Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Dance

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Caroline S. Clark

Disciplines

Accessibility | American Sign Language | Curriculum and Instruction | Dance | Educational Methods | Fine Arts | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Over the past ten years, the dance field in the United States has shifted towards practicing diversity and inclusion. However, there are still underrepresented groups in dance, such as the Deaf community. There is a current lack of pedagogical content to help dance teachers and choreographers be inclusive to Deaf dancers. This research addresses the gap by discussing issues and access for Deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) dancers in the dance classroom and on stage. To do so, I present a literature review and analysis of current scholarship with a goal of bringing awareness to the current lack of accessibility to dance classes for Deaf dancers and promoting dance instructors and choreographers to be more inclusive in their teaching styles. To begin, the disability and culture of deafness is discussed. Since the Deaf community does not see deafness as a disadvantage but rather as a cultural experience, it is important to consider their views on deafness and their culture’s representation. Then, I focus on pedagogical efforts in the dance field and on the incorporation of American Sign Language (ASL) into dance choreography. When ASL and dance are viewed as two movement-based expressions, the two can be combined in creative ways. For the future, I would like to see an increase of accessibility in dance classrooms for Deaf dancers. This research covers strategies that allow dance teachers to plan classes and choreography with more inclusion and lays the foundation for future research.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Deaf Inclusion and Accessibility in the Dance Field

Over the past ten years, the dance field in the United States has shifted towards practicing diversity and inclusion. However, there are still underrepresented groups in dance, such as the Deaf community. There is a current lack of pedagogical content to help dance teachers and choreographers be inclusive to Deaf dancers. This research addresses the gap by discussing issues and access for Deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) dancers in the dance classroom and on stage. To do so, I present a literature review and analysis of current scholarship with a goal of bringing awareness to the current lack of accessibility to dance classes for Deaf dancers and promoting dance instructors and choreographers to be more inclusive in their teaching styles. To begin, the disability and culture of deafness is discussed. Since the Deaf community does not see deafness as a disadvantage but rather as a cultural experience, it is important to consider their views on deafness and their culture’s representation. Then, I focus on pedagogical efforts in the dance field and on the incorporation of American Sign Language (ASL) into dance choreography. When ASL and dance are viewed as two movement-based expressions, the two can be combined in creative ways. For the future, I would like to see an increase of accessibility in dance classrooms for Deaf dancers. This research covers strategies that allow dance teachers to plan classes and choreography with more inclusion and lays the foundation for future research.

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