Category Archives: workshop

Co-Facilitating Cross-Disability Dance (workshop)

Workshop with Lindsay Eales and Danielle Peers:

Friday February 28th, 2pm-5pm
at sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Library Branch in Lekwungen homelands.
(sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ  is the Lekwungen name for James Bay and is pronounced s-hweng hw-ung tongue-oo-hw.)

Address: 385 Menzies Street (behind the Legislature).
Room: The workshop is in the Dr. Elmer Seniemten George Community Room.


On this page:
Description
Access notes
Facilitator bios
Event supporters


Description (/DisCripShone):

Lindsay Eales and Danielle Peers will be coming to town, to share ideas around disability leadership, co-facilitation and social justice approaches in dance.

Topics will likely include: anti-oppressive trauma-informed practices, addressing group dynamics, disrupting ableist gaze in performance, and tips for coordinating dance projects.

The format will be informal, with a mix of presentation, conversation, and some movement.

This peer-led workshop is by and for dancers with lived experience of disability/ chronic illness/ mental health considerations/ neurodivergence, and people who experience barriers in dance.

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

To register: contact Joanne with the Subject: “Feb. 28 registration,” and include your contact info and any access requests.


Access notes:
  • The workshop is free.
  • The venue is mobility accessible, with button doors at entrances, and there are two gender-neutral single-stall washrooms.
  • Please be in touch if there are specific access details you would like to know, or if you have allergies or access needs you would like the organizers to know about.
  • Interpreting, transcribing, describing and access buddies are dependent on availability. Please request these services by February 24th. (We are waiting to hear back about interpreters and transcribers’ availability.)
  • Bus routes: the closest bus stops are for the #2, #3, and #10 buses. The venue is near the Legislature Terminal, including buses #50 and #75.

Facilitator Bios:

Lindsay Eales is a queer, Mad, settler, who has been co-leading crip dance communities and creating and performing crip and Mad choreography for fifteen years. She is also a certified occupational therapist who works to transform exclusive spaces rather than ‘fixing’ excluded people. Eales recently completed her PhD in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, researching how to create more accessible and affirming dance and movement spaces for people who have experiences with trauma, mental illness, and mental distress.

Danielle Peers is a queer, non-binary disabled settler, as well as a dancer, filmmaker, and researcher. They collaborate with folks who experience multiple barriers to accessible, affirming and meaningful movement practices (including art, sport, recreation, and spiritual movement practices) in order to collectively imagine and spark change. They are currently a Canada Research Chair in Disability and Movement Cultures at the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta, as well as an independent artist.


Event supporters:

The workshop is organized by the InterdepenDance Collective and Creative Momentum.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Made in BC- Dance on Tour, and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Logo for Canada Council for the Arts

Workshop with All Bodies Dance Project

Introduction to Inclusive Choreography – February 14, 2020

On this page:
Invitation (who, what, when, where, cost)
Workshop details
To register
Buddy system
Access info
Contact
Thank-you to supporters and partners
Link to Poster (PDF document)
Link to Facebook event page


Invitation

The InterdepenDance Collective invites you to spend Valentine’s Day with us!

Two facilitators from All Bodies Dance Project, Harmanie Taylor and Naomi Brand, will be coming to the island to teach a workshop on inclusive choreography.

Who: The workshop is open to people of all abilities and all levels of experience with dance.

What: A full-day workshop with tools and ideas for creating mixed ability dances.

When: Friday February 14th, 2020, 10:30am-4:30pm. (A few participants will be leaving before the end.)

Where: Garth Homer Auditorium, 813 Darwin Avenue, in the homelands of the Xwsepsum and Lekwungen Peoples and Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

Cost: Sliding scale from $0-$100 (pay what you can afford).

Photo of 9 dancers connecting different ways on stage, some are seated and some are kneeling
Photo of All Bodies Dance Project. Photo credit: Chris Randle.

Workshop details:

About All Bodies Dance Project: “Our work brings together artists with and without disabilities to explore the endless creative possibilities in difference. We seek to make opportunities for every body to discover dance and for artists with disabilities (and without) to access dance training. We want to widen the spectrum of who dances and what dance can be.”

Workshop topics include: ideas for choreographing difference and relationship, tools for collaborative composition, and tips on how to direct in integrated dance (even if you are rotating the role in a collective).

Optional performance: Workshop participants are invited to be part of a group sharing (informal performance) during the Integrated Dance Forum on Sunday February 16th at Gordon Head Recreation Centre at 11:30am.

Please note there will be photo and video documentation of the workshop. Video documentation will allow artists to build on ideas that emerge during the workshop, as well as use short excerpts when applying for grants, promoting dance, and fundraising online. Group photos will be used online and in print when inviting people to future dance opportunities.

Scent-reduced space: Please do not use any scented products on the day of the workshop. This request is for the safety and well-being of dancers who are harmed by chemicals and fragranced products.

Other upcoming events: Integrated Dance Films, and Integrated Dance Forum.


To register:

The workshop is almost full. The remaining spots prioritize equity-seeking groups: people who self-identify as experiencing barriers in dance, are invited to register. (For example, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, Deaf and hard of hearing people, people who are Blind or partially sighted, Self-Advocates, people who use mobility tools, people with lived experience of disability, chronic illness, mental health considerations and/or neurodivergence, and two spirit, non-binary and trans people).

Here is the registration form, for when you’re not in a rush.

Alternative methods to register are by email, phone or text: send a message with “Subject: Feb. 14 registration”, your name, contact info and any access requests.

Please bring the fee (sliding scale $0-$100) with you on February 14th: payment can be by cash or by cheque made out to Made in BC – Dance on Tour (Memo: Feb. 14 Victoria). If you prefer to pay online by credit card, please note this on your registration form.


Buddy system:

All participants can opt in to having a buddy for the day. The buddy system is about collective access, mutual support and shared belonging.

Being a buddy involves checking in with another dancer and doing your best to support each other’s access needs in the ways each person requests support. A few examples of buddies: a dancer who is a nonvisual learner and a dancer who is a sighted learner might decide to stay near each other; a sitting dancer and a standing dancer might collaborate; and two dancers with chronic health conditions who know the same language might check in with each other during breaks about how they’re doing.

Please sign up to be a buddy on the registration form and feel free to note your communication and learning styles. Buddies will be matched based on compatible ways of learning and interacting; local dancers have numerous ways of communicating. Buddies will have the option of joining an accessibility orientation session Sunday February 9th (3:00pm-4:30pm at Gordon Head Recreation Centre’s Feltham Room).

The idea for a buddy system of interdependent dancers is inspired by: local dance groups, Sins Invalid’s Disability Justice principles, Carmen Papalia’s work on Open Access, the L’Arche Spirit Movers’ pairing of dancers, and Mia Mingus’ writing on Access Intimacy. This is the first time the InterdepenDance Collective is organizing a buddy system. We invite feedback on it before, during and after the workshop – feel free to be in touch.


Access info:

Access requests: On the registration form there is space to note access needs. If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, feel free to contact Joanne.

Relaxed environment: The workshop is a relaxed, “chill” environment, where everyone can choose how to engage. Feel free to attend to your needs as they come up. If requested in advance, an introvert area and a multi-sensory area can be set up, as curtained off areas to a side of the room. If you will have an attendant or support person with you, they are encouraged to participate in the workshop.

Describing: Describing is available if requested by February 9th. The describing team invites input on what styles of describing are preferred (such as spoken narration of physical movements, option of tactile describing, metaphor). Describing will be by dancers who are learning to describe.

Interpreting: Sign Language Interpreters are available (Katt and Emily) if requested by February 9th.

Captioning/ transcribing: Captioning is available if requested by February 9th. It will be remote transcribing because local transcribers are not available. There will be a few phone-arm-bands available and WIFI, allowing for mobile captioning as you move if you bring a smartphone.

Entrance: The venue is wheelchair accessible. The auditorium can be accessed through the main entrance off of Darwin Avenue (which has automatic doors), or by elevator from the lower level entrance (door has a push button) off Nigel Avenue. There are handydart drop-off areas off Darwin Avenue and on Nigel Avenue.

Parking: The larger parking area is off of Nigel Avenue. If you require a parking spot very close to the entrance, please note this on the registration form and we will ask the facility to reserve a spot for you in the upper parking lot off Darwin Avenue.

Washrooms: There are accessible washrooms for all genders. On the same level as the auditorium, there are accessible stalls in gendered (women’s and men’s) washrooms. On the lower level, near the elevator, there is a gender-neutral accessible washroom equipped with a lift.

Pronouns: There is an option to mention what gender pronouns you use (if any) on the registration form, on your name-tag at the workshop, and in introductions at the start of the day. People have diverse gender identities. Participants are asked not to assume which pronouns anyone goes by.

Chairs: There are chairs available. If you require a chair with arm-rests or another type of seating, please note this on the registration form and we will do our best to have it available.

Lighting: The auditorium has a very high ceiling with fluorescent lighting, and natural light from the side. If brighter lighting is not needed for people who speech-read, then some of the fluorescent lighting can be turned off if this would increase access.

Service animal relief area: Outside the main entrance, there is a grass area beside the parking lot.

Scent-reduced space: The registration form asks participants to commit to avoid using scented products February 14th before and during the event. Please be in touch to request a process for problem-solving if an issue with fragrances comes up at the workshop. The venue has a “go scent free” sticker on the main entrance. Sometimes there are baking or cooking smells from the kitchen.

Childcare/ familycare: Childcare and familycare is available if there is a need (February 14th is a Pro-D day).  Please request childcare/ familycare by February 9th. As well, your children and family members are welcome to join you at the workshop or hang out at the side of the dance space.

Bus routes:
-The bus routes that go nearest are the #26 (Saanich at Darwin bus stop is 0.5km away), and the northbound #16, 70, 72, 75 (Vernon at Ravine – Saanich Municipal Hall bus stop is 0.3km away).
-Feel free to be in touch if you would like an access buddy to meet you at the bus stop.
-The driveway from the Darwin Avenue sidewalk slopes down.
-If you are coming from Vernon Avenue, please note there is a steep driveway down from Vernon Avenue onto Nigel Avenue with no sidewalk. An option for avoiding steeper driveways: Around 700 Vernon Avenue, there is a parking lot driveway next to Saanich Community Recreation Services, which connects to the right with the Lochside Trail: turn right on the Lochside Trail and then left on a path that goes to Nigel Avenue, stay left, go past an apartment building and then the Garth Homer building’s lower entrance is on your left.
-Further away over on the far side of Uptown are buses #30, 31 and 50 (Carey at Ravine – Uptown bus stop is 0.6km away). From Carey there is a ramp down to the Galloping Goose Trail, which curves right underneath Carey Road and becomes the Lochside Trail; after going through a big tunnel and under another overpass there is a path to the right to Nigel Avenue.

Bicycle routes: The venue is very close to the Lochside Trail, and a little ways from the Galloping Goose Trail Switch Bridge. There are covered bike racks: off Nigel Avenue next to the driveway, and to the right of the main entrance off Darwin Avenue.

Options for the lunch break: There are tables and chairs in the auditorium if you bring your own lunch. There is a grocery store a few blocks away, and Uptown Mall is about five long blocks away. If you would like fresh air, the paved Lochside Trail, a couple of benches and Swan Lake are nearby.


Contact:

For more information about the workshop, contact Joanne. The registration link is above.


Many thanks to workshop supporters and partners:

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

This workshop is supported by Made in BC-Dance on Tour’s Community Engagement program, Garth Homer Society, MediaNet, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists/West Chapter.

Flux Media Gallery logo

Logo for CADA West

The event is organized by the InterdepenDance Collective in collaboration with All Bodies Dance Project, Creative Momentum, and Embrace Arts.


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Dancing with Art: March 27-31

Am delighted to be facilitating a week-long intergenerational workshop at the end of March on five afternoons. Ages 9 to 70+ are welcome! Below is the description from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria website:

Spring Camp 2017: Dancing with Art (ages 9+)

Monday, March 27 – Friday, March 31 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Photo of a marionette-type of figurine with an arm raised and arm out, in front of a mixed media painting with varied colours and textures.
Photo Credit: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

“Move in new ways! Join Joanne for a week of expressing yourself through playful dance activities and creative arts. Improv movement sessions will be held in various locations around the Gallery where inspiration will be sought from paintings, sculpture, sound, poetry, buildings and the land. Over the five days the group will also collaborate on creating a site-specific dance piece.

“All abilities are welcome and activities will be adapted to accommodate each participant. There is no wrong move, and no prior dance experience is needed!”

For the cost and registration please see the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria website.

Accessibility notes: The Dancing with Art venue is an older building, and although it has washrooms that are designated as mobility accessible, the width of the restroom doorways and turn-around space may be too narrow for some participants who use wheelchairs. There are ramps to the restrooms and to the gallery rooms. The gallery is lit by bright lighting (including fluorescent lights); it may be useful to bring a hat with a visor and/or sunglasses if you are sensitive to lighting. We will spend time in two studios that have windows , natural lighting and access to fresh air; as well as movement sessions in some gallery rooms that have no windows; and we can do some activities outdoors if it is not raining (please bring weather-appropriate clothing).
Please be in touch with Joanne if you would like any accessibility details, such as the dimensions of doorways and layout of the restrooms.

