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“Alito was an amazing, inspiring teacher.”

∼Beth Baker

Certified DanceAbility Teacher

“I want to thank you for being such a generous and talented teacher. I find your work very inspirational and I don’t think I would have followed this dance path if I hadn’t come down to Eugene! Our groups and classes draw on improvisation mostly and a lot of DanceAbility methodology. We cite your work often. ”

∼Shara Weaver

Teacher Certification Participant

Propellerdance, Canada

Teacher Certification

Upcoming Teacher Certification Courses: Lisbon, Portugal from July 2nd-July 28th, 2017, and Thessaloniki, Greece from August 6th – September 1st, 2017. For more information, please click here or visit our calendar on the DanceAbility website: 2016 Calendar.

More than 400 people with and without disabilities have attended DanceAbility Teacher Certification courses in various countries since 1996. Teachers trained in DanceAbility have continued to develop and expand inclusive dance communities around the world. The Teacher Certification course consists of four weeks of full-time study.

DanceAbility Teacher Certification is for people who want to teach integrated groups in movement arts, or learn a model for facilitating communities that foster inclusive participation. We cover well-defined methods and techniques for teaching, but there is not a stagnant set of rules. There are ever-changing approaches to designing creative movement practices that allow anybody and everybody’s movement to emerge, thereby facilitating individual and group expression.

The Certification courses emphasize how to work with mixed-ability groups, how to adapt teaching style to any given participants, how to work with various sizes of groups, and how to present performance.

DanceAbility Teacher Certification Curriculum

  • Foundation exercises introducing basic concepts of movement improvisation to people of all abilities based on things that all participants can do
  • How to guide people to be aware of their potential for movement and for communication
  • Movement explorations and games for individuals, partners, and small and large groups
  • How groups can create their own performance pieces

Participants in the DanceAbility Teacher Certification course will build on their own experiences to develop appropriate materials for the continued development of the work in their own communities.

Four Week Teacher Certification Course

Week 1: Introduction to DanceAbility

Students learn how to identify the physical possibilities and “common denominators” of each new group they work with to ensure that no one is isolated. They learn how to lead the core set of DanceAbility exercises, which can be done no matter how diverse the group. These core exercises introduce the students to basic considerations for communicating, relating, and, in turn, how to shape dances through improvised movement.

Week 2: Integrating Contact Improvisation and Physicality

Physical skills are explored such as rolling, using momentum, providing structures for taking weight, learning how to lean and give weight, counterbalancing, relaxing, and engaging in physical bodywork care. Students continue deepening their understanding of non-isolation and movement communication through structured improvisations and discussion.

Week 3: Class-Planning, Teaching, and & ‘Variations on the Theme’

Student-teachers learn how to adapt their lesson plans and teaching styles depending on participants and specific characteristics. They learn exercises appropriate for people with visual impairments (blind, etc.), hearing impairments (deaf, etc.), mental disabilities, and all combinations. Student-teachers learn how to choose appropriate material for different kinds of classes, and what length of workshops is appropriate depending on goals and participants. The general public is invited to two days of classes, which student-teachers design and team-teach. Course leader Alito Alessi gives feedback on students’ class plans before they teach. Afterward, they recieve feedback from their fellow students and Alito.

Week 4: Artistic Collaboration and Integrating the Material

Student-teachers learn how to teach, evaluate and give feedback on choreography and on shaping performance pieces. They learn how to empower their students by facilitating small groups to collaboratively create their own performance pieces. DanceAbility for children is taught, and general professional development. A site-specific Street Performance Parade or a Performance-Demonstration is prepared, and shared with the public on the final day of the Course.

DanceAbility Teacher Certification courses have been conducted in the following locations:

  • Rome, Italy:
  • Austin, Texas:
  • Padua, Italy:
  • Montevideo, Uruguay:
    2013 with support from Marisa de Leon Trust
  • Bogota, Colombia:
    2012 with support from Marisa de Leon Trust and Inclusive Movimiento
  • Vienna, Austria:
    2014 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
    2012 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
    2010 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
    2007 Vienna International Dance Festival/ImPulsTanz
    2006 Vienna International Dance Festival
  • Montevideo, Uruguay, 2010 and 2013:
    With support from SOLIS National Theater and Marisa de Leon endowment
  • Helsinki, Finland:
    Produced by DanceAbility Finland
  • Eugene, Oregon:
    2005 University of Oregon Department of Dance
    2004 University of Oregon Department of Dance
    1999 WOW Hall
    1998 WOW Hall
  • Trier, Germany:
  • Utrecht, Holland:
    2002 with support from the U.S. Embassy of the Netherlands; produced by FIDODA
  • Rho/Milan, Italy:
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina:
    1997 produced by Danza Sin Limites

    Advanced Courses

    Alito Alessi also offers advanced DanceAbility courses for people who have completed a certification course. If you are a certified teacher, and are interested in furthering your practice, please e-mail us.

  • Information and registration: Please send us an Email or Telephone: 541-357-4982

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