As a student dance teacher in 1966, her first ballet student was a young girl with a disability. Having begun learning ballet as a therapy for asthma, Aviva developed a huge capacity for compassion and empathy. She was one of the first dance therapists in Australia. From the early seventies, Aviva taught at schools in Melbourne for children with hearing- and vision-impairment, children and adults with asthma, autism, speech impediments, and trauma. Her work with Vocal Dance (sometimes combined with painting) has assisted people learn to speak, to develop confidence, become at home in their bodies, improve co-ordination, breathing, flexibility and strength.
Aviva has taught people from all walks of life, including elite athletes and dancers, singers, musicians, actors, pregnant women, women with menstrual difficulties and more.
Aviva was on the inaugural board of the Dance Therapy Association of Australia, 1994-95. She has taught workshops and seminars for practitioners and individuals who have a disability, or who work with people with disability, in South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales, as well as for nine years in the Netherlands, in Israel and Germany.
After relocating from Central Victoria to Adelaide, South Australia in 1996, Aviva taught Vocal Dance and Wiggle and Giggle to Your Belly's Content workshops at the Australian Dance Council (Ausdance) studios. She received a grant from The Australia Council for the Arts for studio hire to assist with her performance career. During that time, she also commenced writing her memoir, This is a War Zone, Baby -- Improvise!, assisted by Arts South Australia. Concurrently, Aviva was raising her children alone, in a place where she had few contacts, and had only recently begun talking about her experiences entertaining the troops in the Vietnam War and had received the diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She put teaching classes on hold, teaching privately when feasible.
Aviva learned to live with and improved the Posttraumatic Stress RE-Order, as she calls it, and the fibromyalgia that went undiagnosed for many years. The children are grown and leading their own lives. Aviva is eager to teach again, incorporating the knowledge gained from her own difficulties and is, at time of writing, working out what, how and whom she wants to teach. She coached singer/songrwiter, Ciaran Gribbin (INXS, Snow Patrol, Joe Echo) in stage presentation, movement, breathing and in energy exchange between performers and audiences. Aviva volunteers weekly at the University of Wollongong, Illawarra Committee for International Students Conversation Group, using her vocal techniques to teach English pronunciation. Her students are at all levels of English usage and come from various countries.
Article "Dancing Away From a Wheelchair", Bendigo Advertiser 1995
Review by Dally Messenger of Aviva's workshop at the 12th Congress of the International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women, Melbourne 1993. Dance Australia Magazine 1994
Article "Einstein in Dance", Dance Australia Magazine, 1981
Reference from Delys Sargeant, Social Biology Resources Centre, Victoria 1981
For further information regarding workshops, seminars, public speaking and performances, please contact Aviva.