Dance for Resilience

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Access Info:

  • Wheelchair Accessible.
  • No Scent Campus. (This is a Fragrance-Free class. Please come unscented to protect those of us with environmental/chemical sensitivities what.) Soap in the bathroom is fragrance free.
  • There is not an ASL interpreter for the class. It may be possible to get an interpreter with prior request.
  • Yoga mats, blocks, bolsters, blankets, straps, foam rollers provided. Chairs available. Raised platform for persons in wheelchairs to more easily access the mat if desired.
  • Non-fluorescent lighting.

Please arrive on time! The Ed Roberts Campus has a security guard in the evenings that can let you in at the front door, please knock (if you are able) or Facebook message Jess to get in. Once the class has started it will be more challenging for the teachers to come outside to get you, so please try to arrive 15 minutes early if possible.

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP) Fitness Studio is in the Ed Roberts Campus, which is directly above Ashby BART Station.

About the class:

Every 1st and 3rd Thursday from 5:45 PM to 7 PM in the BORP Fitness Studio.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to set up your area.

$11-$30 Sliding Scale

Join us for Dance for Resilience, an Access-Centered and trauma-informed class that utilizes improvisation and creative movement to embody resilience and return to our authentic selves. Being Access-Centered means meeting as many needs as possible, prioritizing finding movements that everyone in the space can do, and valuing these expressions equally. Our container believes that you are perfect exactly as you are and we do not expect or need you to change.
We will invite you to connect with your body, develop awareness of sensation, explore the relativity of strength and speed, set boundaries, work on acceptance, and deepen your dance practice. We incorporate somatic techniques to heal historical, generational, and individual trauma and the ways in which trauma gets stored in the body. Some variations that will be offered: safe poses for folks with hypermobility, seated/standing/lying down options, possibilities for arm and leg placement if there is pain or limitation, options to invite different emotional experiences or sensations if a sequence or pose is triggering, detailed verbal descriptions if one is not able to see a physical demonstration, accessible language for developmental disability, and more.
Each class will begin with a brief check-in to communicate our gender pronouns, access needs, and multicultural/anti-racist communication agreements.

NO DANCE EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

About the Teachers:

India Harville

India Harville is an African American, femme queer, disabled, Access-Centered Movement dancer, choreographer, bodyworker, and social justice educator. The unifying thread in India’s work is facilitating people working with their bodies as a vehicle for personal and collective growth and transformation.

India’s chronic health journey has been her most constant influence and most antagonizing dance partner rolled into one; providing equal measures of inspiration and challenge. India seeks to create a dance space where she can fully show up however she is each day. Ultimately India’s work is about radical acceptance as a path to transcendence. India’s work centers the premise that all the ways our bodies show up in the world are perfect and worthy of existing, thriving, creating, ritualizing, and being witnessed. India models this in her own practice, performance, and teaching because she still needs to be reminded of this daily.

India’s performance work addresses racial justice, queer identity, survivorhood, disability and chronic illness. Including an intersectional analysis in her work and offering a critique around the exclusivity of the mainstream dance world is very important to India. She wants to complicate the conversation around what inclusivity in dance means to not just include superficial accessibility, but to also include chronically ill and disabled fat bodies, queer and genderqueer bodies, and all experience levels of dancers. Her aim it to help deconstruct hierarchical structures of dance and to interrupt the racism/ableism/heteronormativity/sizeism inherent in it. She wants to give dance back to the people, to all of the people. She believes if you can breathe, you can dance.

India has trained in numerous styles of dance for over twenty years, and her teaching practice is rooted in the DanceAbility Method and the Access-Centered Movement framework. She incorporates wheelchair ballroom, hip hop, and modern dance into her classes.

India has been fortunate to have so many amazing disabled artists, mentors, and colleagues that have influenced her work. Sins Invalid and the work of Patty Berne, Krip Hop and the work of Leroy Moore, Antoine Hunter, Dance Exchange, Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble at Cal State Hayward, the Access-Centered Movement Collective, and the work of DanceAbility International are a few of her biggest inspirations.

Jess

Jess is a white/Jewish queer disabled femme teacher, artist, healer, and social justice activist. She began dancing as a young child and continued until she was a teenager, when she was told by her teacher that she could not dance because of her disabilities . Because of this, Jess continued dancing with friends but stopped taking classes or believing she could be a professional dancer.
In 2010, Jess was exposed to Disability Justice (a movement started by disabled queer people of color) and, combined with her lived experience as a sick and disabled queer and her love of movement, co-created Access-Centered Movement with disabled dancers, India Harville and Neve Mazique-Bianco. She realized that it was ableism that prevented her from dancing rather than her disabilities.
Jess is a certified Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, and recently became a certified DanceAbility Teacher. Utilizing the Access-Centered Movement framework and her experience with contemporary, hip hop, and salsa dance, she has formed Dance for Resilience–the first Access-Centered and trauma-informed Dance Class!