Alice Shepherd and Kitty Lunn of Infinity Dance Theater. Photo Sofia Negron.
In 2015, Dance/NYC introduced a new initiative, Disability.Dance.Artistry., to increase inclusion and access to the art form for disabled people. Now the organization is inviting dancemakers to submit proposals for grants—ranging from $15,000–30,000—to support production costs for integrated performances. The purpose? To generate choreography and performances by and with disabled artists. The deadline for grant proposals is October 15, so start writing!
Integrated dancemaking and education has been on our minds here at DT, too: In this month’s issue, author Lea Marshall makes the case for mainstreaming disabled students in dance education. (Check out this story, too, on a Charleston teacher who has found a new normal after a debilitating spinal cord injury.) Here’s a success story from Bonnie Schlachte, owner and director of Ballet For All Kids:
One student has peripheral neuropathy. “The pathways from her brain to her nerves don’t always tell her the right things. She can’t always feel her feet. She’s been with me seven years and was supposed to be in a wheelchair by now. When she first started dancing with me, she had to have someone hold her up when she walked; her ankles would give out all the time. Last recital, she did a solo, walked onstage all by herself. It’s been remarkable to see her blossom. Now she’s going to college, by herself, not in a wheelchair. A lot of it is physical therapy, but a lot of it is the ballet.”