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Bio: Principal Dancer for DanceAbility International

Emery Blackwell

emery upside down in his wheel chair with his feet crossed in the air and face on the ground smiling

Emery is a dancer, choreographer, musician, composer, and teacher. He has cerebral palsy, and has been involved in promoting civil and human rights for many years. He was one of the first children with cerebral palsy to be mainstreamed into the Oregon public school system. He has been a member and president of Oregonians for Independent Living, a group that was instrumental in the passage of a bill guaranteeing every Oregonian with a disability the right to live in the community instead of in a nursing home or other institutionalized setting. Emery has worked with Senior and Disabled Services, the Department of Human Resources, Lane Council of Government’s Senior Services Advisory Board and the Oregon Research Institute.

Emery has been dancing with DanceAbility founder Alito Alessi since 1989, and says of his performance work, “I have reached more people through dance than I ever did through lobbying at the legislature.”

In addition to performing dance, Emery has choreographed dance pieces and composed music for some of these performances. Emery has taught DanceAbility workshops throughout the US, Europe and Latin America. Within the US, he has taught in Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico, California, Washington and Oregon. The foreign countries include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina and Wales.

Emery’s goal is to assist people in perceiving and communicating in a more creative and expressive fashion.

joint forces
DanceAbility International
576 Olive St. Suite 208
Eugene, OR 97401