Speaking Their Language | Judith Sachs

As a dancer, I think in movements—lifting an arm, twirling a foot, jumping from side to side. But as an adaptive dance teacher, I also have to think of ways to communicate clearly what I want my students to do through language. Theories of movement education indicate that different brains learn movement differently. Harold Gardner’s […]

What a Chair Can Do | Judith Sachs

Who would have thought a chair could dance? Actually, some of our great current choreographers, like Mark Morris and Roni Koresh, use chairs to sit on, stand on or somersault across. They use them as props for dancers to drape themselves on or over. They use them as percussion instruments with dancers flapping their seats […]

Passing the Flame | Judith Sachs

I love teaching adaptive dance to older dancers. These are individuals who may never have danced before and whose movement is generally limited. So when they discover what they can actually do sitting in a chair or holding onto a chair-back, it’s inspiring. Over the past three years, I’ve developed a teaching style and a […]

Dancing in the Dark | Judith Sachs

I was nervous about creating a dance class for people with Alzheimer’s because I couldn’t teach them steps. I couldn’t expect them to learn a sequence because the attention necessary to watch and repeat movement simply isn’t there in people with moderate dementia. This meant that I couldn’t do anything I usually do when I […]

How Older Adults Learn Choreography | Judith Sachs

I like to show my 80-year-old dancers examples of performances on YouTube in order to inspire them for the work we’re about to tackle. They are typically incredulous that they can see all that movement on my tiny iPhone screen and also of the opinion that “all those twists and turns are fine, but I’m […]

The Birth of an Elder Dance Teacher | Judith Sachs

My father had one job his entire life. He was a doctor until he “retired” at 91. Whereas, I have had a bunch of careers. I started as a dancer/actor, became an editor, then wrote preventive health books with doctors, served as a product spokesperson, coached corporate executives in pitching and presentation, and worked as […]