Category Archives: connecting

Invite to Community Dance Artists Gathering

Independent Contemporary Dance Artists and Creators on the south island, you are invited to an online gathering about sustaining our creative practices as we go forward at this time of Covid.

Meeting on Zoom, we will check in, meet new folks, see some familiar faces, share ideas and build connections.

If you’re interested in joining:
1) Let us know what times could work for you June 14/ 15/ 16 by filling in this doodle poll.
AND
2) Send your email address to ConstanceCooke@shaw.ca so we can send you the details in a week or so once the date of the gathering is confirmed.

This gathering is focused on dance artists in Victoria in the homelands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, as well as on the south island (south of Duncan) and southern gulf islands, such as artists living and working in the homelands of the BOḰEĆEN/ Pauquachin, Diitiid7aa7tx/ Ditidaht, Esquimalt/ Xwsepsum, Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson, Málexeł/ Malahat, Pacheedaht, Penelakut, Quw’utsun/ Cowichan, Sc’ianew, Songhees, SȾÁUTW/ Tsawout, Stz’uminus, T’Sou-ke, W̱JOȽEȽP/ Tsartlip, and W̱SIḴEM/ Tseycum Nations.

This gathering is for dancers and creators to come together. Artists who also work as presenters, producers or funders are invited to attend in the role of dancer/ creator.

If there are access practices that would support you in participating, please contact Joanne@CreativeMoment.im . ASL interpretation and captioning are dependent on availability of interpreters and transcribers.

This online meeting is being co-hosted by Connie Cooke and Joanne Cuffe.

Warm regards,

Connie and Joanne

Online opportunities

Colleagues on the west coast of Turtle Island are offering awesome sessions online this Spring. This post has links to a few classes. Times are for the Pacific Time Zone (Pacific Daylight Time / UTC−07:00).

On this page:
Land-based livestreams
All abilities dance classes (updated in late May)
Mainstream dance classes
Dance-making prompts
Dance videos
Queer Disability peer-facilitated groups
Events in April (not updated)


Land-based livestreams:

Open Space held an online / on land series of talks at different sites within Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ territories in April and May, to spend time with and learn from local Indigenous artists, educators, and knowledge keepers. Online / on land series video recordings.


All abilities dance classes:

This list focuses on organizations with disability leadership on the west coast.

Dance for All Bodies (based in the US, Bay Area) is hosting online dance classes, including:
Friday May 29: Diaspora Dance Class for All Abilities with Alicia Langlais.
Saturday May 30: Urban Jazz Dance Company Class with Antoine Hunter.
Friday June 5: All Abilities Beginner Flamenco Workshop with Clara Rodriguez.
Sundays June 7, 14, 21, 28: Salsa Class for All Abilities with JanpiStar.
Tuesday June 9: DanceAbility Class with India Harville.
Saturday June 13: Brazilian Dance Class with Stephanie Bastos.
Details about Dance for All Bodies classes.

Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture has two dance workshops during its Still, Life: A Digital Festival:
Tuesday June 2nd at 1pm: Dancing for Well-Being with Joanne Cuffe.
Friday June 5th at 1pm: Move and Connect with Harmanie Rose and All Bodies Dance Project.

Weekdays (Monday-Friday) at 10:30am-11:30am (PDT):
AXIS Dance Company is offering physically integrated dance classes online via Zoom. The schedule is posted for the current week and next week. The class cost is $0, $5 or $10, and requires pre-registering. Details and to register for AXIS Company Classes.

Wednesdays until the end of May, from 2:30pm-3:15pm (PDT):
Dance Together at Home: Creative Movement for people with and without disabilities facilitated by Sarah Bourne. Free. On Zoom. Details about Wednesdays with Sarah are on the Exploration Dance website.

Thursdays from 3:30pm-4:30pm (PDT):
A Low-Impact, Seated Dance Fitness Class offered by Embrace Arts. Free on Zoom. Details about Thursdays Dance Fitness are on the Embrace Arts website.

Saturdays until June 13th, from 10:00am-11:30am (PDT):
All Bodies Dance Project Saturday morning series, open to anyone and everyone.


Mainstream dance classes:

There are upcoming mainstream dance classes listed on the Dancing Alone Together website (and a daily list of classes posted to the Dancing Alone Together Instagram), and a list of online mainstream dance classes by studios in Canada on the Dance Current website. There are daily gaga classes online, and with Toronto gaga teachers. Margie Gillis is offering classes Wednesday mornings until June 3rd.


Dance-making prompts:

Dancing Alone Together has a list of projects with prompts for creating dance, such as #QuarantineShorts Instagram creation prompts from Jerron Herman (@JerronHerman)  & Alice Sheppard (@WheelchairDancr).


Dance videos:

If you’ve got some extra time these days, check out this resource page of dance videos, as well as interviews with artists about dance from decolonial, Deaf, and cross-disability perspectives. There are links to videos of dancers based on six continents, with a focus on the west coast of Turtle Island.


Queer Disability peer-facilitated groups:

Chronically Queer provides a welcoming, supportive environment where LGBTQIA2S+ identified people living with chronic health conditions and/or disabilities can come together and share what is happening in their lives. The group is meeting online regularly.

QueerAbilities Victoria is a group of individuals who identify somewhere on the LGBTTQ+ spectrum and who are also living with a disability, either diagnosed or not. The group is connecting on Zoom on Mondays from 3:30pm-5:00pm (PDT).


Events in April:

Open Access Workshop: Organizing Accessibility from the Grassroots with Carmen Papalia, Friday April 17, 1pm-3pm (PDT), organized by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Free. Details and to register for the April 17 Open Access Workshop.

Justice Brunch! A Sunday series featuring Queer Disabled BIPOC Brilliance, hosted by the Disability Justice Culture Club. Sundays April 19, 26, May 3, 10 from 1pm-4pm (PDT): Details about the Sunday Justice Brunch series.

Sins Invalid’s Crip Bits presents: Va-Va-Voom: A Crip Dance Party! Monday April 20th,  6:00pm-7:30pm (PDT) in Sins Invalid’s Zoom room. Pre-registering required. Details and to register for the Crip Dance Party.

Unsettling Dramaturgy: Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration, TBC: April 20 and 30. The series addresses approaches to, and practices in online convening that centre unsettling, decolonization, indigenization, and disability justice in process design. Details will be on the Unsettling Dramaturgy page.

Disability Organizing in the Age of Covid-19: Medical Rationing, Eugenics, and the Precarity of Mutual Aid, Tuesday April 21, 4pm (PDT), hosted by Lydia X. Z. Brown and Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program. Details about the April 21 Webinar and link for registering by the 19th. Previous event: Webinar on Disability Justice and Decolonization, Tuesday April 14.

Online meditation retreat with Anuskha Fernandopulle on Staying Grounded During the Pandemic, Friday April 24 to Saturday April 25, hosted by the BC Insight Meditation Centre. Details and to register for Anushka’s meditation retreat.

The Accessibility of Victoria’s Arts Scene: Community Conversations hosted online by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – Part 1 is Monday April 27, and Part 2 is Wednesday May 13.

Webinar on Disability Justice and covid-19, Thursday April 30, 6pm-8pm (PDT) on Zoom, organized by Kwekwecnewtxw – Coast Salish Watch House, Stand.earth, and Moishe House Vancouver. Details about the April 30 Webinar at 6pm.

Describing Dance: invite to collab on collective access

Dear disability, dance and media arts communities,

The InterdepenDance Collective is looking for volunteers to help increase access to dance. 

Currently there are very few audio described dance videos on the internet, even among dance companies who aim to be inclusive and accessible.

We invite you to learn to create (amateur) audio descriptions for (fantastic!) dance video excerpts.

Do you have at least 6 hours available sometime in 2020? We’re looking for people to record audio descriptions of key visual elements of dance videos sometime this year. As we are collaborating online, colleagues beyond the island are warmly invited, and encouraged, to join in.

Descriptions can be created collaboratively – within a team there would need to be someone who is sighted, someone who is hearing, and someone who speaks or uses a communication device with audio output. Raising funds to hire consultants from local blind and disability communities is encouraged.

Here’s a draft web page with links to video excerpts to choose from for creating descriptions – please keep the draft web page secret for now!

To sign up to help out with creating audio descriptions, send an email to Joanne, who will add your email to the collaborative describing email list.


