Sammi Rader has a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Dance Education. Sammi has over fifteen years’ experience working with survivors and offenders of sexual and domestic violence, child abuse, and stalking. She is skilled in providing Trauma Informed Therapy and Interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strength Based Therapy, and engagement techniques and conflict resolution to men, women, adolescents, and children. Sammi has specific experience developing individualized assessments, client contracts, and safety plans to accommodate individuals experiencing domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and/or mental illness. Sammi has facilitated teen dating violence education/training as well as child abuse forums and family violence conferences. During her career, Sammi has served on various community task forces and councils such as: Family Violence Coordinating Council, Violent Crime Task Force, and Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. Sammi has also served as the community representative and agency liaison for local Police Departments, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, Departments of Social Services, mental health agencies, children’s advocacy centers, attorneys, domestic violence service providers and batterer’s intervention programs.
Sammi is currently a dance instructor/choreographer at Divine Dance Center in Roanoke, Virginia. She has over 18 years’ experience as a dance instructor and choreographer. She currently directs the Hip Hop dance program at Divine Dance Center and also teaches combo classes, jazz, contemporary, and choreographs for the competitive dance company.
YPAD gives me the opportunity to combine both of my passions in life: dance and advocating for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Throughout my career, I have single handedly witnessed the trauma and untold harm that sexual and domestic abuse, harassment, and/or exploitation causes. Unfortunately, a child’s voice often goes unheard and adult survivors are judged based upon the myths and stereotypes that exist in our society. YPAD is offering a platform where voices can be heard and stereotypes can be shattered.
The dance industry is constantly evolving and the changes are not always positive. Costumes (or lack thereof), degrading and/or inappropriate music, and over sexualized dancing can have a negative impact on our young dancers. As dance educators, we have the ability to empower and nurture our youth’s potential in the field of dance. We can help to protect our youth by creating awareness and mindfulness about sexual abuse, harassment, and/or exploitation in dance.
I strongly support YPAD’s mission to keep dance healthy and safe for our children and am so thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise.