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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • DanceAbility Intensive at UofSC Dance Studios

UofSC Dance Hosts Summer DanceAbility Intensive

The 5-day intensive in teaching inclusive dance takes place at the UofSC Dance Studios, June 11-15, 2018.

Free Presentation
by Alito Alessi
Guggenheim Fellow and founder of DanceAbility International

Sunday, June 10
3:00-4:00 p.m
Dance Studios, 324 Sumter St.
Room 123

In this in-depth introduction to the DanceAbility method, founder Alito Alessi will talk about the background theories of:

  • how to determine common denominators in order to work all-inclusively
  • how to communicate non-verbally with a partner and in larger groups
  • integration of contact improvisation--learning to improvise using physical contact
  • how to work with people with mental disabilities, or visual or hearing impairments, or with those who cannot mobilize themselves, etc.
  • Alito’s presentation will also include several videos showing the application of the DanceAbility method to classes and in performances.



The Department of Theatre and Dance will host a 5-Day DanceAbility Intensive at the university dance studios, June 11-15, 2018. The UofSC Dance Studios are located at 324 Sumter St.

Presented by DanceAbility International, the intensive teaches dance educators how to teach the DanceAbility® method of inclusive dance to students with a diverse range of physical and mental abilities. Founded in 1987, DanceAbility uses improvisational dance to promote artistic expressions and exploration between people with and without disabilities.

The course is open to dance educators and anyone who wants to teach inclusive dance, or who is interested in an immersion in the DanceAbility® method. Students will receive a certificate of completion and a teaching guide (DanceAbility handbook) with over 40 exercises and detailed notes from each day’s material. While many who take these intensives are professionals, non-professionals and people with no prior dance experience are also welcome. 

Instructor for the intensive is DanceAbility co-founder Alito Alessi, a pioneer in inclusive dance methodologies through both DanceAbility and Joint Forces Dance Company, which he founded in 1979.

"It's very exciting to have them in South Carolina," says dance professor Stephanie Milling, Associate Chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance.  "Inclusive dance practices enable dance educators who teach in any environment to promote the inclusion of all populations in dance. Whenever teaching about inclusive dance in my dance education courses, I am always referencing the work of DanceAbility as a leader in opening dance to all who are interested."

The 5-Day training includes the following: 

  •  Foundation concepts and exercises of movement improvisation for people of all abilities and disabilities, based on things that all participants can do 
  • Dance/movement explorations for individuals, partners, and small and large groups that encourage EVERYbody's expression and non-verbal communication 
  • How to foster leadership and support in groups that include diverse mental disabilities
  • • How to work with adults and children
  • Teaching physicality and touch (inspired largely by Contact Improvisation)

Registration is available online through the DanceAbility website.




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