Below on this page:
Describing dance options
Details for how to contribute a basic audio description
Resources – examples of described dance


Describing dance options

There are different approaches available for describing dance. Some examples are: narrating physical actions, metaphor, poetry, storytelling, multiple people’s voices to each represent a different dancer, soundscapes, layering of different styles, and option of tactile describing (in person at events). There are examples from Kinetic Light, as well as All Bodies Dance Project and VocalEye’s Translations project, of different describing techniques in the resources section below.

Each person or team creating a description can use the style/s that seem to fit with a particular video, or that they are most comfortable with.

Here is an ideal context for adding audio description to videos:

  • Choose a video that resonates with the experiences, identities or art practices of the people describing. A few examples: an Indigenous dancer describing Indigenous dancers’ work, a queer dancer who uses mobility tools describing a piece by a queer dancer who uses mobility tools, and a flamenco dancer describing a flamenco piece.
  • Raise funds to hire the video’s main artist or dancer, as well as artistic consultants from blind and disability communities, to co-create the audio description.
  • If this is not possible, could collaborate in pairs or as a small group on a draft audio description, and pay consultants to review and recommend edits to the description.
  • If funds are not available to pay consultants, then create a draft audio description and share it with the collaborative describing email list inviting feedback.

How to contribute:

Details for creating a basic audio description:

  1. Be in touch to have your email added to the collaborative describing email list and online “Describing videos” folder, which includes a “Describing videos sign-up” document (that shows which videos don’t have anyone signed up yet for describing), and a shared “Describing ideas” document.
  2. Watch a few videos that don’t have anyone signed up yet, then pick which video/s you’re comfortable creating a description for. (Please note the video excerpt start and end times.)
  3. Let the group know which video excerpt you’re going to describe:
    -either add your name next to the name of the video on the “Describing videos sign-up” google-document, or send a note to the email list (or contact Joanne).
  4. Prepare:
    -Watch the video a few times.
    -If you are new to describing cross-disability dance and dancers using mobility tools and using gender-neutral language when pronouns aren’t known, then please draft the description first (either a written script or audio draft) to share with the collaborative describing email list for any suggested edits.
    -To find out how an artist describes themself and what pronouns the dancers use, please look up the artist’s website, a recent interview, or under the video title select the down arrow to see what they wrote in their video description.
    -If you have financial resources, hire artistic consultants from local blind and disability communities to collaborate.
    -Do a test of using your audio recording program (and microphone if not built-in to the device), test the volume of your voice when recorded, and check if the recording gets saved as an mp3 or m4a file.
  5. Possibly record an audio introduction to the video excerpt:
    -IF providing context prior to the video excerpt seems important (such as for a quick or busy video or group piece), create a short audio introducing the video: read out any text from the start of the video (such as video title and artist name); if relevant could include a one-sentence bio from the company or artist’s website or artist statement about the piece; and “set the stage” by briefly describing the setting and introducing the dancers and theme.
    -Name this file with the Video Name – audio intro. (for example: Musa Motha – audio intro.mp3)
  6. Record an audio description of the video excerpt:
    -In between dialogue and important audio, describe the visual elements of the video, such as key movements, relationships, body language, tone, setting, costumes or regalia, and scene changes. Also read out on-screen text such as important captions that have not been spoken, and video credits.
    -Please try to start the video excerpt playing and the audio recording at the same time if possible – could have someone assist if this is tricky.
    -for recording if video is on YouTube:
    Either record your verbal description without the video audio in the background (listen to video with headphones) and name this file Video Name – description (for example: Musa Motha – description.mp3), OR, add the audio description directly to YouDescribe.
    -for recording if video is on Vimeo:
    play the video excerpt on one device (e.g. computer) with video audio playing in the background, and on another device (e.g. smartphone) record audio of you verbally describing the video. Name this file with the Video Name – video description (for example: Musa Motha – video description.mp3). Or if tech-savvy, record and save as two audio tracks then also save a combined version.
    -(Totally optional: If you’re feeling ambitious, you could choose to create an audio description for the whole video instead of just the excerpt. This is potentially more useful to the artist.)
  7. Upload the file:
    -Save the files as mp3 (or .m4a) audio files and upload it to the collaborative “Describing videos” online folder (or email it to Joanne).

If anyone has tips, suggestions, concerns or ideas, please do be in touch!

Once audio descriptions for video excerpts are ready, it will be uploaded to a resource web page alongside video excerpt links. (We hope to also have a transcript of captioning from the January 25th event available afterwards, in case anyone would like to learn to create captions for uncaptioned videos, such as through the Amara website.)


Resources – examples of described dance:

From Kinetic Light’s website about the Audimance app they are developing: “What if your audio description experience offered you choices—different styles of description, soundscapes, poetry, prose? What if you could listen to dance as an aural artistic experience and not just someone’s description of the experience?”

All Bodies Dance Project- Translations Part 2 video has examples of various styles – tactile describing, narrating body movements, metaphor, story, layering of styles.

DESCENT by Kinetic Light audio described teaser

Dancing Disability 2019 Short Doc [Audio Described] – example of traditional audio description, for a documentary with describing between spoken dialogue, and excerpts of dancing

Bangarra Dance Theatre Education Resource (with Audio Description) –  describer allows pauses and a sense of rhythm between describing, but please note that this description is very binary gendered – unless you know the specific pronouns that a dancer uses, please use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/ them/ their.

Article by Naomi Brand – Translations: A research project for blind and partially sighted viewers

Otherwise by Danielle Peers and Lindsay Eales (described and captioned) – example of embedded poetic audio description, that goes for a crip aesthetic practice of audio description

Unspoken Spoken – a dance film from Candoco Dance Company (Audio Described version)

Article by Maribel Steel: Why Go to See Live Theatre if You are Blind?

Article: This is what accessibility sounds like (James Dinneen: Brooklyn Rail, Sept 2019), which includes an example of a tone poem.

There is an example of a text description of INCLINATIONS after the Teaser Video on Alice’s page about the film.

Article by Ria Andriani: I love theatre and I’m blind. Here’s how that works.

Samples of Audio Description (not of dance) from the Audio Description Project

If you come across examples of audio described disability-focused dance videos, feel free to send the link.

Which styles of dance description are you interested in?

Greetings,

This note invites input about what styles of dance and live describing you are interested in.

First, we would like to introduce our group. The InterdepenDance Collective is passionate about collective access and growing connections among communities.

We are organizing inclusive dance workshops and events with live describing. Because describing dance is different than theatre audio description, it’s a learning curve for us. Below are three questions we want to ask local communities:

  1. When attending dance performances, what styles of dance are you most interested in? (perhaps list 3 or 4 styles)
  2. What approaches to dance describing do you think might appeal to you most as an audience member: metaphor, technical narration of physical actions, option of tactile describing, storytelling, soundscapes, layering different styles, all of the above?
  3. As a participant in a dance workshop, what styles of dance description do you think you would be most interested in: metaphor, technical narration of physical actions, option of tactile describing, storytelling, soundscapes, all of the above?

The InterdepenDance Collective is excited to connect with more people interested in described dance. If you have any questions or would like to connect, contact Tiffany by email at embrace.arts.victoria@gmail.com or Joanne by phone at 250-812-2501.


Optional online form

In case tabbing through an online form works for you, there is a form below. The form asks for your Name and Email, followed by text boxes for the three questions mentioned above. The form ends with a text box in case there is anything else you would like to mention. Then tab to the Submit button and press enter to send the form.

Dance Films January 25th

The InterdepenDance Collective invites you to join us for:

Integrated Dance Films

Saturday January 25th, 2020

 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Free!

At FLUX Media Gallery

821 Fort Street, on the ancestral land of the Lək̓ʷəŋən People.


About the event

This event is to introduce the public to mixed-ability dance and dance from disability perspectives.

As well, the event is a chance for dancers who experience disability to come together and experience the work of colleagues in other cities.

Films and video will include work by artists such as Alice Sheppard, Danielle Peers, Geoff McMurchy, All Bodies Dance Project, and Embrace Arts. There will be video excerpts of dance artists based on six continents, with a focus on the West Coast of Turtle Island.

Please do not use any scented or fragranced products before coming to the event.

Photo of nine dancers huddled together, crouched and seated, attentively staring to the left.
Photo from All Bodies Dance Project. Photo credit: Erik Zennstrom.

Optional snacks

Feel free to bring a snack to share, with a list of ingredients (large print or size 18 font). Please avoid bringing common allergens (i.e. No nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, gluten, milk/cow dairy). Thank-you!


