Board of Directors

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ID: Yağmur, a tan skinned cisgender Turkish woman with brown wavy hair, smiles at the camera while sitting in front of some green bushes and an old building. She is wearing a white coat, red beaded earrings and red lipstick.

Yağmur Halezeroğlu

Co-Founder
Board Member

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Yağmur is one of the co-founders of DfAB with her dear friend, Tess Hanson. Yağmur has been a dancer and an artist all her life and through her work with DfAB she has had the privilege to learn and work with disabled dance artists, leaders and a group of dedicated volunteers with a passion for changing ableist narratives in dance.

She is currently a medical student in California, but continues to dance and stay involved with DfAB as much as possible. She hopes to bring her passion for healing through arts into traditional medicine, as the best medicine is hidden in our creativity.

Ishita

A South Asian cisgender woman, Ishita stands on a balcony with a guardrail and building in the backdrop. She wears a pale pink shirt and stands with her arms crossed, smiling widely through her light brown glasses. Her black hair is shoulder length and curly.

Ishita Rustagi

Board Member

Ishita (she/her) is an artist, a big thinker, and a determined problem solver. Dance is an integral mode of creative expression and personal growth for her. She learnt Odissi (an Indian classical dance form) for ten years, had a brief stint with swing dance, and is liable to break into dance at any opportunity even today. 

Ishita cares deeply about positively impacting individuals and bridging inequities. By profession, she is a Senior Analyst at a non profit that strives to drive inclusion in and through the business world. Her work involves creating strategies, educational resources, and tools to drive inclusive cultures, product development and product outcomes.

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ID: A white cisgender woman, Tess stands outside in a vineyard and smiles widely. She wears a dark blue, knitted shirt and a necklace with golden flowers. Her hair is brown, short, and wavy. 

Tess Hanson

Co-Founder
Board Treasurer

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Tess is a dance lover, a practical dreamer, and a reliable problem solver. She's been making up dances since she was three years old and has continued to make dance a significant part of her life since that young age. She's managed cooperative living spaces, performing arts venues, and with Dance for All Bodies, she's now managing her first nonprofit venture. She cares deeply about people, the wellbeing of the planet, and using creative expression to ward off despair. 

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ID: A South Asian cisgender woman, Maria is smiling cheerfully through her black rimmed glasses. She has a tiny diamond nose stud and her long black hair is tied back into a ponytail. Her friend's arm can be seen around her shoulder. 

Maria Thomas

Board Secretary

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Maria (she/her) is a Product Manager by profession and a dancer by passion. Born disabled, Maria started dancing from the age of 4 to improve her gross motor skills. She is a trained classical Bharatanatyam dancer and also enjoys Bollywood and western styles. Whether it be being part of her college dance team at IIT Madras during her undergraduate years or now vlogging dance videos on Instagram, dance has always remained a constant love in Maria’s life. She even got to represent Indian culture through a solo dance performance in-front of a global audience at a Harvard-Asia conference. Having faced discrimination herself growing up, she hopes to empower disabled individuals around the world.