Hubbard Street offers Intro to Adaptive Dance

Sarah Cullen Fuller leads a Parkinson’s Project classHubbard Street Dance Chicago and its Youth, Education and Community Programs department will offer a professional development opportunity this June introducing attendees to its Adaptive Dance Programs, created for those with Parkinson’s disease and young people on the autism spectrum.


Designed for dance educators, group coordinators, community leaders, care partners, allied health professionals and teachers of yoga, fitness and Pilates, Introduction to Adaptive Dance is a comprehensive overview of techniques, resources and best practices. Workshop participants will gain greater understanding of the methods and activities employed at Hubbard Street for teaching dance to students with Parkinson’s and autism, and be advised how to develop their own philosophies and program goals for this work. (However, it’s important to note that Hubbard Street’s Adaptive Dance Programs curricula are not intended as therapies, but rather as “dance-focused experiences” created specifically for members of these special populations.)


Parkinson’s Project participants in classIntroduction to Adaptive Dance will be offered on June 10 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, located at 1147 West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago. Registration includes one ticket to Hubbard Street + The Second City’s acclaimed collaboration The Art of Falling at the Harris Theater at 8pm.


Introduction to Adaptive Dance will encompass three points of focus. Participants will first create their particular mission, learning how to build community, identify students, and determine how to develop and differentiate school, community and studio programs. An introduction to Hubbard Street’s Parkinson’s Project curriculum will cover how to build successful warm-ups, increase students’ mobility and develop community through dancing together. An introduction to The Autism Project curriculum will detail processes for building a highly structured dance class for young people with autism; explain how to create and utilize visual supports, sensory supports and challenges; and outline best practices for assistants and aides in the dance classroom.


M.K. Victorson with a student in The Autism Project classThe faculty members for this will include: Kathryn Humphreys, director of Hubbard Street’s Education, Youth, and Community Programs; Michelle Modrzejewski, manager of Community Programs; and Sarah Cullen Fuller, founding teaching artist for the Parkinson’s Project.


The cost to attend is $180 per person before May 1, and $200 per person beginning May 1. Those attending from beyond the Chicago area will be responsible for their own housing and transportation to and from the Dance Center, easily accessible via the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), the CTA Blue Line (Forest Park branch to Racine) and numerous CTA bus routes including 7 Harrison, 9 Ashland, 20 Madison, 60 Blue Island and 126 Jackson.


Space is limited and advance registration is required. The form is available via Hubbard Street’s website at


Photo (top): Founding Teaching Artist and Hubbard Street alumna Sarah Cullen Fuller leads a Parkinson’s Project class at the Hubbard Street Dance Center. Photo (left): Parkinson’s Project participants in class. Photo (right): Founding Teaching Artist M.K. Victorson with a student in The Autism Project class. Photos by Todd Rosenberg.