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Our story

All Bodies Dance Project (ABDP) was founded in September 2014 by Naomi Brand, Mirae Rosner, and Sarah Bourne (Lapp) in an effort to create a space for inclusive dance practice in Vancouver, BC. 

 

ABDP works in partnership with the Vancouver Parks Board, The Roundhouse Community Arts Centre, and Trout Lake Community Centre to offer highly successful community-engaged dance classes that have welcomed hundreds of participants of diverse abilities, genders, sizes, and backgrounds. 

Two dancers with light skin wearing black and red clothing are caught in a moment of performance on a dark stage.

Photo credit: Chris Randle A photo of Naomi (she/her) and romham (they/them) onstage in a moment of stillness during performance. On the left, Naomi, a light skinned person with short dark hair lunges towards romham, a white person with a bald head and tattoos who leans towards Naomi from their scooter. They each grasp the others hand in an emotional moment of connection. Naomi is grinning at romham, whose eyes are closed. Both are wearing black and red clothing.

ABDP has self-produced six full-length productions: See & Be Seen (2015), TRACE (2016), DO MAKE SHOW (2017), Magic & Remembering (2019), Translations (2019) and It’s Enough (for a rooftop) (2021). We have created and performed numerous site-specific, outdoor pieces in festivals such as Dancing on the Edge Festival, Dance in Vancouver, Fluid Festival (Calgary), SKAMpede (Victoria), and Vines Art Festival. 

We have also created numerous “dancefilms” (with audio description) including Ho.Me (2019), Sanctuary (2019), and Near/Far (2021) that have been screened in local, national, and international festivals. We've partnered on presentations with New Works, The Dance Centre, and DanceWest Network among others. Our work has received grants and awards including the 2019 City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in the category of Accessible City.​

Five dancers in a row wearing black and jean clothing are caught in a moment of performance on a dark stage.

Photo credit: Erik Zennström A photo of five dancers performing under bright lights on a dark stage. Four dancers in a line hold hands with arms stretched out between them as if struggling with which direction to move in. The fifth dancer is alone at one end of the line, back to the others, arm reaching out in front of them, searching. This dancer has light brown skin, black hair, glasses, and is dancing in their manual wheelchair. In order of dancers behind them are a person with light skin and blond hair in a lunging position, a person bent over at the waist facing the stage wearing a straw hat, a person with brown skin and black hair in a lunge position, and a person with light brown or light skin and dark hair using arm crutches. Everyone is wearing combinations of black and jean clothing.

Our Vision

A world where dance is for everybody. 

Our Mission

  • Offering accessible and inclusive dance classes for all people and all bodies.

  • Creating opportunities for diverse artists to practice, research and produce innovative, inclusive dance. 

  • Providing dance training and mentorship to under-represented artists. 

Our Mandate

  • To offer accessible and inclusive dance classes and workshops for persons of all abilities. 

  • To create and perform new and innovative works of contemporary dance choreography. 

  • To cultivate a diverse community of integrated dance practitioners and to nurture, grow and advance the field of inclusive dance in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • To challenge and shift cultural perspectives on the dancing body.

Our Values

Accessibility: 

ABDP works to remove physical, economic, and social barriers to participation and to create inclusive spaces for all people to be part of dance. We recognize that accessibility is not universal, and we are committed to ongoing learning and dialogue. We see accessibility tools and practices as generative and full of artistic potential. Access needs open up new possibilities for dance-making and choreographic invention and expand our ways of knowing and experiencing the world. 

Artistry: 

We value experimentation, research and exploration in dance-making. Our practice questions what dance is and what it can be, in order to challenge conventions, innovate, and contribute to the field of contemporary dance. 

A group of dancers in a bright studio space all move in their own ways during a dance class.

Photo credit: Wei with photography A photo of a sunny All Bodies Dance class at The Roundhouse Community Centre. Tall windows allow sunlight to brighten the wooden floor. There is a line of seven dancers in different facings, some using motorised or manual wheelchairs, others standing, while one dancer is on their knees. A motorised wheelchair dancer has their arms wide apart, head tipped up just a bit, with a warm smile. Some dancers seem to be mid-spin, others pressing upwards in their chair.

Care: 

Our work is carried out with thoughtful consideration and respect for the bodies, hearts, minds, spirits and well-being of the people involved. We dance in a way that cares for our bodies and the land we move on. We honour our differences, limitations and boundaries while nurturing our curiosity and creativity. We operate with a spirit of generosity and warmth. 

Collaboration: 

All of our work is relational. Our practice prioritizes the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We value the innovation and artistic excellence that comes from collective authorship, learning and investment. We strive to make decisions (both artistic and organizational) through consultation, dialogue and collaboration. Our organization is built on a foundation of partnership. We value contrasting perspectives and cross-disciplinary understanding.

Community: 

We view dance as a way to build community. Our work seeks to create trusting and diverse communities of movers. We value the invention, creativity and beauty that emerges when groups of people with different life experiences move and make art together. We pride ourselves on the deep friendships and connections that grow from dancing and performing with one another. 

Joy: 

We create space for collective joy, delight and celebration. We believe that joy should be an essential part of art making and that dance practice strengthens our capacity to feel and spread joy. 

Reports 
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Two dancers in a bright studio space dance together.

Community Consultation Report
 

Annual Report
2021 - 2022

Word

A Word document will be available later in 2023

Photo credit: Wei With Photography A masked dancer in a manual wheelchair is leaning forward, torso slightly twisted to look up at a standing dancer whose back is to the viewer. Their legs are splayed, chest pushing up and out, arms held out at the sides. Their long dark curly hair hangs down their back. They are wearing a black t-shirt and red/white/black patterned pants. The sitting dancer is wearing a black t-shirt and pants. The studio is bright with natural light coming in through the big windows.

Annual Report
2022 - 2023

A Word document will be available later in 2023

Word
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