Dance and Disability

Boston Dance Alliance is committed to supporting dancers and dancemakers with disabilities and those who want to work with them.

Following Wheels UP!, BDA’s inaugural June, 2016 convening on physically integrated dance, we have continued to expand our network of dancers, choreographers, dance educators, medical and rehabilitation professionals, and advocates.

Our shared commitment is to create an environment that encourages dancers of all types of ability to participate in the art we love.

 Boston Dance Alliance is proud to be listed as a resource for disabled dancers with INDEX at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School.



Both free events at the Harvard Dance Center, 66 Garden Street, Cambridge

MASTER CLASS Thursday November 15, 7:30-9 p.m

Heidi Latsky, Artistic Director of Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD), and company member Tiffany Geigel, will guide participants through Latsky’s inclusive movement practice designed to enhance and deepen performance as a task-based experience.

After a warm-up, Latsky and Geigel will move into a structured improvisation that is the foundation of Latsky’s choreography for ON DISPLAY, a series of movement installations that have been disrupting the urban landscape worldwide since 2015. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to experience the techniques and intentions behind ON DISPLAY as well as an opportunity to perform ON DISPLAY GLOBAL at Harvard on December 3, 2018.

ON DISPLAY GLOBAL is Heidi Latsky Dance’s annual worldwide initiative that commemorates the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities every December third. To date, 50 cities and 14 countries (including Indonesia, Africa, Peru, and Israel) have joined HLD with a total of over 200 installations performed.

This class is appropriate for adults 18 years and over with and without disabilities. No prior dance or performance experience necessary. Register here

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, noon -1 pm

Join us for a brown bag lunch discussion in partnership with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and Theater, Dance & Media. We’ll be joined by visiting artists Heidi Latsky and Tiffany Geigel; Professor Michael Stein, Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability; Dr. Debra Levine, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media; and Dr. Andrew Clark, Senior Lecturer on Music.

All are welcome! Please bring your own brown bag lunch. Water and tea will be provided.



The Ford Foundation  explains why disability rights are part of the social justice equation.

NEW report on dance and disability in New York from Dance/NYC

BDA Fiscal sponsee Ellice Patterson of Abilities Dance was profiled in Brookline Wicked Local

Cool ABC news video article about our friend Kerry Thompson and her work with expanding social dance for deafblind dancers

We were proud to support the 2017 AXIS Dance Company Residency at Boston University  and The Dance Complex.

Read the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts report on career opportunities for artists with disabilities.

Howlround article on Accommodations for Professional Performers with Disabilities

Dance Unstuck, a great resource from our friends in the UK supports inclusive dance teaching with guidance and filmed resources, primarily about how teachers can include disabled children in their ballet classes.

Other resources on inclusion of persons with disabilities in the arts are here; contact us for a full bibliography!


Throughout the year, BDA connects dancers and choreographers with disabilities and those who want to work with them with the information and resources to make their creative work possible.


 Whether it is finding a consultant for a teacher who wants to include a student with a disability in dance activity,


teacher Kerry Glennon dances with her students


matching a ballroom dance teacher with a frail senior citizen

Ballroom dance instructor Paul Hughes works with a student


or making wheelchair-accessible rehearsal space at Lyric Stage Studio available to a new mixed-abilities dance company  


Ellice Patterson, artistic director of Abilities Dance



Boston Dance Alliance is here to help. Let us break down barriers to inclusion together.


“Through their new referral service for dancers with disabilities, the Boston Dance Alliance strives to break down barriers to inclusion. I was thrilled to see their action become a reality when I received an interview for and then earned the position to teach a 5-week accessible youth flamenco class at the Cotting School in Lexington. This is a chance of a lifetime, affording me the opportunity to share my love of flamenco with this inclusive community. Thank you BDA for increasing cultural equity and access to dance for diverse communities!


~Eve Costarelli, owner and founder, Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts: Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body


 Please help us build our free referral service for dancers with disabilities by filling out the survey below:

For referral services or to learn more, contact Debra Cash, Executive Director, at


Support BDA’s work to encourage dancers of all abilities and our advocacy for dance across Boston by making your generous contribution now