Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Adaptive Dance Preview - Teaching Dance to Students with Parkinson’s and Autism

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton, and its Youth, Education and Community Programs department, under the leadership of Kathryn Humphreys, are pleased to offer a suite of professional development opportunities this summer, introducing attendees to its Adaptive Dance Programs, created for those with Parkinson’s disease and young people on the autism spectrum.


Parkinson’s Project class at the Hubbard Street Dance Center

Designed for dance educators, group coordinators, community leaders, care partners, allied health professionals, and teachers of yoga, fitness and Pilates, Introduction to Adaptive Dance is a comprehensive overview of techniques, resources, and best practices. Workshop participants will gain greater understanding of the methods and activities employed at Hubbard Street for teaching dance to students with Parkinson’s and autism, and be advised how to develop their own philosophies and program goals for this work.


Hubbard Street alumna Sarah Cullen Fuller, Introduction to Adaptive Dance faculty member and founding teaching artist for Hubbard Street’s Parkinson’s Project

Introduction to Adaptive Dance will be offered July 14–17, 2015 from 4:30–7:30pm each day, with the option to participate in a Hubbard Street Parkinson’s Project class on July 18. All sessions will be held at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, located at 1147 West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.


Introduction to Adaptive Dance will encompass three points of focus. Participants will first create their particular mission, learning how to build community, identify students, and determine how to develop and differentiate school, community, and studio programs. An introduction to Hubbard Street’s Parkinson’s Project curriculum will cover how to build successful warm-ups, increase students’ mobility, and develop community through dancing together. An introduction to The Autism Project curriculum will detail processes for building a highly structured dance class for young people with autism; explain how to create and utilize visual supports, sensory supports and challenges; and outline best practices for assistants and aides in the dance classroom.


Parkinson’s Project class at the Hubbard Street Dance Center

Introduction to Adaptive Dance faculty members will include Kathryn Humphreys, Director of Hubbard Street’s Education, Youth, and Community Programs; Kelsey Allison, Hubbard Street’s Youth Programs Manager; Sarah Cullen Fuller, Founding Teaching Artist for Hubbard Street’s Parkinson’s Project; and MK Victorson, faculty member for The Autism Project at Hubbard Street.


The cost to attend Introduction to Adaptive Dance is $350 per person; please note that those attending from beyond the Chicago area will be responsible for their own housing, and transportation to and from the Hubbard Street Dance Center, which is easily accessible via the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), the CTA Blue Line (Forest Park branch to Racine) and numerous CTA bus routes including 7 Harrison, 9 Ashland, 20 Madison, 60 Blue Island and 126 Jackson. Space is limited and advance registration is required; the form is available online AdaptiveDanceWorkshops and via Hubbard Street’s website.


Parkinson’s Project class at the Hubbard Street Dance Center

Adaptive Dance Programs at Hubbard Street are provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Jin Washington, D.C.


About Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, celebrates its 37th season in 2014 and 2015. Among the world’s top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, Hubbard Street demonstrates fluency in a wide range of techniques and forms, and deep comprehension of abstract artistry and emotional nuance. The company is critically acclaimed for its exuberant and innovative repertoire, featuring works by master American and international choreographers. Hubbard Street’s artists hail from four countries and 12 U.S. states, and comprise a superlative ensemble of virtuosity and versatility. Since its founding by Lou Conte in 1977, Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms. Each is dedicated to the support and advancement of dance as an art form, as a practice, and as a method for generating and sustaining communities of all kinds. 


Introduction to Adaptive Dance faculty member MK Victorson with a student in The Autism Project

Hubbard Street 2, directed by Terence Marling, cultivates young professional dancers, identifies next-generation choreographers, and performs domestically and abroad, in service of arts education, collaboration, experimentation and audience development. 


Extensive Youth, Education and Community Programs, directed by Kathryn Humphreys, are models in the field of arts education, linking the performing company’s creative mission to the lives of students and families. Hubbard Street also initiated the first dance-based program in the Midwest to help alleviate suffering caused by Parkinson’s disease. Youth Dance Program classes at the Hubbard Street Dance Center include Creative Movement and progressive study of technique, open to young dancers ages 18 months to 18 years. 


A student in The Autism Project in class at the Hubbard Street Dance Center

At the Lou Conte Dance Studio, directed by founding Hubbard Street Dancer Claire Bataille, workshops and master classes allow access to expertise, while a broad variety of weekly classes offer training at all levels in jazz, ballet, dance fitness, modern, tap, African, hip-hop, yoga, Pilates® and more.


Photos: Todd Rosenberg

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