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Harbison Theatre offering classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum

parsonsdanceHarbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College received a South Carolina Arts Commission Accessibility grant to increase sensory-friendly access to dance. The Theatre is partnering with Parsons Dance, The S.C. Autism Society, and Columbia College to offer three dance classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum. Experienced dance educator Terrance Henderson is leading two of the fun, pressure-free workshops suitable for dancers of any experience - including no experience at all - and the final workshop will be facilitated by dancers from Parsons Dance (pictured right). The next two classes are Oct. 22 and Nov. 16. Participants in one or more of these workshops will be awarded a certificate of participation on stage at the end of the Parsons Dance Relaxed Performance on Nov. 19. Each workshop is only $5 and is open to dancers 7 years and older. Workshops take place in the Godbold Center on the campus of Columbia College. Find out more on Harbison Theatre's website. https://youtu.be/qamoKLha998   Via: Harbison Theatre

Every child is a dancer – skills and habits for teaching dancers along the autism spectrum

parsonsdanceIn collaboration with the South Carolina Autism Society and Columbia College, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College is offering a one-day workshop designed to better help dance educators serve their dancers with autism spectrum disorder. The workshop takes place Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at Harbison Theatre. Registration fee is $25 and includes lunch. The workshop will cover:

  • Sensory sensitivity in the dance studio
  • Fine and gross motor challenges
  • Behavioral expectations in the dance studio
  • Relaxed performance procedures
All participants receive a ticket to the Parsons Dance relaxed performance on November 19. Find out more and register. This seminar for teachers is part of a larger collaboration aimed at increasing and deepening the opportunities for dancers and dance fans with autism and their families to enjoy professional dance instruction and performance. These additional opportunities are available:
  • October 1 and 22 - Beginning dance workshop for dancers with autism spectrum disorder
  • November 16 - Masterclass for dancers with autism spectrum disorder taught by Parsons Dance
  • November 19 - Relaxed performance by Parsons Dance

Harbison Theatre offers sensory-friendly performance of Story Squad

Harbison Theatre will reprise Story Squad for a sensory-friendly performance designed to engage all audiences, particularly those along the autism spectrum and others who live with sensory sensitivity. This sensory-friendly performance will be the first produced by a professional company in the Midlands and will be performed on May 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Sensory-friendly performances are productions slightly modified to create a more comfortable, enjoyable experience for audience members along the autism spectrum and for those who experience other sensory sensitivity. Loud sounds are quieter, surprising elements are not as surprising, the lights over the audience are not as dark, and ushers are trained to unobtrusively alert parents and other audience members to upcoming mood, music or lighting changes. Sensory-friendly performances are also accompanied by social stories that help prepare audience members for the experience. Visit the performance web page to read the social story and to buy tickets. The cast of Story Squad and the technical staff of Harbison Theatre worked with Jessie Baughman, lead case manager for Palmetto Autism Interventions, and with Susanna Fomby, former Columbia resident and consultant to the sensory-friendly performance of The Lion King on Broadway, to tailor this performance for the audience.  Says Baughman, “Sensory disorders, common but not limited to individuals with autism, can make attending some events and outings challenging for families. By offering sensory-friendly performances, Harbison Theatre provides an inclusive and judgment-free environment in which Midland's children and their families can have an opportunity to experience the arts. Fostering programs for children to learn and share experiences together, despite disability, is essential to the community, and my hope is that more organizations in the Midlands follow the example of Harbison Theatre." About Story Squad Story Squad celebrates the myriad ways that humans communicate our stories – through spoken words, song, lights, music and more. The show is the first production born of the Harbison Theatre at MTC Incubator for New Artistic Work. The Incubator invited Darion McCloud, renowned and beloved storyteller, actor, and director based in Columbia, to create a new production that would be suitable for touring to other communities. McCloud assembled his squad of musicians, actors and storytellers and together they created Story Squad.  The show will tour both its original and its sensory-friendly performances. About Harbison Theatre Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College presents high-quality performances and events that strengthen the education of our students, deepen our relationship with the community, and make the Midlands a region where people love to learn, work, play and prosper. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets and pursue volunteer opportunities, visit the Harbison Theatre website. Story Squad Via: Harbison Theatre