2021 Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival

Four blocks of images and text sit in a rectangle. In the top left corner, “Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival Online” is written in stacked blue, teal and purple letters with a purple swooping line weaving through and under the words. In the top right corner a diverse group of people are arranged in a large circle with their arms reaching up in wide Vs. In the bottom left two different images sit side by side. The left image shows three people in a horizontal line moving toward the camera holding yellow flowers and the right features two people facing one another, reaching one hand out to the other and smiling. In the bottom right corner is framed by three blocks in blue, teal and purple with the words “Friday, April 30 – Sunday, May 2, 2021” in the middle in blue letters.

Join us for the 2021 Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival!

The 2021 festival will take place entirely online.

The festival will feature movement workshops with Sydney Erlikh, Robby Lee Williams and Willyum LaBeija. We will collectively view films by MOMENTA Dance and Revolutions Dance Company. Maggie Bridger will speak to her recent research on the work of local disabled dance artist Kris Lenzo in her keynote presentation, “Sustaining a Bodymind: Disability and the Value of Moving With/In Pain.” New this year, Sunday will consist of a series of family-oriented events in partnership with our friends at KEEN Chicago, including a movement workshop with Susan Ojala Myers and a viewing of The Penguin Who Couldn’t Swim. See a full schedule below.

All bodies, minds and experience levels welcome. ASL interpretation and CART will be available for all live portions of the event. Captioning will be available for all films/videos. Audio description will be available for Saturday’s movement workshops and can be requested for other portions of the event through the registration form. Reach out to Dgoodma@luc.edu with any questions about the festival.


Friday, April 30

  • 7:00 – 8:00pm – DanceAbility Workshop with Sydney Erlikh

Sydney Erlikh and Stefanie Piatkiewicz are certified, DanceAbility instructors. They will be leading a virtual improvisational dance workshop guided by the DanceAbility activities and principles. We are excited to get you moving in your own space!

  • 8:00 – 8:15pm – MOMENTA Dance’s Dancing at a Distance viewing
  • 8:15 – 8:45pm – “Sustaining a Bodymind: Disability and the Value of Moving With/In Pain” – Keynote Speaker, Maggie Bridger

Western dance practices often demand that dancers train their bodies not only to meet technical standards, but also to reduce the possibility of pain or injury. Disabled dancing bodyminds, however, often already experience the types of pain and injury that might signal the end of a performer’s career in mainstream dance. This presentation takes up disabled dance artist, Kris Lenzo’s, concept of “sustainable choreography” as an example of the opportunity disability offers to imagine pain differently in dance, ultimately arguing that sustaining disabled dancing bodyminds requires simultaneously working against the disabling impacts of dance while also insisting on the artistic value of movement generated by pained, aging and disabled bodyminds.

Saturday, May 1

  • 1:00 – 1:15pm – MOMENTA Dance’s Dancing at a Distance viewing
  • 1:15 – 2:15pm – Movement Workshop with Willyum LaBeija

Willyum LaBeija is an actor, dancer, and choreographer from North Carolina and based in Chicago. While serving in the US Army, he was dance captain of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Soldier Show for two years. His training includes classical and urban dance genres with an emphasis in vogue performance and he has been a member of the Royal House of LaBeija since 2011. 

  • 2:15 – 3:15pm – Movement Workshop with Robby Williams

Robby will be exploring movement from his newest work, tentatively called “Pain”, featuring  dance over spoken word that explores connection through the shared experience of pain, and living in a society that frowns upon the display of vulnerability. 

  • 3:15 – 4:00pm – Revolution Dance’s Film Viewing

Sunday, May 2 – Family Day

  • 3:30 – 3:45pm – KEEN Chicago Welcome
  • 3:45 – 4:30pm – AccepDance workshop with Susan Ojala Myers

AccepDance classes are a fun, safe and supportive space.  Dancers thrive in this open environment where they move freely and grow at their own pace.  Instruction is customized to meet the unique needs of each student.  Patterning, visual and auditory processing, rhythm, and sequencing is combined to improve balance, flexibility, cardiovascular and emotional health.

  • 4:30 – 4:45pm – Viewing of The Penguin Who Couldn’t Swim by Tom Rourke

Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival Presenters:

Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival Sponsors:

Robby Williams and Willyum LaBeija’s work is supported in part by 3Arts with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.