How do we create a new, accessible environment?

Question 2

How do we create a new, accessible environment?

We would like to make it clear that there is no one right answer, or one right way, to work in an inclusive, artistic environment.  Facilitators, dance teachers and youth workers must use their own experience and intuition to decide which path is best for the group of people they have in front of them.  This can change depending on so many factors that it is impossible to be given a rule book.  These activity sheets are a collection of ideas and examples of what has worked in different situations and circumstances in the past to illustrate possible answers to the questions.



Proposed by:

Collective from group discussion

Main points:

  • Accessibility
  • Confidence/trust
  • Time

Hints/tips for facilitators:

  • Accessibility

    • Use language that reflects acceptance and openness to all students
    • Pay attention to common cueing language in dance and seek appropriate alternatives for your student population
    • Engage in dialogue with students to learn what language may best support their learning needs
    • Consider using nonverbal ways of communication if necessary
    • Raising awareness
    • Prepare the community for the visit if it is not already aware
    • Ensure that all audiences are welcomed
    • Set up spaces to provide special attention to neurodiversity e.g., have rooms with tempered lighting, controlled sound, be attentive to sensory particularities
  • Confidence/trust/group dynamic

    • For the warmup: Dynamic of the Circle: everyone can see each other and be seen by each of the others
    • Preparation, in a language understood by all
    • Make sure that everyone understands and has participated in the development of the project/performance
  • Small group work
    • Create activities that demand collaborative work among students in small groups or pairs
    • Engage students in tasks that involve creativity and problem-solving as a group
    • Monitor group work carefully to ensure all group members are contributing and interacting
  • Time

    • Be ready to assess the skills of each of the participants in different fields (psychomotor, understanding instructions as well as the desire to participate).
    • It is important to get a feel for the affinities between dancers so that they can start forming working groups


Examples of pieces that illustrate these points: