Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Dancing Wheels bring students with disabilities a new option to dance
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces a first-time, long-distance collaboration with Dancing Wheels, the first professional dance company led by wheelchair dance master, Mary Verdi Fletcher, to serve students with multiple disabilities at the A Harry Moore Laboratory School. The A Harry Moore School is one of a few public schools in New Jersey serving mostly low-income students with multiple disabilities that are difficult to be placed in a normal school environment.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, in residence at the New Jersey City University, has been working with the students at A Harry Moore School for over 4 years. The program has won the 2018 Innovator Award from the NJ arts Access Task Force. As the crisis hit and the school closed, New Jersey City University provided Zoom account to all the teachers, enabling many students to continue their lessons online. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company program, funded by the NJ State Council on the Arts, also migrated online. After several weeks of teaching students online, the Company realized that in cyberspace, distance is no longer a problem, and more teachers will bring multiple perspectives to the students. Nai-Ni Chen has worked with Mary Verdi Fletcher at Dancing Wheels several years ago. She has choreographed dances for Dancing Wheels and know that Dancing Wheels has a nationally renowned program for students on wheelchairs. Ms. Chen reached out to Mary and the two decided to begin a collaboration to bring the experience of Dancing Wheel to Jersey City through Zoom. The two companies will not only work on educational projects, but they are also exploring artistic collaboration to bring stronger awareness of the need for dance for people with disabilities.
To support the dance lessons for students of the A Harry Moore School in the extraordinary and challenging time for them by donating online: https://www.givegab.com/nonprofits/nai-ni-chen-dance-company-inc
Image courtesy of Nai-Ni- Chen and Dancing Wheels