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Merry Lynn Morris
Choreographer & Dance Educator : Ballet, Movement Analysis, Disability and Invention
Choreographer & Dance Educator : Ballet, Movement Analysis, Disability and Invention
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Mobilizing Possibilities: Dance, Disability, and Technology (2015)

This paper examines the design of wheelchairs from a dance and movement-related perspective, introducing a new prototype chair design and the motivation and ideas driving its development. The intent is to draw more critical attention to the ways in which human bodies interface with assistive devices and the psycho-social impact of that relationship. The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation seeks to “encourage dialogue among rehabilitation professionals, patients, families and caregivers that describe the human condition as it experiences the impact of illness or disability.” To this end, this article seeks to add to existing dialogue regarding quality of life issues for both caregivers and those with disabilities from a creative, movement-oriented perspective which critically examines the interface between human, expressive bodies and assistive devices. 

https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/journalofhumanitiesinrehabilitation/2015/01/01/mobilizing-possibilities/

Tags:
 Dance Studies, Disability Studies, Dance/Movement Therapy, Dance Medicine and Science, Assistive Technology, and 2 more

Journal Name: Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation
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Re-thinking Ballet Pedagogy: Approaching a Historiography of Fifth Position

This article addresses the use of the fifth position in historical and current dance training practices with particular emphasis upon examining the 180° aesthetic and its hegemonic, idealized persistence in dancing bodies, as a marker of perfection and “beauty”. Historical research is interwoven with practice-based experience and dance medicine research to reveal the conflicted issues within the pedagogy, its rationale, ideology and continued practice in dance classrooms. The author argues for a more thorough examination of how traditional dance practices and their dominant aesthetics exert power and control in the psyches of today’s dancing bodies, urging pedagogical re-evaluation and evolution.

Tags:
 Dance Studies, Dance Medicine and Science, Dance Education, Dance, Classical Ballet

Publication Name: Journal of Research in Dance Education
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Comparison of the Metabolic Demands of Three Mobility Devices

Mobility devices for dancers with physical mobility impairments have previously been limited to traditional manual or power wheelchairs. The hands-free torso-controlled mobility chair is a unique powered mobility device which allows greater freedom and expression of movement of the trunk and upper extremities. This study compared differences in energy expenditure during a standardized dance activity using three mobility devices: the hands-free torso-controlled mobility chair, a manual sports wheelchair with hand-arm control, and an electric power chair with hand-joystick control. An experienced dancer with C7 incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) and an experienced able-bodied dancer were recruited for testing. Three measurement trials were obtained for each chair per subject. Oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously during the dance activity. Immediately following the dance activity, subjects rated perceived exertion. Significant differences (p≤0.05) and similar linearpatterns in VO2 and HR responses were observed between chairs for both dancers. When the hands-free mobility chair was used, the dance activity required a moderate level of energy expenditure compared to the manual sports chair or electric power chair for both dancers. Higher ratings of perceived exertion were observed in the manual chair compared to the other chairs for the dancer with SCI, but were similar between chairs for the able-bodied dancer. These results suggest that for a dancer with high-level SCI, the hands-free torso-controlled mobility chair may offer improved freedom and expressive movement possibilities and is an energy efficient mobility device. Med Probl Perform Art 2014; 29(3):163–167.

 Performing Arts, Dance Studies, Dance Medicine and Science, Spinal Cord Injury, Mixed Ability Dance, Assistive Technology, Integrated Dance

Journal Name: Medical Problems of Performing Artists
Co-Authors: Larry Mengelkoch and Jason Highsmith
Organization: Performing Arts Medicine Association
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Developing and Sustaining an Inclusive Dance Program: Strategic Tools and Methods

The differently-abled dancing body has become more of a presence in dance culture over the past thirty years; however, professional training for these bodies is still minimal in scope (Charnley 2011; McGrath 2012; Benjamin 2002). Dance-based programs for individuals who are differently-abled often exist with primarily recreational and/or therapeutic goals. This paper will describe the development of a unique inclusive dance program over a four year period comprised of young dancers with disabilities (ages 6-11) with a professional training intent. The paper will address practice methods which have shown to be effective in the development and sustainability of our program. We offer these practical “field research” ideas as relevant suggestions for other dance educators interested in similar program implementation. Curricular development and classroom practices are addressed foremost, followed by several other key program elements, concluding with a reflexive consideration of limitations and on-going challenges to consider in launching inclusive dance programs.

Tags:
Inclusion, Inclusive education (Learning And Teaching), Inclusive Education, Dance Education, Dance, and 4 more

Journal Name: Journal of Dance Education
Co-Authors: Dwayne Scheuneman, Marion Baldeon

Organization: National Dance Education Organization

Link:
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/uu9G5idwerQXHvZsysZJ/full 
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Pushing the Limits: Making Dance Accessible to Different Bodies through Assistive Technology

In this article, I draw critical attention to the assistive mobility devices that individuals who are differently bodied often use in dance and suggest that the dance genre presents the opportunity for re-imagining the technological possibilities of these devices and creating more diverse repertoires. As an intervention and example, I describe the design, development, and implementation of an innovative wheelchair for dance with qualitative research data collected from six wheelchair users who experimented in the chair under a study approved by an institutional review board. Further, based on practitioner experience in the field, I discuss embodiment techniques for assistive devices as a focused part of dance training, specifically important for dancers with disabilities who use devices as bodily movement extensions. In sum, this article highlights the need for more research and attention in the dance genre directed at the artistic, technological, and human interface factors of assistive devices for dance experience.

Tags:
 Dance Studies, Disability Studies, Dance Medicine and Science, Dance Science, Inclusive Design, and 6 more

Journal Name: Journal of Dance Education

Organization: National Dance Education Organization

Link:
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/zzZYpY9d4fAKvH8Bwhn5/full 
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Performance excerpts from A New Definition of Dance 2015...https://youtu.be/vmbZo-OjLzE
We are preparing for a new similar event October 18-22, 2016!
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Donna Mejia class with REVolutions Dance students
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2014 Smithsonian Innovation Festival with Rolling Dance Chair
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From Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
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