The Inclusive Dance Workshop Series
The Inclusive Dance Workshop Series is a community-led gathering of movers of all kinds. Each session, different facilitators and guest artists lead the group through an exploration of dancemaking tools, dance techniques, and improvisational exercises, from ballet to improvisation to voguing. Co-founded by local dance artists and disability community organizers in 2019, Sydney Erlikh and Maggie Bridger, the Inclusive Dance Workshops provide an opportunity for local people with disabilities to develop community, explore movement, build physical capacity and develop an artistic perspective outside of mainstream dance classes, which are not set up to accommodate bodily difference.
The goal of our workshops is to intentionally build a dance space grounded in disability culture, where bodies and minds of all types feel welcomed and valued. We structure our classes to be flexible, accessible, free, and come-as-you-are.
We offer weekly online workshops in partnership with Chicago's independent living center, Access Living. Additionally, Inclusive Dance Workshops partners with local organizations like Kids Enjoying Exercise Now, the Center for Enriched Living, the Chicago Parks District and others to provide dance workshops to children and adults with and without disabilities.
Our Fall 2023 weekly Wednesday workshops begin on September 20, 2023 and run through December 6, 2023 with no workshop on November 22. All workshops meet from 6:30-8pm and include AI captioning in zoom. Learn more and register below.
Maggie Bridger (she/her) is a sick and disabled dance artist, crafter, and scholar. Her work focuses on reimagining pain through the creative process, often using craft to infuse care, access, and interdependence into the making and production of performance. She is a Fellow Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs where she premiered a new work, Scale, in May 2023 and curates LabE, a new program designed to platform and support Chicago’s disabled dancemakers. Maggie was most recently selected as a 2023 artist-in-residence with Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Production Residency Project. Learn more at www.maggiebridger.com.
Sydney Erlikh (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. She was recently selected by the American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow 22-23 for her research on dance and disability to create a multi-sited ethnography on inclusive dance groups that have dancers with intellectual disabilities. Sydney taught in New York City and California, where she began her journey into inclusive dance education training in DanceAbility and with AXIS dance teacher training. She choreographed and performed in the films Shared-Time 20, the Full Radius Dance project Response Film 21, and Moods in Three Movements 21. She was selected as a SeeChicagoDance Critical Writing Fellow in 2020 and recently published in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. In 2021 she participated in the Harvard Mellon School of Theater and Performance Studies Research. Sydney currently serves on the CounterBalance planning committee and NDEO’s dance and disability task force.