Utilizing international dance connections, Borderless Arts Tennessee Executive Director Lori Kissinger (a member of the HICD-USA Arts Advisory Council) held a virtual 3-day universally-accessible dance workshop, bringing the joy and discipline of Dance to people with disabilities.
Through Meg Brooker, chair of the HICD-USA Dance Advisory Council, Lori was introduced to Christina Tsardoulias Malagaris, Director of the Samos School of Dance on the Greek island of Samos. With that new relationship, an invitation was extended to Samos for Greek participation in Borderless Arts' digital "Dancing Beyond Borders International Festival." The program was supported by the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities and the (NHL) Nashville Predators Foundation.
The Samos School of Dance shared Greek folk dances, traditional costumes (Makis Evaggelou) and traditional Greek musical instruments (Eleni Kaltaki). In addition to the Greek dances and educational presentations, international participants from inclusive arts organizations led participants in a diversity of culturally rich dance experiences. Among them, exploration of Latin dances with Emily Logan (Global Education Center, Nashville), Egyptian folk dances with Nadia Elarabi, a Chinese dance workshop with Jen Jen Lin, Yoga with Demita Delano, and a special universally accessible dance program by occupational therapist Hannah Mariani and Nashville Ballet's Linnea Swarting.
This robust partnership brought the world of dance to those so often denied access to the joy of dancing, and united for an exciting weekend the traditions of many nations. Creating such visionary programming is the goal of HICD-USA across each of our Advisory Councils, and we invite you to watch for announcements of future programming here and on Facebook at HICDUSA