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Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival

Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival

Dance faculty Deborah Goodman and Sarah Cullen Fuller are teaching workshops at the Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival on Saturday, April 14 from 9am-5pm at the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, located at 2102 W. Ogden Avenue.

The Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival is a free all-day festival featuring dance workshops and film screenings focused on physically ingerated dance. Deborah Goodman will teach the Everybody Can Dance workshop, and Sarah Cullen Fuller will lead a workshop on The Parkinson's Project, a project she founded at Hubbard Street Dance.

The festival will also feature films by Natalie Stone, MOMENTAKinetic Light, and Wobbly Dance. There will also be a feature presentation by Dr. Carrie Sandal, founder and director of the Program on Disability, Art, Culture and Humanities at UIC.

For registration details, a schedule of events, and more information, click here.

The Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival is free and open to the public.

Healing through dance

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Loyola instructor Sarah Cullen Fuller (center) founded the Parkinson’s Project, which uses dance to help people with the disease deal with their symptoms. “By the end of one class, they are often moving with more freedom and with less obstacles and tremors,” Fuller says. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

Every week, Loyola dance instructor Sarah Cullen Fuller helps Chicagoans with Parkinson’s disease deal with their symptoms in a non-conventional way: by teaching them to dance.

Fuller founded the Parkinson’s Project at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to provide dance opportunities for people with the disease, a disorder of the nervous system that progressively impedes movement.

“I felt very much connected to trying to find ways to bring dance to populations that might not otherwise have access to it,” Fuller said. After completing a workshop with the Dance for PD program in New York City, Fuller decided to develop her own program at Hubbard Street.

Hubbard Street now offers three free classes a week as part of the project. The success of the class inspired the creation of the larger Adaptive Dance project, which now includes a program for dancers with autism.

Teaching artists incorporate chairs for dancers who are less mobile than others. Fuller emphasized that the classes are not designed to be physical therapy sessions, but to allow participants to grow as artists.

“It really is a dance class like any other,” Fuller said. “It’s rooted in classical modern and ballet techniques.”

But the classes are far more than dance sessions. Studies have shown that dance programs can alleviate symptoms for Parkinson’s patients, Fuller said, and she sees these positive effects with every class.

“I see it benefiting our dancers, even from a dance lens. Even by the end of one class, they are often moving with more freedom and with less obstacles and tremors,” Fuller said. “While these dancers are dealing with a degenerative disease, the way that they are accumulating information by way of dance technique is kind of astounding.”

The classes have been just as powerful as a way to bring together a community of people with the disease and those who love them, who are encouraged to come and dance as well.

“This is a group of people who celebrate holidays together, mourn the loss of people together, enjoy the birth of people together,” Fuller said. “It is a community that extends way beyond the class itself, which I feel so grateful to be a part of. It’s been such a benefit just to me personally.”

In October, dancers from the Parkinson’s Project joined Loyola students and others for a “community movement session” at the In/Motion film and dance festival. The session was a response to a screening of Capturing Grace, a documentary about the Dance for PD program that served as a model for Hubbard Street.

The Parkinson’s Project dancers also were featured in the Virtual Dance Ensemble, a project headed by Loyola dance instructor Amy Wilkinson and alumna Sarah Prinz. It seeks to “explore and transform the idea of community by bringing individuals from vastly different backgrounds together through the joy of movement,” across digital platforms.

Dance Faculty News

Sandra Kaufmann, Director of Dance, partnered with Art History professor Paula Wisotzki to propose an interdisciplinary symposium to be held at Loyola in Fall 2016. This conference, titled "Framing Justice: Modernism and Social Advocacy in American Visual Arts and Dance from 1929-1945," features scholars and artists from all over the world with expertise in visual arts, dance and artist as advocate, and received a $25,000 grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
 
Amy Wilkinson founded the IN/Motion Dance Film Festival with Director of Film Studies, Aaron Greer, and Dance Faculty member Sarah Fuller. Now in its second year, IN/Motion featured a Juried Selection performance with submissions from all over the world, a Parkinson's themed workshop and film screening and a collaborative performance with Kirsten Hedegaard of the Music faculty taking place in the Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Hedegaard and Wilkinson will team up again with the IES to present a performance as part of the Annual Conference on Climate Change.  Ms. Wilkinson also continues her work as choreographer-in-residence at LUMA presenting eight performances there responding to their Andy Warhol exhibit as well as performing at the LUMA 10 year anniversary gala.
 
