AXIS dance company: Inspiring acceptance for disabled people around the globe

By Souf R. and Sina S.

Can you imagine dancing in a wheelchair?  AXIS Dance group can, and they do a fantastic job. On April 7th, 2018, they performed at Blach Intermediate School. AXIS Dance Company is based in Oakland, and founded in 1987. They have been on the  show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ twice. The company claims “AXIS creates opportunities locally and abroad for people with disabilities to engage in dance by championing access, inclusion and equity for people with disabilities both in dance and in the wider community.”

James, an AXIS dancer from Dallas, Texas, believes that AXIS is reaching their goal. “I think it is of course making a difference that is super relevant to world inclusion and that it represents the community,” he said.

Their dances are like no other. Far from the crazy acrobatics of break dancing or the consistent movies including ballroom dancing. AXIS’s moves are fluid and slick, graceful and smooth. It’s very relaxing and fun to watch. They also frequently improvise.

They allow dancers with a variety of disabilities to dance together, unlike most events around the world. For instance, the Paralympics groups the athletes by their specific disability . The different disabilities do not get to compete against each other. AXIS, however, allows dancers with  diverse challenges to dance with each other, no matter their ability or skill level.

Each dancer has a unique style that contributes to every other athlete, which completes AXIS as a whole. Their dancers are from all around the world: Cuba, Puerto Rico, China, Japan, Texas and Florida. They said that because of how diverse their dance group always is, they get to learn a little bit about every culture.

They also have Regional Convenings where Dancers, Dance Companies, Presenters, Funders, etc. come together and invite all abilities to participate in activities based on themes.

For instance, some session themes include addressing challenges including visibility, training, and recruitment or inclusive dance teaching methods and techniques.  They share the most effective practices of dance, based on a flier on their website. They also have financial support challenges: merging/sharing resources, identifying points of convergence, avenues of collaboration and identifying stakeholders, according to the same flier. These seem very helpful with spreading the inclusion of people with disabilities into society and into dance.

AXIS dance company is spreading kindness and acceptance for people with all sorts of defects, and are a inspiration to people of all ages. They have accepted their disabilities and made something beautiful and amazing out of it. It made them stronger and more confident. Thank you for inspiring all of us and performing at schools like ours.

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