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IDEA Series #5: Dancing with Disabilities: May 8, 2021, 3-4 pm

Workshop Description: This session will include a discussion with dance artists and leaders in Oregon's disability dance community.How can dance culture and the dance community be more inclusive to those with visible and invisible disabilities?  What strategies have dance companies and programs utilize to identify and dismantle able-ism?  What work does the dance community have to normalize and make visible disabled dancers in professional and commercial dance spaces?  In private studios and dance programs?  How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the disabled dance community and what strategies can improve inclusion and access during a major public health crisis?


ODEO is very honored and excited to have the following panelists contribute to the discussion:
Alito Alessi: Founder/Artistic Director, DanceAbility
Kelly Ramis: Heidi Latsky dancer
Corrie Cowart: Advanced Dance for Parkinsons method, DanceAbility certification

Alito Alessi is the Artistic Director of DanceAbility® International and 

co-founder of DanceAbility®. Alessi has been involved with the 

evolution of contemporary dance for the past 40 years, and is 

internationally known as a pioneering teacher, choreographer, and

mentor.  Alessi has dedicated his career to the development, refinement and implementation of a methodology for inclusion and integration of people with and without disabilities. This method uses dance and movement as the tool for social impact. It strives to create, within any group of people, a functioning democracy that creatively speaks to change in a social environment. The DanceAbility  Method is taught by more than 700 Certified Teachers with and without disabilities in over 45 countries.Alessi was selected for a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005), an Ashoka

Fellowship, and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist (2007). In 2017, he was

selected as a keynote speaker for International Dance Day in Shanghai,

China and he has been a US Arts Envoy in several countries.

Alito Alessi I.D.E.A Series.png

Corrie Franz Cowart holds an MFA from University of Oregon, and a BFA
from Cornish College of the Arts. She is also a CMA in Laban Bartenieff
Movement Analysis, a certified DanceAbility instructor and a Dance for
Parkinsons instructor.  As a dancer she has performed nationally and
internationally. Her choreography and dance films have been presented
across the country and abroad. She was a full time professor of dance at
Muhlenberg college for nine years and has also taught at the University
of Oregon, Lane Community College, Cedar Crest College and the
University of Pittsburgh Johnstown.  She has taught a wide range of ages
and abilities in the community setting including teaching through Dance
for PD in Portland.  At the college level She teaches courses in dance
history, dance and world cultures, dance and accessibility, composition,
dance pedagogy, Laban Movement Analysis, First Year Writing Seminars,
and modern and ballet techniques. She is  currently on faculty at
Western Oregon University and Cedar Crest College.

Corrie Cowart.jpg

Kelly began her dance training in Portland OR and graduated with a BA in
Dance and minor in Business Management from Point Park University in
2013. Kelly's bond with her twin brother Will, diagnosed with Cerebral
Palsy at a young age, helped cultivate a strong passion for blending the
worlds of dance and disability which eventually led her to find Hiedi
Latsky Dance Company. She has been a core member of HLD since August of
2016 and has had the pleasure of dedicating her career to a company that
reflects the truly diverse nature of the world we live in. Other
highlights of Ramis' career include performing with Modus Operandi in
Vancouver BC and being a member of Donofrio Dance Company, based in
Brooklyn NY.

Kelly Ramis.jpg
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