Moving our bodies makes us happier. It decreases anxiety, stress and it is a great ally in the fight against depression. The Next Step Project used dancing to change the lives of 31 people. A movement that turned into a dance performance, a documentary and a photo exhibition. Find out more about the project and the success stories from some of the participants.


A person with depression may need some time to step out from inertia. One must move to take the first step and get help.

With that in mind, in 2017 Libbs challenged a group of men and women of all ages and with different degrees of depression to dance. Dance through life.

The Next Step Project became a movement for life transformation through a dance show, run by an educator and choreographer Ivaldo Bertazzo, plus a photo exhibition through the eyes of cinematographer Miro. All registered in an eight-minute documentary.

“It was an incredible experience for me and I hope for those who participated too.”



After being selected from more than 1,000 subscribers, a group of 31 people rehearsed for 4 months, facing many challenges, overcoming fear, shyness and their own limits.

A worthwhile challenge: on October 7th and 8th 2017 the group performed at SESC Vila Mariana in Sao Paulo, the Project "The Next Step – The Show".

A dance performance involving hearts and souls. Participants left the stage with the confidence that they were indeed taking the next step.


To go on stage and to perform a dance was an overcoming closure for each participant. And these stories could not simply end in applause. It needed to be recorded to show that depression has treatment, and it can be beaten by taking one step. The next step toward life. Watch the documentary and see with your own eyes.


According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide in 2018.
Learn a little more about this disease.

Depression is a disorder that encompasses a wide variety of symptoms and has its source in multifactorial aspects: biological, environmental and genetic.

People with depression go through great emotional and physical suffering, feeling a lack of energy, tiredness, and lack interest by both everyday activities and pleasurable activities, driving them to isolation from society and loneliness.

In addition, there is also prejudice against the disease since it can be perceived simply as sadness, lack of desire or some character flaw, when in fact it is a very complex and debilitating disorder. Sadness and depression are very distinct entities.

Surely in the context of depression there can be a predominance of sadness, but the "common" sadness is usually triggered by a fact of daily life and it is assimilated or resolved, and eventually disappears. Depression however is a disorder that comes without warning, and it compromises not only the mood, but thoughts, ability to reason, physical predisposition and other aspects of an individual´s life.

So a medical follow-up is essential both for diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. When a person has difficulty or refuses to get help, the disease will evolve gradually.

To treat depression is a complex task. It is important that the person is not afraid or ashamed to expose their feelings, since it is these symptoms that will indicate the best treatment to be adopted. The depression treatment may include multidisciplinary approaches such as the use of medication, psychotherapy, physical activity, sleep hygiene, etc., always aiming to re-set the neurochemical balance lost and rescue the patient´s functionality.

Psychotherapy approaches help the patient to review their personal concepts and reset their beliefs and expectations about themselves, the world and the future. The important thing is to resume the patient´s quality of life and well-being.


Depression is stigmatized and still unknown. Nobody talks much about the subject and it's hard to know where to look for information, causing patients to feel alone, as if only they had the disease.

The truth is far from it: 340 million people worldwide have the disease and every 45 seconds someone commits suicide; a number that in a year, exceeds the sum of all deaths caused by homicide, traffic accidents, wars and conflicts.

That's why, more than ever, we need to talk about depression, raise awareness and discuss the subject.

It was for that reason that we chose to raise awareness and warn people about depression, but with a different approach from what we see in this type of communication, which tend to be dark and heavy. We prefer to focus on the positive outlook of healing so that people would give the first step toward life.

Dr. Giuliana Cividanes, psychiatrist


Through the lens of renowned photographer Miro, participants were able to show in every photo their strength and determination to overcome depression.


The Next Step Project development was so successful, that it ended up becoming a photograph exhibition. Some of the participants of the show were invited to pose to renowned photographer Miro. None of them had ever done anything like that before, but every click registered the strength and willingness of each participant to overcome depression.


Inspired by the movements from "THE NEXT STEP" performance, the photographic exhibition symbolizes the participant’s stories to overcome depression, represented in the photographs as a black chair.

The exhibition is divided in a 3-step process: the Movement, the Search and the Meeting, with pictures that symbolize each of these moments.

The Movement represents the worst phase of the disease, when the person is paralyzed and needs to make a huge effort to get help and face their own fears.

The Search reveals the moment the person steps away from inertia and discovers a way to fight depression.

Finally, the Meeting symbolizes the person who can see a way out and a reason to move on, moving farther away from the disease.


The Photographic Exhibition Next Step will be exhibited in some cities of Brazil. Besides the photos, the documentary will also be shown. Check below the locations and dates of the exhibition:


The Next Step project transformed the participants’ lives. Where many saw no way out, they saw hope. Here are their stories