Introduction to Choreography with All Bodies Dance Project

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.

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

Cost: Sliding scale from $25-$100 (pay what you can afford). If cost is a barrier there are scholarship and work-trade spots available. If you would like to contribute more, donations will go to travel and access costs.

Photo of four dancers holding red fabric that is connected in the middle
Photo from All Bodies Dance Project. Photo credit: Erik Zennstrom.

Below on this web page are the following sections:
Workshop details
To register
Buddy system
Access info
Thank-you to supporters and partners

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, tips on how to direct in integrated dance (even if you are rotating the role in a collective), and examples of nonvisual ways of presenting dance.

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 and fundraising. 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.

The workshop is open to anyone who likes dancing. Some examples of participants: people who experience disability and are curious about dance, community dancers, dance artists, self-advocates, Deaf dancers, people who self-identify with Mad, Sick, Disabled, and Crip Arts, choreographers and presenters who are curious about integrated dance, and arts organizations interested in increasing accessibility and inclusivity.

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

To register:

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

Alternative methods to register are by email or phone.

Please register by February 7th. There is limited space so registering early is encouraged.

Buddy system:

All participants can opt in to having a buddy for the day.

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.

Dancers have numerous ways of communicating. Buddies will be matched based on compatible ways of learning and interacting.

Please sign up to be a buddy on the registration form and feel free to note your communication and learning styles. 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.

Buddies will be invited to join an integrated dance volunteer orientation session, likely Sunday February 9th at 2:30pm.

The idea for a buddy system of interdependent dancers is inspired by: local dance groups, Carmen Papalia’s work on Open Access, the L’Arche Spirit Movers, and Sins Invalid’s Disability Justice principles. This is the first time the InterdepenDance Collective is organizing a buddy system, and 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, and if you would like to have a buddy. For questions feel free to contact Joanne.

ASL: Sign Language Interpreters are confirmed (Katt and Emily). Please request interpreting by February 7th.

Captioning/ transcribing: Because local transcribers are not available February 14th, we are looking into remote services and will update this page when it is confirmed. Please request transcribing by February 7th.

Describing: Live describing will be done by dancers who are currently learning to describe. Professional audio describers are not available. Please request describing by February 7th.

Physical access: 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 a lower level entrance (which is closer to the bigger parking area off of Nigel Avenue). There are handydart drop-off areas off Darwin Avenue and on 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 if we can reserve a spot for you.

Washrooms: There are accessible washrooms for all genders. On the same floor 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 which 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.

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 avoiding 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 “scent free” sticker on the main entrance. Sometimes there are baking or cooking smells from the kitchen.

Introvert and multi-sensory spaces: If requested, an introvert area and a multi-sensory area can be set up to a side of the room.

Childcare: There is a possibility of childcare being available if there is a need (February 14th is a Pro-D day). If you are interested in childcare, please contact Tiffany at As well, your children 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, and the northbound #16, 70, 72, 75. If you are coming from a bus stop on Vernon Avenue, there is a steep driveway from Vernon onto Nigel Avenue – feel free to be in touch if you would like to brainstorm about routes or if it would be useful to have an access buddy meet you at the bus stop. Further away over on the far side of Uptown are buses #30, 31 and 50. To avoid the steeper driveway, from the Lochside trail there is a path that goes to Nigel Avenue and the building’s lower entrance.

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.


For more information about the workshop, contact Joanne.

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 and Garth Homer Society.

Partner organizations include All Bodies Dance Project, Creative Momentum, Embrace Arts, and the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.