Diversity Equity & Inclusion
In my practice as a working artist, I acknowledge that many cultural labor producers are marginalized because of race, gender- identity, disability, immigration status, sexual orientation and age.
I identify as a neurodivergent artist. As such, it is my belief that people who think, act, and learn differently should not be considered to have a deficit but rather to have a difference in how they process the world around them.
I hold the belief that restructuring expectations about production can be instrumental in undoing colonialist ideologies which center perfectionism and product over process. To this aim, I advocate for the reimagining of creation timelines to center “crip time”, a concept arising from disabled experience that addresses the ways that disabled/chronically ill and neurodivergent people experience time (and space) differently than able-bodied minded folk. In her essay on Crip Time, Ellen Samuels quotes Alison Kafer, who states: “rather than bend disabled bodies and minds to meet the clock, crip time bends the clock to meet disabled bodies and minds.”
My pedagogical practices acknowledge that cultural diversity plays an essential role in building learning environments which are flexible and dynamic. As a neurodivergent artist working in academia, I recognize that educators have a critical role to play in ensuring that all students, especially those who are non-typical in the way they process information, have access to acquire essential skills which will allow them to work towards their uniquely individual potentials within learning ecologies.
As a dance educator, I have sought to fight discriminatory aesthetics especially in teaching ballet and contemporary techniques by emphasizing on somatic awareness though which dancers self- define their own value and limitations. I make space for dancers to unpack the trauma that many of us carry from years of sometimes abusive training regimes which have taught us to hate our bodies. I also emphasize that, in the current field of contemporary dance, there are robust opportunities for performance artists who may diverge from the traditional stereotypes.
In my work, I interrogate the widespread marginalization that artists experience as they age and advocate for a reimagining of hierarchical models of production in favor of those that are centered on reciprocity. Through my business practices, I optimistically reject the exploitation that occurs within a robust market for creative content wherein artists are frequently requested to work for free. My professional practice is centered around activism specifically in advocating for fair wages and working conditions.