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Skidmore Grad Offering Virtual Dance Classes for Individuals with Disabilities

Sarah Greene founded Human Illustration after the dance class she taught at Saratoga Bridges was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Students participating in a virtual Human Illustration class.

For many college seniors, spring semester is all about partying, hanging out with friends and looking forward to special end-of-the-year activities. For Sarah Greene, who was a senior at Skidmore College last spring, it was all about the dance class she taught at Saratoga Bridges, a nonprofit that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through a number of programs. But, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Skidmore students were required to move off campus and Greene’s dance class was cancelled.

Almost a year later, Greene is living in Bedford, NY, where she’s continuing the work she started at Saratoga Bridges virtually. Saratoga Living caught up with the Skidmore grad to talk about Human Illustration, the virtual dance class platform she designed specifically  for people with disabilities.

Tell us about your relationship with dance.
I couldn’t imagine my life without dance. For the past 15 years, movement has propelled every other aspect of my being. I am a disciplined, motivated and organized individual who strives to do my absolute best in everything I set my mind to. Dance is truly a gift that I am grateful for everyday. There is an internal power it creates inside me that is indescribable, but is also the best feeling in the world. The many transformative and joyful experiences I have had from dance are things I want to share with as many people as possible.

How did your experience at Skidmore lead to your current work at Human Illustration
During my senior year at Skidmore, I had the opportunity to develop my own curriculum and teach a dance class at Saratoga Bridges. Through this experience, I learned how to interact and connect with a diverse population in a comfortable manner. I was eager to keep inspiring the individuals I taught at Saratoga Bridges, despite the pandemic. COVID-19 forced us all to get comfortable with various virtual platforms quickly. Human Illustration is a platform where all individuals can express and learn freely no matter what space they are in.

Why did you feel Human Illustration was a necessary community to create?
I felt like Human Illustration was needed in our community due to the lack of access to online movement classes for individuals with disabilities. It’s fairly easy for a highly trained dancer to take an online class, but when someone with a disability has an interest in taking a dance class, they often don’t know where to turn. This is why I created Human Illustration.

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to live out my passion for dance and share it with individuals of all abilities.

How can those who connect with Human Illustration’s mission get involved and support it?
Individuals can get involved and support Human Illustration by signing up for our 12-, 8- or 6-week program or requesting live Zoom classes or one-on-one sessions. People can also like us on Facebook and follow our instagram page (@humanillustration). Lastly, they can spread the word to anyone and everyone who would be interested in sharing dance with people of all abilities!

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Meg Gray

Meg Gray is an editorial intern at Saratoga Living.

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