A Creative Toolkit for Stress: Sat. Feb. 27

I would like to invite you to join me for the only dancing for wellbeing public offering I have this season:
Dancing into Wellbeing: A Creative Toolkit for Stress, Saturday Feb. 27th at Royal Roads University. We will be dancing in two lovely rooms – a big hall, plus a field trip to a foyer with windows looking out to the sea and forest – these are my favourite spaces for dancing!

Photo: a very large conference room or hall, with a shiny floor and 7 chairs in a circle
We get to dance all day in this lovely hall!

Although I have facilitated 450 dance sessions since the last workshop I facilitated at Royal Roads in November 2014… that workshop is my favourite session thus far (with a close runner-up of a Dancing for Wellbeing workshop I led on a Saturday in November 2015). I have found that there is something especially nourishing about moving throughout a full day together, with a mix of moving on our own in solitude and connecting with each other and as a group.

The description and registration link are on this continuing studies page. Registering by Feb. 12th is recommended. There is also one work-trade spot available (If you are excited about the workshop but cost is a barrier, please be in touch. Later this year there will also be sliding-scale opportunities to dance.)

If you would like to read participants’ reflections from last time at Royal Roads, please see the “dealing with life’s challenging moments with movement” blog post. At recent workshops the age range has been people in their 20s-80s.

For the workshop, I have woven in the activities that participants have found the most powerful/fun/useful at dancing for wellbeing classes and workshops in recent years. The activities integrate concepts from the dozens of teachers with whom I have studied, as well as the movement practices that I rely on when I feel overwhelmed.

p.s. If someone comes to mind who you think might be drawn to this workshop, please feel free to share this link with them: https://secure.royalroads.ca/cscourses/dancing-into-wellbeing-a-creative-toolkit-for-stress. Thank-you!

Autumn schedule

Upcoming sessions (Fall 2015):

Photo: two adults dancing facing each other looking down

Dance for Brain Health:
Weekly classes:
Mondays 2:30pm at Cedar Hill Recreation, starts Sept. 21st.
Workshop:
Sat. Oct. 17th, 1pm at Monterey Centre.

Dancing for Wellbeing:*Photo: four people in a circle smiling dancing, and two people facing each other arms in the air
-October session: Monday Oct. 19th, 7pm.
-Full-day workshop: Saturday Nov. 7th, 10am-4pm through Programs in Earth Literacies (scholarships available).

*As this autumn I am at full capacity with community programs, I am currently offering monthly Dancing for Wellbeing sessions, rather than weekly classes (to be added to an interest list about weekly classes in the New Year, please be in touch).

The days of summer are numbered

Greetings everyone!

My apologies for being so quiet online since the spring. Dance programs have been very busy and lovely with new locations across the region; however this has had a side effect: I have not had a chance to send newsletters, tweet, or post updates. And, I have missed being in touch with participants from dancing for wellbeing and dance for brain health sessions while classes paused for the summer.

Photo: ten people seated in a circle, each holding an arm of a sunshine prop with a pink circle centre.
Sharing laughter with residents experiencing memory loss, as we bounce a rubber chicken to a Beatles song.

Although I usually focus on updates that highlight a particular location, today my theme is numbers, which feels a bit odd. Yet numbers seem like a useful way to summarize the beautiful whirl of the past while, and to offer more context (/an alibi) for why I have been offline. As an example, during the past 7 days, I have danced with 132 participants, including 20 new people, at 13 locations. It’s an honour to connect and be creative with so many fun people.

In the past 6 months I have met 395 new participants at programs…. I find it quite tricky to keep track of so many people’s names – although at least there are some repeated names, such as on Saturday there were 4 people with the name Joyce across 3 locations! I started keeping tally of numbers of participants in 2012; in the past 3 years I have danced with around 1152 unique participants, at more than 50 locations.

Background is a map with roads; foreground has various location markers: circles and squares of different colours.
I use an online map to keep track of locations.

Over the past 5 workdays, I have bicycle commuted 80 kilometers. This is likely a record, as I do not usually go around to so many neighbourhoods in the same week. This week involved 10 different areas in Lekwungen and WSANEC homelands: Oaklands, Saanichton, Brentwood Bay x2, Burnside-Gorge, Gordon Head, Vic West, James Bay x3, Esquimalt, Swan Lake, Cadboro Bay, and tomorrow involves Sidney (…although I will bus both ways tomorrow). I am grateful that for autumn, it has been possible to set up my schedule so that sessions in the same neighbourhood are on the same day.

