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Why Dance for All Bodies? Why Us? (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Learn more about DfAB story told from Yagmur's perspective.

Yagmur, on the left side, and Tess, on the right side, are both in kneeling position as they smile to the camera, while Tess points to a one page poster of Dance for All Bodies amongst a couple other posters. Yagmur presents as a fair skinned young woman with brown eyes and long dark brown hair. She is wearing a black sleeveless top and shorts with colorful floral pattern on them. She wears a white name tag on her shirt. Her right hand rests on her right knee. Tess presents as a white skinned, young woman with dark blond hair in a bun. She wears a dark orange collared button down shirt with short sleeves and dark blue shorts. She wears a small watch with a red strip on her left wrist which she rests on her left knee.
Yagmur and Tess at Big Ideas Awards Ceremony

Welcome to DfAB's blog, we are so glad you made it here. We have decided to start a weekly blog where we’ll not only share our story as a non-profit but also highlight our instructors, participants and dancers with disabilities. Get ready to hear more about social entrepreneurship, disability advocacy and dance.

This first blog post, I (Yagmur) would like to start off with our journey and especially the small chance occurrences in my life that has led us to where we are now.
Yagmur and a dance class participant reach for one another. Yagmur is in seated position on the floor, and the participant, a women with white skin, short blonde hair is seated in a wheelchair, reaching with her arms towards Yagmur. She smiles at Yagmur, who has her back turned to us.
Yagmur & Dance Class Participant

I really like to share this journey with others, because I like reflecting back on the seemingly small moments of luck that give the story a touch of life. Additionally, as a non-disabled individual, sometimes I get questions about “Why are you actually doing this?” or “What is in this for you?”.

What led me down this path was a feeling of empowerment to address the long standing, inequitable social structures that have impacted communities.

When I noticed these injustices in my community, I didn’t want to forget about them. Instead I felt a need to take action.

And I’ve been very fortunate because life presented so many opportunities for DfAB to grow; from brilliant individuals to experiences full of learning and failing.

In regards to my identity as being a non-disabled individual, I believe that it is the shared responsibility of non-disabled allies to take on disability advocacy work. I want to keep listening, growing and learning how I can be a better ally every day. As DfAB, we know that disability rights have long been forgotten in our societies call for equity and inclusivity. However, we are hopeful and become more hopeful every day as we see bright new faces in our dance classes who believe in a more just world.

Read ahead to hear more about the small chance opportunities that has opened the way for us to create DfAB and take a step towards the future we believe in.

Chance Occurrences on DfAB's Journey

Yagmur smiles as she poses in front of the hospital, with a backpack and beige colored jacket. She has fair skin and short dark brown hair. She wears a yellow badge that reads "VOLUNTEER".
Yagmur at ZSFGH

Chance #1

I started volunteering at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFGH) in January 2018, where I was working at the Orthopedic Trauma Institute’s Functional Limb Service (FLS). This was chance #1 on DfAB’s journey. I came across this opportunity when I received an email from the Career Center at UC Berkeley. Although I’ve never really had a