Please RSVP

Here is the event RSVP form. Space is limited.

An alternative way to RSVP is by contacting Joanne.


Access notes

Accessible washrooms for all genders are available next door at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.

The Flux Media Gallery entrance is level off of Fort Street. The door is not automatic, so there will be a volunteer near the door available to open it.

Please request interpreting, captioning and describing by January 20th:
-A sign language interpreter is available.
-Captioning and transcribing are confirmed.
-Audio description: Some of the videos have audio description available. There will be live describing for the remaining videos, by artists who are learning to describe dance. Audience members can choose which styles of live describing they would like (for example, narrating physical movements, metaphor, optional tactile describing, layering styles).

For other questions and access requests, contact Joanne or include it when you RSVP.


To watch the videos after the event:

In case joining in person does not work, a webpage will be available after the event with links to many of the videos shown at the event. The webpage with links will be shared on the integrated dance south island listserv. To join the listserv, connect by email.


To help spread the word:

Link to Facebook event page

Link to event Poster


To volunteer:

There are volunteer roles available: greeter (and available to assist with the door), describing team, childminding, set up and clean-up. Please sign up on the RSVP form.


Upcoming events

The film event is in advance of the Integrated Dance Forum on Sunday February 16th, and an Introduction to Inclusive Choreography with All Bodies Dance Project on Friday February 14th.


Event supporters and partners

This event is organized by the InterdepenDance Collective, in partnership with MediaNet, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, Creative Momentum and Embrace Arts.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. This project is made possible, in part, with the collaboration and support of Made in BC-Dance on Tour.

Dance Celebration December 9th

The All Abilities Dance Group invites peers to join us:

Winter Celebration

Monday December 9th

from 11:00am-11:45am

at the Garth Homer Auditorium.

The group is creating a winter-themed dance to share Dec. 9th. The Nigel dance group will share a very brief dance as well.

After this there will be a dance party open to anyone who would like to join in!

Please send song requests and RSVP numbers to Joanne@creativemoment.im by December 6th.

If you arrive before 11:00am, feel free to find a spot in the audience. Please do not interrupt the group dancing (they have a rehearsal from 10:45-11:00am).

Please note that there might be photo and video documentation of the All Abilities Dance Group’s dance. If anyone in the audience does not want to accidentally be in video or photos, please sit towards the back or sides of the audience. Thank-you.

Colonial Reality Tour

Colonial Reality mini-Tour for dancers
Tuesday June 25th
7:00pm

at Esquimalt Gorge Park
on Tillicum Road just south of the Gorge Waterway.
We’ll meet at the bottom of the main parking lot (closer to the water) by the bike racks.

Event description:

The Colonial Reality Tour is guided by a Lekwungen community member to identify places of significance to local Indigenous peoples and the colonial institutions and names that mark them.

Cheryl Bryce has offered to guide a short version of the Colonial Reality Tour for dancers on June 25th by Camossung. We will stroll to a few tour stops, for about an hour.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by June 24th at this link and note any access needs. The route will be shaped by the accessibility needs of the group.

Admission is free.

This event is open to anyone involved in dance who would like to attend (such as community dancers, dance artists, dance facilitators/ teachers, and family members). It has been organized by a few members of the islands network for collaborative dance.

Thank-you to Made in BC – Dance on Tour’s community engagement program for supporting this event, which is part of a dance project that is also supported by the CRD Arts & Culture Support Service and the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.

Bringing a water bottle is encouraged.

Buses number 8, 9, 11, 14 and 26 go to the area.

We apologize that there has not been more advance notice for this event, and look forward to seeing those who can attend.

Dance Visioning June 26

You are invited to brainstorm about integrated dance! What types of all abilities dance initiatives would you like to be part of locally over the coming year/s?

Dance Visioning: Wednesday June 26th.
Two time options (choose one): 11:00am-12:30pm, or 1:30pm-2:30pm.
At the Victoria Disability Resource Centre’s boardroom, at 817A Fort Street, in the homelands of the Lekwungen peoples.
ASL Interpretation is available for the 11:00am-12:30pm session.

Please register by June 24th at this link: https://forms.gle/dTAfjeHyeugkZ43j7 .