Recently, I am often out of the office from 10am-4:30pm with programs, and then I spend time in the office to prepare activities, playlists and props, and to follow up about logistics for programs (with ~20 organizations and workshops at 5 locations).

Photo: big rocks with tidepools, one person walking in the waterway, background: fog with silhouettes of trees.
Wandering in Long Beach tide pools

And, one of my favourite numbers from this summer: I spent 7 nights camping at Long Beach/ Tofino in Tla-o-qui-aht in early August. My family came together for it, from Gatineau/Ottawa, Nicaragua and Burnaby, and it was also where I met my delightful 4-month-old nephew for the first time.

I hope that summer has treated you and family as well as possible, and that we get to catch up and dance soon!

“dealing with life’s challenging moments with movement”

Photo: a very large conference room or hall, with a shiny floor and 7 chairs in a circle
We danced all day in this beautiful hall

The workshop at Royal Roads University on Saturday November 22nd felt amazing and was with an excellent group. We went from 10am – 4:30pm with Dancing into Wellbeing: A Creative Toolkit for Stress.

We danced in the lovely, spacious Grant building quarterdeck, with the sunlight changing angles through the tall windows over the course of the day. We also did a field trip to the building next door with an incredible view over the forests, sea, lagoon and castle. I forgot to take a picture of the view, as I was too focused on the group’s graceful movements and enchanted by the sun going down.

Here are reflections from some participants who were happy to share their words on this website:

From Gaye:
“Thank-you for a wonderful, creative, fun day!”
I learned… “I love to dance. I love the idea of dealing with life’s challenging moments with movement.”
I liked… “everything! If I had to choose a favorite, I guess it would be the personal dance about Needs Inventory. I chose Beauty and composed a hand dance that seemed so beautiful to me, just when I felt I didn’t have a single creative idea in me. Such a wonderful surprise!”
What did not work for you about today’s session? What could Joanne do differently next time? “I don’t know, Joanne, it seemed perfect to me in every way. Well, maybe omit [the song] Que Sera Sera??! :)”

Anonymous:
I liked… “that it was low key, no pressure, everything was optional, no right or wrong”
I learned… “that I could move (was afraid of being blocked + wooden)”
What did not work for you about today’s session? What could Joanne do differently next time? “Can’t think of anything. Well maybe end the class 1/2 hour early! (I always feel that’s a bonus, no matter what the course)”

From Larry:
I liked… “great explanations; great pace + relaxed mood; good music to work with; Nina Simone’s song was perfect”
I learned… “greater appreciation of my own movements”
“Thanks for a wonderful day”

DanceAbility Day

Thank-you to Alito Alessi of DanceAbility International for a fabulous workshop on September 7th! Alito spoke about his insightful work in recent decades, presented lovely films, and facilitated a fun warm-up and activities. Much gratitude to Laura at Instruments of Change for organizing the day in Vancouver in Coast Salish Territories.

The day’s purpose was to introduce the DanceAbility Method, “which brings together people across the full spectrum of all abilities and disabilities.” The goal is “to work with all people” in “any combination of people.” I greatly appreciate Alito’s passion for creating opportunities, through improvised movement, so that “Anyone who wants to dance, can dance.” This strongly resonates with my enthusiasm for facilitating dance. Alito emphasized that “the focus is to eliminate isolation,” to “create experiences of connectedness,” and to “go everywhere together.”

Here are a few photos by Laura Barron of the workshop, of the group exploring movement in small groups, on our own and in larger groups.

(I am amused that my backside was to the camera in all three of these, although the workshop was process-oriented rather than performing – there was not a ‘front’ or audience side to the room ;-).)

Moving with organs, and interdisciplinary play

I had an excellent time at Mascall Dance‘s Way Out West intensive last week in Vancouver. I loved the daily somatic-based technique class, experiential anatomy (including initiating movement from lungs, kidneys, etc.), and an interdisciplinary workshop in pop-up performance.

Here are photos by Yvonne Chew of the first day, including a few moments from the first interdisciplinary workshop, where we had ~45 minutes to form groups and come up with something to perform. We tied in movement, sound, text, narrative, music, light and improvisation.

In classes this Fall I look forward to bringing in ideas from the intensive.