As Dance for All Bodies, we are striving to improve accessibility of our programming every day. We believe that accessibility is a work in progress and requires a continuous commitment.
Disclaimer: Currently our classes are not fully accessible for all abilities depending on the dance class type. We understand that inclusive dance classes are never a “one size fits all” as every dancer with a disability will have different capacities and needs. Our instructors do their best to draw from pedagogy that centers people with disabilities and creates a class environment that gives you options and adaptations for movements.
For more information on what to expect from a dance class, check the class descriptions as well as the event descriptions.
Accessibility of the Instruction of our Dance Classes
- Access for Individuals with Physical Disabilities
We work with our instructors to make sure we provide various options in movement and expression for people with physical disabilities. For example, instructors might demonstrate doing a movement at a higher or lower intensity level with arms raised all the way up or arms kept mid-level. Another instructor can demonstrate doing a rotational motion with their arms, whole body, or just their head.
Our instructors may choose to stand up, sit down, or switch back and forth for the duration of the class. We understand that a physically integrated dance class does not stop at solely providing instructions from a seated position as we all have different capacities.
Some of our dance classes may involve instructions for certain movements that require the use of a body part that might not be able to be easily translated into your body and ability. We recognize that it can be difficult and frustrating to have to explain that the instructed movements are not easily adaptable to your ability. In these scenarios, we invite you to give us feedback so we can better address your needs, which will open the way for more people to be able to join and enjoy a dance class. You can provide feedback during the class, verbally or through the video chat. If you would prefer to share your thoughts after the class, we encourage you to fill out this feedback form so we can work to make our class content more accessible.
We understand that accessibility is a continuous process and that we must always reevaluate, reshape, and refine our practices as an organization to fully embody our mission.
- Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals
We are working towards access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals by making sure that we have ASL interpreters for all of our classes. We hope to use additional captioning services for Zoom in the future. Thank you for your patience!
- Language Accessibility
Currently most of our dance class instruction is in English, but some instructors do provide instructions in Spanish. Like we mentioned above, we are striving to include ASL Interpretation in all our classes. This is an area that we hope to improve on.
- Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals
Our instructors do provide verbal descriptions of their movements as they demonstrate in a class. If you do need detailed verbal descriptions of the moves, please let us know when you sign up for a class. That way, we will make sure to communicate that information with our teacher so that they are prepared to provide clear and detailed verbal instructions.
However, if you are looking for dance instruction specifically designed for the blind/low vision community, we encourage you to get in touch with Krishna Washburn at Dark Room Ballet.
We understand that disability doesn’t exist independent of other long-standing social forces that have created layers of inequities in our society that repeatedly affect underserved communities. That is why we have a suggested sliding scale ($5-15) for our classes. We don’t want finances to be a barrier to access for individuals with disabilities, who have long been neglected in their access to dance classes.
Virtual Zoom Classes Accessibility
Here is a Google Document with some tips for taking a Zoom class online. Zoom is sadly not designed to be accessible to a wide variety of users. It is the best platform we have, but it is a long way from being perfect. If you know of a video conferencing platform that prioritizes accessibility, please get in touch with us: email@example.com
We are currently working on improving the accessibility of our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you for your patience.
We share the Access Philosophy of the National Endowment for the Arts that is listed below. Please take a look below to learn more.
Access is a civil rights issue, with a moral imperative. Access to cultural programs is a legal requirement of the Arts and Humanities Endowments’ Section 504 Regulations and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The access laws extend civil rights similar to those now available on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion to people with disabilities.
Access is a diversity issue. Section 504 and ADA promote diversity and inclusion by ensuring broader access to the arts and humanities for all people, regardless of ability. The 504 Regulations and the ADA's definition of a person with a disability extends beyond those who have visual, hearing, mobility or learning disabilities to individuals with chronic, life-threatening illnesses including people with AIDS or who are infected with HIV, the AIDS virus.
Reducing the physical and attitudinal barriers to people with disabilities by creating environments accessible to all is the fundamental principle underlying access and universal design. Creating attractive environmental changes that accommodate people with and without disabilities goes beyond minimum access standards and is the intent of universal design.
Access benefits the greater population. Reinforce the idea of universal design: what is an accommodation for one-person may be a convenience for many. Many people experience temporary disabilities, and most experience the natural process of aging. A person need not self-identify as having a disability in order to make use of 9 accommodating tools, devices or resources that will allow him/her/them to participate more fully.
Access should be integrated into all facets and activities of your organization, from day-to-day operations to long range agency goals and objectives. Ultimately, every member of an organization is responsible for access. Access accommodations and services should be given a high priority and earmarked in the budget process. Since all organizations are legally required to serve staff, participants and others with disabilities, they also must be committed to providing those accommodations, which are reasonable and necessary.
Access has economic benefits. People with disabilities and older adults comprise a significant part of the U.S. population, and are potentially a vast market for the arts. Access is related to audience development in the broadest sense: it provides opportunities for people to be involved in all aspects of the arts, to the fullest extent possible.
Cultural organizations should lead by example, not merely by legal authority. They should strive to meet or exceed federal, state or local legal requirements.
Access is a dynamic work in progress, as new initiatives are developed, art forms change and expand, and new technologies are introduced. Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators contains examples of basic, legally required access accommodations as well as specific "best practice" models that go above and beyond the law.