In Ancient Greece, stories emerged from a belief that neurodivergence signified a special connection to the gods. In the case of seers, their neurodivergence manifested as an ability to predict future events, a literal superpower. Neurodiversity is a scientific concept arising from brain imaging. A number of brain studies have shown that people with learning or thinking differences are “wired” differently than their peers. In other words, some children are born with brains that think, learn and process information differently than others.
My parents took me to my first Dance class at age 2 and I never looked back. I was fully dedicated at all times and absolutely loved being a part of the dance and theater world. School and academics was not such a joyful experience. I did very poorly in school and found it very difficult to focus, pretty much always.
Neurodiversity and dance are two topics not often heard in conjunction. Neurodiversity is, simply put, brain differences. Human brains vary. This is natural. This term is often used to describe conditions like Autism or ADHD, which are variations in the neurocognitive functioning of the human brain. ‘Neurodiversity’ covers a range of variations in the human brain as they relate to sociability, mood, learning, and attention.
Do dancers have ADHD?
Aharon Shulimson and Julie Terry on dancers at Ballet West, adds that, in fact, ballet dancers may actually be more likely to display ADHD traits. The study found that over two-thirds of the dancers in the Salt Lake City–based company had a “highly-overactive brain.
If I list the things that you need [in order] to focus when you have ADHD, it’s almost the definition of ballet or dance,” Guss-West says. “You need to be passionate about [the activity] and it needs to be high-intensity. It needs to be ultra-structured, discipline-wise, fast, hands-on, creative, and you need some sort of independence.”
This fact, Guss-West says, unveils what might be seen as a sort of “chicken and egg” scenario, suggesting that perhaps the multitude of foci involved in dance might provoke a performer to become “overloaded and distracted.” Or, perhaps, those with ADHD are drawn to the field because their neural functioning is particularly equipped to handle multiple demands.
Anna DOnofrio is the Director Of the All Inclusive Dance Programs at Lightning Education.
"I could not focus at school and had extreme anxiety because none of it made sense to me. I would go in before school and use the empty dance studio to train and then skip my academic classes. The dance studio was different. I was a very hard working dedicated student throughout my training. I could pick up any routine very quick. I felt like I belonged in dance. As a child, that is the place where I thrived" I wanted to give students with the same struggles I had a place of belonging and a place where they could thrive and learn in the best way they can.
Our Programs in All Inclusive Dance gives this. In inclusive dance, diversity is not a source of conflict, on the contrary, it is a place of celebration and coexistence. In inclusive dance, body approach to learning and reflection to find the ability to understand, recognize and value the individual and social body.
Developping a critical and reflective thinking on the subject of disability and inclusion.
Strengthening self-esteem and develop autonomy.
Building opportunities for exchange of people with and without disabilities.
Giving accessibility to people with disabilities or cultural space.
Eliminating discriminatory attitudes and practices.
Helping improve the social skills of people with and without disabilities.
We work with Private schools, Public Schools, Government agencies, treatment centers and foster care facilities.
Valuing, respecting and celebrating diversity is at the core of all our programs.