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


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

Coming Up This Fall

Antoine Hunter master class with award winning producer, choreographer and dancer will each an Afro Cuban modern dance class with ASL (American Sign Language) on November 28, 2017 at Harvard Dance Center.

Heidi Latsky Dance, in collaboration with KAIROS Dance Theater, Transformative Culture Project and NuVu Studio, is seeking a diverse and unconventional cast of performers including people of all ages with disabilities, to be a part of a movement installation entitled “ON DISPLAY: A Movement Installation”. ON DISPLAY was created in 2015 as part of the NYC celebration of the 25thAnniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is a living gallery focusing on the themes of inclusion and diversity.

On Display was performed last year at the Institute of Contemporary Art and will be restaged at Boston Architectural College (58 Hereford Street, Boston) on Dec 3., which is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Performers need to be available between 12 noon and 3:30 pm on that day. Training and rehearsal will take place Tuesday, November 28 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (location TBD).

No formal dance experience is required. Movement installations will involve focus, stillness and structured improvisation.

Interested participants should contact DeAnna Pellecchia at for more information and/or to sign up for the December 3rd Performance. Use the subject line On Display. Please leave your name, email address, phone number and how you heard about the project.


We were proud to support this spring’s 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

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