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Midterm Podcast

smukhtar's picture

Listen to the podcast here:

For text transcript: Click"...more" in the descripton box (under video), then click "Show transcript"


Cecilia Morales's picture

I think you brought up really important points from both Alice Sheppard and Petra Kuppers! Also, including voices of individuals with disabilites was such a great part of this podcast. Not only do we get to hear first hand experiences, but we can also see the variance in their stories, as dance is experienced so differently between various bodies. Moreover, Maya's quote at the end really reiterates the key idea that art and dance by disabled individuals shouldn't just be about teaching non-disabled people lessons about disability, or proving they can do these things, but instead should simply be about showing up with your full authentic self in order to express yourself and enjoy the experience. I particularly like the emphasis that one's authentic self includes everything that comes with them, from mobility devices to the way they walk, etc. Renata's story brings up an important point of how some dance practices, such as ballet, really center around an idealized type of body. Some of these standards can even be exclusionary to non-disabled bodies that don't conform to the idealistic standards set by the practice (being skinny, as one example). Also, Maya's experience with being able to sketch her dance routine brought up the question of what other avenues can people take to engage in dance without explicit movement. Perhaps technology can be utilized for individuals to render 3D models and choreograph a dance digitally. Overall, good job on the podcast!

cds6's picture

First off, I loved the podcast format of your project. I felt it was very accessible and the transcript was helpful for me to follow along. Alice Sheppard’s work is deeply inspiring and transcendent, and I just really love that she never even considers her identity as disabled and dancer as mutually exclusive. Also, listening to your podcast stirred something inside of me that I have been thinking about a bunch but not entirely sure how to articulate/approach this topic. In the same way that you are bringing disabled voices to the center of the dance community, I also thought about ways to bring disabled community to the center of the athletic community at Haverford. At the moment, I do not see the department making space for these conversations right now, but long-term, I hope they eventually can. 

In my eyes, athletics offers a unique opportunity for people to engage with disability history and culture. So many athletes suffer injuries ranging from small to life-altering ones. When I had to get leg-immobilizing surgery, I didn’t really have the words to express my frustrations/feelings or community I could turn to help me work through them. And in taking this class, I finally feel that I have the first stepping stone to processing and understanding what I felt during that time. And while I do not necessarily think of myself as disabled, some of the language and concepts in this class helped me realize I was temporarily physically disabled and it changed my perspective forever. 

Being able to center disabled voices in the Haverford athletics department could help connect temporarily physically disabled people, people who struggle with mental health, and those that are chronically ill in athletics and many more and foster a sense of community/solidarity. And I think partly this has been thwarted by athlete’s misconception that pushing through the pain is the best way of dealing with injuries or mental crises. No one wants to be a “wimp” for “babying” their ankle, or being “over-dramatic” about how their mental health is doing, or even taking themselves out of a drill to deal with something minor. The one-ness between body and identity is something I am processing and have come to respect/admire immensely through my own experience and through this class. And I really do believe so many other athletes would benefit from learning from disability history and culture. 

I have only felt the access intimacy/solidarity a few times, but those experiences I do have are enough for me to want that feeling of support and understanding for others in my athletics community. Before deciding to do my zine for the final project, I contemplated writing up a plan to give the athletics department on ways to start moving in that direction in the next coming years.

Really excited for your final project as I know you plan to continue working on this!