The morning session will be co-hosted by Amber (Dancer & Artist) and Joanne (Creative Momentum), and the afternoon session will be co-hosted by Tiffany (Embrace Arts) and Joanne.

The visioning will help shape local dance opportunities for this Fall and over the coming years.

This gathering is a follow-up to last year’s Mixed-Abilities Dance Group, in collaboration with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre. This event is made possible with support from CRD Arts & Culture Support Service and Made in BC – Dance on Tour’s community engagement program.


A head’s up about an opportunity to dance this Fall: There will be integrated dance collaborative sessions on one Wednesday per month. For more information see the Integrated Dance Collective page.

Dancing Together March 18 at 7pm

The first Dancing Together session, which is all genders, all mobilities, all ages, queer, community social dance, will be:

Saturday March 18
7:00pm-9:00pm
at Dance Victoria (2750 Quadra Street) at the back door (use the rear parking entrance on Market Street), in Lkwungen Territory.
Sliding scale $0-20.
Note: Please do not use scented products on the day of the event.
The Facebook event page is at [link: March 18 Facebook event page].

For details about accessibility and directions

Please click [link: Dancing Together page] for details about event accessibility and location.

March 18 event description:

Dancing Together brings together people with diverse genders and sexualities, people of diverse backgrounds, and people with diverse ways of moving, as well as friends, family and supportive people. Sessions are open to anyone who can 1) communicate consent (non-verbally or verbally) and 2) respect other people’s boundaries and gender identities. No previous dance experience is required.

On March 18th we will start with talking about how to respect other people’s boundaries and gender identities, such as asking for and receiving consent before engaging in contact such as holding hands, and not assuming what gender pronouns (if any) someone might use. We recognize this is a learning process and we can learn from our mistakes.

There will then be a 30 or 40-minute introductory lesson in gender-inclusive & mixed-abilities partner dance. This will include a chance to try the dance roles of inviting and responding (“leading” and “following”), ways of moving through space together (with options of moving with space between us or with contact such as holding hands), and options for spins / turns / going around each other. There is no need to come with a dance partner. After the learning time there will be a venue washroom discussion, followed by some freestyle social dance time, for practicing what we learned or free-form dancing. After dancing we will brainstorm about what types of dance we would like to try in future sessions.

Want to receive updates about sessions?

To be added to the group’s email listserv, please [link: contact us].

To join the group’s page on Facebook, please go to [link: group on Facebook].

Want to help sessions happen?

The group is looking for people to help with a variety of shared roles, which are described in this [link: invite to get involved on Saturdays]. There will be a Dancing and Planning session on March 11 from 3:30pm-5:30pm for people helping out.

Want more info about the group and other upcoming dates?

For more info, please click [link: Dancing Together page].

Invite to help out (and dance!) Saturdays

Dancing Together, inclusive social dance lessons for people with diverse genders, sexualities, backgrounds and ways of moving; will start this Spring! It will be on one or two Saturdays per month, with alternating start times of 3:30pm and 7:00pm, in Quadra Village in Lekwungen Homelands. For a detailed description of the sessions, please click [link: Dancing Together group overview].

Would you like to help Dancing Together sessions happen in a good way?

The group is looking for volunteers for a variety of shared roles: music, sound, “on call” team (access support/ safer spaces), movement translators, sign language teachers, co-facilitators, fundraising, social media, postering, first aid, set-up/clean-up, and zine-making.

There are options both for volunteers who want to dance and those who don’t want to dance. There may also be opportunities for people who like drawing, sewing hems, translating languages, providing informal audio description, assisting with ASL interpretation, Braille embossing, website updating and graphic design.

If you’d like to be involved, please RSVP to dancingtog@gmail.com and include the following:

1) Which is the first session date you will be attending? (Session dates are March 18 from 7:00pm-9:00pm, likely April 22 from 7:00pm-9:00pm, and more dates will be confirmed in April on [link: group page]; volunteers are asked to arrive 15 minutes before the session start time)

2) Is there a group role/s that you are interested in, or do you have experience or skills in a certain aspect that you would like to share?

Want your email added to the group’s listserv, or interested in donating to the sessions?

Please [link: contact us].

