We have two training lengths for those who want to lead mixed-abilities dance and movement: 5-Day Intensives, and 4-Week Teacher Certification Courses. The 5-Day Intensive is not required before attending the 4-Week Course. DanceAbility method founder Alito Alessi teaches both trainings, and there are an additional 25 Master DanceAbility Teachers worldwide who lead the 5-Day Intensives.
You can find out about upcoming Teacher Certification Courses on our Calendar page.
More than 600 people with and without disabilities have attended DanceAbility Teacher Certification courses in various countries since 1996. Teachers trained in DanceAbility have continued to develop and expand inclusive dance communities around the world. The Teacher Certification course consists of four weeks of full-time study (125 hours) and includes how to adapt teaching style to any given group of participants, how to work with various sizes of groups, and how to present performance.
DanceAbility Teacher Trainings are for people who want to teach integrated groups in movement arts or learn a model for facilitating communities that foster inclusive participation. The well-defined DanceAbility method and techniques include flexible approaches to designing creative movement practices that allow anybody and everybody’s movement to emerge, thereby facilitating individual and group expression.
Teacher Trainings around the World
Rome, Italy: 2015 and 2018
Lisbon, Portugal 2017
Thessaloniki, Greece 2017
Montevideo, Uruguay Master Teacher Cert 2015
Helsinki, Finland: 2009 and 2015,
Produced by DanceAbility Finland
Trier, Germany: 2003 and 2015
Austin, Texas: 2015
Padua, Italy: 2013-2014
2013 with support from Marisa de Leon Trust
2012 with support from Marisa de Leon Trust and Inclusive Movimiento
Montevideo, Uruguay, 2010, 2013, 2019: With support from SOLIS National Theater and Marisa de Leon endowment
2002 with support from the U.S. Embassy of the Netherlands; produced by FIDODA
Buenos Aires, Argentina:
1997 produced by Danza Sin Limites
2019 University of Oregon Department of Dance
2016 University of Oregon Department of Dance
2005 University of Oregon Department of Dance
2004 University of Oregon Department of Dance
1999 WOW Hall
1998 WOW Hall
2018 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2016 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2014 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2012 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2010 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2007 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
2006 Vienna International Dance
DanceAbility Teacher Certification
Foundation exercises introducing basic concepts of movement
improvisation to people of all abilities based on things that all
participants can do
How to guide people to be aware of their potential for movement
and for communication
Movement explorations and games for individuals, partners, and
small and large groups
Integration of Contact Improvisation: learning to improvise using
How groups can create their own performance pieces
Participants in the DanceAbility Teacher Certification course will build on
their own experiences to develop appropriate materials for the continued
development of the work in their own communities.
5-Day DanceAbility Intensive Outline
This 30-hour training teaches basic DanceAbility exercises and theory for
immediate application by dance educators, teachers, therapists, and dancers,
who want to lead inclusive dance in their communities. The same content that
is covered in the 4-Week Course is covered in the 5-Day Intensive, except not
as in depth and not touching on choreography and performance. Many
participants who do not intend to teach also enjoy participating in this dance
immersion and no prior dance experience is required.
Four Week Teacher Certification Course Curriculum
Week 1: Introduction to DanceAbility
Students learn how to identify the physical possibilities and “common denominators” of each new group they work with to ensure that no one is isolated. They learn how to lead the core set of DanceAbility exercises, which can be done no matter how diverse the group. These core exercises introduce participants to basic considerations for communicating, relating, and
shaping dances through improvised movement.
Week 2: Integrating Contact Improvisation & Physicality
Physical skills are explored such as rolling, using momentum, providing structures for taking weight, learning how to lean and give weight, counterbalancing, relaxing, and engaging in physical bodywork care. Students continue deepening their understanding of non-isolation and movement communication through structured improvisations and discussion.
Week 3: Class-Planning, Teaching, & ‘Variations on the Theme’
Student-teachers learn how to adapt their lesson plans and teaching styles depending on participants and specific characteristics. They learn exercises appropriate for people with visual impairments (blind, etc.), hearing impairments (deaf, etc.), mental disabilities, and all combinations. Student-teachers learn how to choose appropriate material for different kinds of classes, and what length of workshops is appropriate depending on goals and participants. The general public is invited to two days of open classes, which student-teachers design and team-teach. Course leader Alito Alessi gives feedback on students’ class plans before they teach. Afterward, they receive feedback from their fellow students and Alito.
Week 4: Artistic Collaboration & Integrating the Material
Student-teachers learn how to teach, evaluate and give feedback on choreography and on shaping performance pieces. Student teachers also learn how to empower their students by facilitating small groups to collaboratively create their own performance pieces. DanceAbility for children is taught, and general professional development. A site-specific Street Performance Parade or a Performance-Demonstration is prepared, and shared with the public on the final day of the Course.
DanceAbility Teacher Certification courses have been conducted in the following locations:
Above: photos from DanceAbility Day in Vienna, Austria
Advanced Courses &
Alito Alessi also offers advanced DanceAbility courses for people who have
completed a certification course. After logging 200 hours working in mixed abilities using the DanceAbility method, you can apply to attend a Master Certification Course where you can earn your Master's Certification. Master Teachers can then go on to facilitate the 5-Day Intensive, and be eligible to join the next generation of Master Trainers, who will train the next generation of Certified Teachers. A Master Trainer can work toward a career in teaching the DanceAbility method to others around the world.
Alito also offers mentoring and consulting services for those who are interested in this career path. The DanceAbility professional community is global and strong.
The method, creating opportunities to experience the art of being together,
is ever-expanding. DanceAbility professionals are ambitious, dedicated to the mission, and forward-thinking.
If you are a certified teacher, and are interested in furthering your practice, or considering DanceAbility as a career, please email us.
Above: 2015 Montevideo, Uruguay: DanceAbility Master Teachers
2017 Trier Germany: DanceAbility Master Teachers