Espinosa - Beat Freaks, Move on Purpose
  • Dr. Stephen Stewart - Clinical psychologist, Psy.D
  • Tiesha “LuLu” Shelton - RN, BSN, BA: Registered Nurse & Professional Dancer, Education Coordinator for Doctors for Dancers

For parents, guardians, and educators, please read a letter written for you from our NEAMA Education Coordinator, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Christina Donaldson. 

We recognize that these topics are sensitive and can be difficult to discuss. Please share with those who may be interested in joining. We would like to welcome anyone who would like to talk, listen, or just be together at this time. Processing loss alone can feel like too much to bear, and so these events will enable all of us to benefit from the healing power of community and love. 

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

We look forward to connecting with you through these workshops and wish you a safe holiday season.



*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.