In honor of our dear colleague Linda Ballew, who passed away a year ago, we are awarding our 152nd Awesome Without Borders grant to Keshet Dance Company to help fund their first-ever Adaptive Dance Camp. Linda never missed a chance to dance. She was a dance instructor and a mover and shaker her entire life. She believed in the power of expression through dance, and Keshet’s efforts to make dance accessible in adaptive ways is an awesome way for us to honor her memory!
Keshet has been involved with integrating artists with disabilities and abled-bodied artists into dance programming for the past 18 years. For the first time ever, they have offered a one-week Adaptive Dance Camp in Albuquerque, NM for youth. It will now be followed by a State Outreach Tour, bringing adaptive programming, performances, and teacher training to three communities in New Mexico. The Adaptive Dance Camp will focus primarily on dance, but will include elements of theatre, music, and performance production classes for 20-25 children between 10 and 18 years old with physical and developmental disabilities.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Following the close of the Albuquerque Dance Camp week, approximately six performers will continue an additional four days of programming to shape their work into a touring production. This touring production will then travel to three communities within New Mexico with a projected total audience reach of 1,000 people. Each community visit will include a traditional performance, outreach classes for community participants, and teacher trainings to support the creation and continuation of adaptive dance programming in these communities. Keshet’s goal is to provide hands-on workshops for at least 300 students of all abilities and backgrounds and provide teacher training to at least 25 educators who are interested in developing integrative dance programs within their communities.
Keshet will use our $1,000 grant to purchase adaptive costumes for the performers with disabilities in the production developed at the camp. A portion of the funds will also be used to pay for the resource materials and curriculum guides that will be distributed to educators in the three New Mexico communities that the production plans to visit.