Sarah Cullen Fuller also participated in the founding of IN/Motion Dance Film Festival with distinct contributions based on social justice. Her work with Hubbard Street Chicago Parkinson's Project brings her nationally into the spotlight of Dance and wellness. Her workshop at Loyola in October was featured as a national site in the American with Disabilities Act 25th anniversary celebration. Most recently Ms. Fuller conducted a workshop on dance and Alzheimer’s at LUMA. She continues to work actively with Hubbard Street Chicago's school and outreach activities.
 
Deborah Goodman was recently made Rehearsal Director for Chicago's Winifred Haun & DancersThe mission of Winifred Haun & Dancers is to create and produce the dance works of Ms. Haun and other midwest artists and to make those works available to the widest possible audience. The Company presents dances with a strong technical base that reflect the complexity of the human condition, with the intent of informing the viewers perception of him/herself and the world.

Dance Alumni News

MARY O'ROURKE
Since graduating in May of 2015, Mary has been working with Concert Dance Inc./ CDI under the direction of Venetia Stifler as a company apprentice where she has had the opportunity to perform as a part of the Ruth Page Festival of Dance at Ravinia Park.  In addition, Mary both understudied and performed in Khecari's latest site-specific piece The Cronus Land.  Other projects include Link's Hall's Peep Show series where she danced in a world premiere piece choreographed by Loyola Dance Director Sandra Kaufmann and Core Project's Going Dutch festival where she premiered a piece with fellow Loyola dance alumni Rachel Natale ('14), with whom she has an ongoing creative project.  Mary is a freelance dance instructor with Design Dance and writes for a dance blog for Recycled Barre, a startup non-profit based in Pilsen.  In mid-December, Mary will be premiering a new work as a part of Noumenon Dance Ensemble's New Moves 2015 Choreography Competition at the Mayne Stage in Rogers Park. 

ELIZABETH MODDE
Elizabeth Modde is working and living in Southwest Baltimore as part of the Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry program. She is pursuing her interests in healthcare, collecting patients' stories and improving patient experience on the inpatient floor. Drawing from her Loyola undergraduate experiences looking at dance as an art with therapeutic effect, she teaches dance to adults and children in Mental Health partial hospitalization empowerment programs. Ms. Modde has seen how dance can help children with ADHD focus or children with autism be leaders connecting to others in a group setting. Generally, movement enables them to express emotions that are hard to put into words. Ms. Modde aims her adult class towards helping the group members build rapport amongst each other and getting them to be cognizant of their own bodies. Mental illness can have physical presentations, such as tension in the body. Ms. Modde has also gotten involved in the local arts scene, which is very community oriented. She is a member of Dance and B'more, a small company and collaborative effort between dancers, singers, musicians, and spoken word artists. Their performances revolve around social justice and community inclusion. Dance and B'more also works with local seniors and teaches family dance classes for people who otherwise would not have a chance to dance.
 
ZOE LINDNER
Zoe Lindner attended the Loyola University Chicago dance program from 2012-2014, graduating with a BFA in dance and a minor in psychology in December 2014. Upon graduation, Ms. Lindner attended the winter workshop at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the summer program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2015, she joined Hedwig Dances under the artistic direction of Jan Bartoszek, where she has performed works choreographed by Victor Ramirez, Edson Cabrera, and Jan Bartoszek. She has danced in art galleries and libraries around the city of Chicago, and will be performing at the Athenaeum Theater. In 2016 she will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to perform with Hedwig Dances in a dance and media festival. In addition to her company work, Zoe has also been working as an Exercise Technician at Body Gears Physical Therapy. 
 
JACQUELYN PAVILON 
Jacquelyn Pavilon graduated from Loyola University Chicago in spring 2012 with a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.A. in Global and International Studies and Political Science, and a minor in Dance. Upon recruit after graduation, she began immediately working as a Mathematician for WMS Gaming Inc., a casino gaming software development company in Chicago. During that time, she simultaneously danced with Matter Dance Company, Movement Revolution, Subconscious Development Motion Project, Alliance Dance Company and Innervation Dance Cooperative. She also served on the Associate Board of Links Hall and as a volunteer women’s mentor with Refugee One. In 2014 she moved to Rome to work as the International Communications Assistant at the headquarters of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an agency with the goal to accompany, serve and advocate for refugees across 45 countries and all faiths. After one year she took the position of International Communications Coordinator and is currently helping run a campaign called Mercy in Motion specifically commissioned and endorsed by Pope Francis to provide 100,000 additional refugees with education. She plans to pursue PhD program in Economics.