DanceAbility Street Parade in Austin

Part two of an Austin-based DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course got under way on Sunday, Dec. 6, with an opening orientation and improvisational group dance at The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym. Alito Alessi, the artistic director of DanceAbility International and co-founder of the DanceAbility method, joins the group (center right). Olivia O’Hare, project coordinator for Austin's Body Shift dance program, dances

Part two of an Austin-based DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course began on Sunday, Dec. 6, with an opening orientation and improvisational group dance at The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym. Alito Alessi (wearing maroon sweatpants), the artistic director of DanceAbility International and co-founder of the DanceAbility method, joins the group at center right. To Alessi’s left is Olivia O’Hare, project coordinator for Austin’s Body Shift mixed-ability improvisational dance project.

I recently got my first glimpse into the world of DanceAbility: an internationally renowned method that creates opportunities for people with and without disabilities to move and dance together.

This Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, the DanceAbility method will be on spectacular display when graduates of a DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course dance their way through part of downtown Austin, starting a choreographed street parade at 4 p.m. at the Federal Building Plaza next to Republic Square Park.

Teaching class24

 

The graduates will present a series of structured improvisations — fluid, sculpture-like pieces formed by groups of dancers, as seen above — using the skills they developed during a two-part teacher certification course taught by Alito Alessi, the artistic director of Eugene, Oregon-based DanceAbility International and co-founder of the DanceAbility method.

Alessi, who teaches DanceAbility courses worldwide, taught the first half of the Austin-based teacher certification course in May in The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym. The course’s second half, also being held over a 10-day stretch in the Anna Hiss Gym, will culminate with Friday’s street parade — a rare opportunity for Austinites to see DanceAbility in action.

Alito Alessi dances with Amy Elizabeth Litzinger

Alito Alessi, left, dances with teacher-in-training Amy Elizabeth Litzinger during a DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course in The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym.

Alessi is globally recognized as a pioneering teacher, performer, and choreographer in the fields of contact improvisation and dance and disability. Alessi’s motto is powerful, and simple: DanceAbility is dance for everyone. Likewise, the self-described vision of DanceAbility International is that through dance and movement, people from diverse backgrounds experience the art of being together.

As further described on DanceAbility International’s website, www.danceability.com, the organization’s work decreases prejudice and misconceptions about diversity in the field of dance, and, by extension, in society.

It was my privilege last week to help photograph portions of part two of the teacher certification course being held on the UT campus. It will be my delight on Friday to help document the graduates’ street parade: a celebration of a dance method designed to be all-inclusive.

The DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course being held in The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym offers teachers in training the opportunity to lead classes in the DanceAbility improvisational dance and movement method. The course will culminate with a DanceAbility Street Parade this Friday, Dec. 18, as graduates dance through downtown Austin.

The DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course being held in The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym offers teachers in training the opportunity to lead classes in the DanceAbility improvisational dance and movement method. The course will culminate with a DanceAbility Street Parade this Friday, Dec. 18, as graduates dance through downtown Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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