Currently on hiatus until further notice!
Are you hypermobile and a dancer or love to dance? Maybe you have always wanted to dance but didn’t think it would be accessible for you? Have you felt that you have injured yourself over the years, pushed yourself, ignored the subtle signs from our bodies telling us that we are going past our safe end range? I know that I (Jess, cofounder of ACM and zebra) Have injured myself trying to produce an aesthetic that I knew that mainstream dance would find “beautiful.” I have tried to participate in accessible dance spaces and have found that many (not all) weren’t accessible for my particular disabilities. I have found that, while so many of these spaces are incredible and valuable, I was expected to produce something that would still be considered impressive in mainstream standards, and ultimately that I couldn’t produce. If that wasn’t the focus, not enough understanding of hypermobility and upper body limitations. I even stopped dancing for years when I was told by a professional dancer that I could NEVER dance because of my disabilities, but more so because of my chronic pain.
What if dance were a way to reduce trauma and chronic pain? (This is not to say other traditions don’t do this or to invalidate the value of various dance forms. This is also not about critiquing dance outside of European-dominant culture). What if we could learn a technique that not only supported and stabilized our hypermobile bodies, but also dismantled hierarchy of bodies—deeming who of us is a better dancer than others. ACM not only wants to offer access-centered programming with a trauma-informed and disability justice lens centering the most marginalized, we also want to show the world that there are so many different ways to “produce” art, including in ways that seem so subtle and microscopic we have to change our entire outlook in order to witness it (in any way we are able to witness). What is beautiful? What is impressive? How can we challenge these notions that are rooted in patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism?
With a mixture of choreography, improv, and technique: we will be invited to express ourselves as dancers and honor our bodyminds by being as safe as possible.
You MUST Register (only once, if you come weekly your attendance is known with prepayment or an email requesting scholarship)
• Class will be recorded
• Closed Captioning Provided
• Access needs that can be met day of can be included in the Registration form
• Ideally this will have ASL *and* we don’t have the budget for it—if folks who have access can contribute generously and community members need this, we can do our best. If you are HOV, Deaf/deaf, would like to join, and need ASL, please contact us as soon as possible.
• WILL ALREADY CENTER ACCESS FOR
o low vision, blind/Blind
o wheelchair users
o folks who need to sit, stand, and/or lie down
o mental illness
o chronic pain
o hypermobile and EDS folks
o limited mobility
o inability to use limbs
You will get the Zoom Link after registering, it may take a few days. If you do not receive a link by Wednesday at 3:30PM PST please email us.
CLASSES ARE RECORDED and you will receive a link to said recording whether you attend live or not.
We will be using the “Access-Centered Framework”, which is trauma-informed, intersectional (we work to dismantle oppression and hierarchies at all times), consent-based, and will never expect you to “adapt” to the exercises we offer—we will change the exercise to meet your needs. While we will be offering suggestions to keep your practice as safe as possible, everything we offer is invitational as we believe that you know your bodymind best. We will offer you space to advocate for your needs, and we encourage you and invite you to take up that space.
This ongoing drop-in class is Sliding Scale $20 – $40+ with Partial and Full Scholarship Options
• We highly encourage people (especially white folks) who have financial access to pay as much as they can (perhaps more than $40) to help fund folks who do not have access
• The only way that this model works successfully is when people give what they authentically can, remembering that we are all conditioned in a model of scarcity and that it is often uncomfortable to give in this framework. For people who cannot afford the sliding scale: we will are offering scholarships to low income folks. Priority for BIPOC. Please remember that Jess is very low income and this is her life’s work.
• Please contact Jess via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a scholarship BRIEFLY explaining your situation.
Please submit your pre-payments to:
PayPal: email@example.com via paypal or
Venmo : @Jess-Dene.
email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to pay another way. No refunds as this will be recorded.
Free for Black and Indigenous folks, if wanted.
About the Teacher
Jess is a white/Jewish queer disabled femme teacher, healer, dancer, and social justice activist. She began dancing 20 years ago to manage the physical and emotional pain resulting from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and Complex PTSD. She found, however, that most mainstream classes she attended were not accessible for her needs. Jess continued to practice various movement therapies on her own and, with the support of an EDS literate physical therapist, rehabilitated countless injuries. She now considers herself a leader in offering safe movement for people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other hypermobility disorders. She, along with India Harville and Neve Mazique, created Access-Centered Movement by combining trauma informed language (learned from the Niroga Institute), Disability Justice (a movement started by disabled queer people of color), and her lived experience as a sick and disabled queer.