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 […]

My role in de-skilling the arts | J. E. Johnson

When I see the perennial behind-the-scenes tour groups gawking wide-eyed at the 10,000 square foot scenic studio outside my office at The University of Texas, I am reminded that I have a very cool job. Every year our staff of professionals and students produces beautiful stage sets and generally “make the magic happen.” Even so, […]