About DanceAbility® International
We believe in working with all people who want to dance.
We believe in a creative process based on equality.
We believe integrated dance reduces isolation and empowers self-expression and personal growth for all people.
We believe when everybody is welcome to participate in an accessible process, communities are strongest and healthiest.
We believe DanceAbility® has the power to create integrated communities throughout the world.
We believe mixed abilities dance performances encourage viewers to examine their beliefs, misconceptions and attitudes about people with disabilities.
We believe that creating and supporting inclusive dance groups in communities throughout the world awakens the spirit of equality and diversity in each community.
What is DanceAbility®?
DanceAbility is a unique dance method founded in 1987 by Alito Alessi and Karen Nelson and has been under Alito’s leadership since 1989. DanceAbility uses improvisational dance to promote artistic expression and exploration between people with and without disabilities.
DanceAbility International’s mission is to create opportunities for people with and without disabilities to dance and move together. Our vision is that through dance and movement, people from very diverse backgrounds experience the art of being together. The work of DanceAbility International helps decrease prejudice and misconceptions about diversity in the field of dance, and by extension in society. The DanceAbility mission is accomplished through classes and workshops for adults and children, teacher training, performances featuring people with and without disabilities in collaboration, and other educational programs.
The primary goals of DanceAbility are:
- to provide opportunities for people with and without disabilities, and people from different cultures to come together for artistic exploration and community-building
- to help explore and uproot misconceptions and prejudice between people with and without disabilities
- to cultivate cultural and artistic diversity through performance, communication, and education
- to encourage the evolution and performance of contemporary dance and new dance
DanceAbility cultivates a common ground for creative expression of all people. The material is drawn from the group present in a given situation and isolates no one. The method supports self-empowerment by offering ways that all individuals can participate fully in expressing their creative choices, including respecting one’s own limits. Following one’s own interest and desire, and applying that to the benefit of one’s community, is a basic DanceAbility teaching.