The group has started a collaborative google-document to compile favourite anti-oppressive songs for dancing, including suggesting songs of musicians with dancey music who are trans, gender variant, queer, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or living with disabilities; and discussing and/or flagging songs with lyrics that might be problematic, oppressive, and/or not trauma-informed. If you would like to contribute to the music ideas document, please be in touch.


Here is a draft description of the various roles:

*If you would like to try something you’ve never done before and would like support learning what’s involved, let a co-facilitator know at a session or by email, as we could organize skills-shares or mentoring this Spring. (:
*If you have experience in a role and would like to share what you have learned or co-mentor, let a co-facilitator know at a session or by email. (:

  • Co-facilitators: people who love dancing, have a strong understanding of consent, and are committed to learning inclusive language and practices. We’re gathering together a collective of co-facilitators that includes Indigenous people, people of colour, people living with disabilities, intersex people, and two-spirit, trans, nonbinary and/or gender-variant people. Co-facilitators might take turns, with 2-3 people co-facilitating each session. It will be a paid position, although the honourarium amount will be dependent on how many donations come in at each session.
  • Sound: people who take turns hanging out near the stereo to press play, pause, and adjust volume.
  • Music: people who collaborate or take turns creating a playlist either just for the freestyle part of sessions (30-45 minutes), or for the whole session (90 minutes), in consultation with that week’s co-facilitators. Guidelines for songs: aiming for lyrics that are consensual, anti-oppressive and friendly for all ages.
  • Fundraising team: people who help the group seek donations and write grant applications. Costs include accessibility needs (such as having bus tickets available, hiring a translator or sign language interpreter when needed, etc.), space rental, honourariums for co-facilitators and guest instructors, buying rad music that people request, printing the zine (find an organization to sponsor photocopying?), etc.
  • “On call” team (access support/ safer spaces): people who participate in sessions but are available for people to connect with if an issue comes up during a session, and who take turns being by the door.
    • The group is currently drafting safer spaces guidelines (e.g. adapting from the guidelines for Alt Pride’s All Bodies Swim and Homospun dances), and will be brainstorming protocols for situations that may arise. The “on call” team will need to decide on how to note who is “on call” (e.g. with a green heart safety pinned to the back of the “on call” people’s shirts/tops like Homospun, with green fabric tied around an arm like the Stolen Sisters Memorial March organizers, or with hankies/ fabric if we can figure out a pattern that doesn’t already have connotations?)
  • Movement translators: people who help translate dance instructions into a variety of options based on needs and abilities. During lessons a small group could hang out beside the instructors and offer examples of ways of interpreting dance steps (e.g. seated, moving an arm instead of feet, partner dancing without holding hands, etc.).
  • Sign language teachers: people who teach the group a few new signs at the beginning of each session to do with consent (“yes”, “no”, “stop”, “I’m sorry”, “is this okay?”, “do you want to hold hands?”, “awesome, thank-you”, “you’re welcome”, etc.), dancing (“fast”, “slow”, “which role?”, “you choose”, “freestyle”, etc.) and accessibility (“options”, “if sitting”, “if standing”, etc.); and who are available to support/teach co-facilitators and “on call” people signs related to their roles (“are you okay?”, “do you want support?”, etc.).
  • Social media and posters: people who, in collaboration with the group, create facebook event pages and posters, poster, handle social media, compile a list of relevant groups and calendars for sending updates to, etc.
  • First aid: people with current certification in first aid and CPR, who are available to assist if a participant has a sudden illness or injury.
  • Set-up/ clean-up: people who can arrive 20 minutes early and/or stay 15 minutes after to help move chairs and tables to/from the studio, sweeping the floor if needed, etc.
  • Zine-making team: people who like to draw, create art, compile resources, edit, summarize or do layout to create a Dancing Together zine in collaboration with co-facilitators and “on call” team, from around April – October 2017. The resource zine could include summaries about consent in dance, acknowledging the peoples of the land, pronouns, confidentiality, safer spaces, conversation starter ideas, inappropriate questions, anti-colonial gender-inclusive all-abilities dance, cultural appropriation vs. cultural exchange, and local resources for emotional support. Once it’s ready, copies of the zine will be available at sessions and can be referred to as things come up. Once the group creates a website, the resource info could go online as well.

For any questions, or to get involved, please [link: contact us].