– A Recipe for a Dance by Albany Adapted PE dancers
- 12 high school students with and without disabilities
- an amazingly dedicated adaptive PE teacher
- 2 AXIS dancers
- a dance room
- a catchy song
- 10 Mondays to rehearse
Put all of above ingredients together. Build on a partnership that has been going on for years, add some enthusiasm from everyone, a dash of creative thinking, and you have the perfect recipe for what resulted in a 5-minute dance performance by the Albany High School Adaptive PE dancers during their annual diversity assembly. Enjoy!
AXIS had been working with Adaptive PE teachers Nancy Henderson for close to 8 years now. Each year she brings AXIS in for a semester to work with her peer-pal group during the adapted physical education classes. We have been working with some of her students for years and seen them grow – both taller and as dancers and performers. This year the students really wanted to perform again in front of their peers. They wanted something cool with lots of energy.
Bonnie and I decided to go for it. Finding a way to work with all the different bodies and challenges we created a dance based on floor patterns and other concepts we’d been working on during our classes with them. For some of the students spatial awareness is really challenging. For them we placed some spot markers on the floor so that they had a reference for their own spot. Another girl tended to pluck her hands during the class, which really distracted her from dancing. We gave her a pair of gloves which did miracles to her concentration. Seeing the result we decided to all wear gloves as part of our costumes. Others we gave tips on how to turn faster with a (power) wheelchair or assigned a buddy to follow. And together we created a dance showing 1200 teenagers and their teachers that Every Body Can Dance!