Frequently Asked Questions
01 What is DanceAbility?
DanceAbility is a dance method accessible to all people. Classes focus on
improvisation and creative movement and are designed to be inclusive of all
people. As dancers gain experience, they can also move into choreography that
celebrates individuality and relationships.
02 What is mixed-abilities dance?
Mixed–abilities dance refers to dance groups, classes or companies that combine people with and without disabilities. It is also known as integrated dance, inclusive dance, mixed ability dance. Terms other than dance that are commonly used by other educators in related fields are creative movement and movement improvisation. There is consensus in the dance world of working toward the goal of putting people first and moving away from labels like handicapped, crippled, impaired, disabled, and the like.
I have a disability. Can I be a dancer,
teacher or performer?
Yes! You can simply enjoy a class or workshop, or if you are dedicated and so inclined, you can attend our teacher certification course and become a teacher. And, you can perform in informal productions in gyms, dance studios or street parades at any time that you feel ready and identify a group with whom you can perform. All of our workshops include some kind of performance at the end and the length of the performance depends on the level of the workshop.
Can the DanceAbility method be useful in teaching improvisation to groups of
people without disabilities?
DanceAbility is a comprehensive structure for learning how to improvise. Though many people teach movement improvisation, dancers who have not studied DanceAbility often say they feel lost when improvising and not connected to their fellow improvisers. Most DanceAbility exercises are improvisation scores that lead to beautiful duet, small group, or large ensemble work. Studying the DanceAbility method gives dancers a clear understanding of their own movement potential and their impact on others. It is a deep study of sensation, relation, timing and design. DanceAbility trains dancers to be able to see and sense how their own movements can complement or intentionally contrast with what is happening around them. Improvisation is an important foundation for much contemporary choreography. Many DanceAbility exercises strengthen choreography skills and provide simple, effective tools for generating new choreography.
How does DanceAbility benefit all people?
DanceAbility encourages freedom from habit, and provides an opportunity to expand our potential for expressing ourselves. It continuously presents us with new situations and new ways of moving, to respond to and be influenced by. It’s especially easy to go beyond habit and find new ways to move and express yourself when there are many kinds of bodies and ways of moving and thinking in a workshop. When we’re involved in unfamiliar situations our senses are heightened. In this receptive mode, we gather information that provides an opportunity for the wisdom of our bodies to respond. This combination of unfamiliarity and heightened senses increases the chances of coming up with new ways of acting beyond our usual patterns and habits. Studying improvisation in a supportive atmosphere guides people to open in places they didn’t even realize they were closed.
What is the relationship between Joint Forces Dance Company and DanceAbility International?
Joint Forces Dance Company is the parent company and DanceAbility International is a program of JFDC. Both organizations are non-profits.
Veneta, Oregon, USA
University of Oregon, USA