Classes offered for those with mixed abilities

If you can move your body, you can dance.

So says MoMo dance instructor Yvonne Anderson.

“There are no restrictions other than what you put on yourself,” she says.

 At MoMo Dance Theatre, courageous, unique artists who face developmental and physical impairments can participate in the world of dance. As Anderson says, MoMo gives opportunities to those who can’t get it anywhere else.

Initially a community support worker and volunteer at the theatre, Anderson – who isn’t disabled – has been a participant and instructor at MoMo for two years.

She says the program has changed the way she views other people and society. Anderson says she now sees past disabilities because of MoMo.

“They don’t focus on what they can’t do,” Anderson says.

“They focus on what they can do already and explore with their bodies and what their limitations are aren’t even a thought.”

Thomas Poulsen, a dancer at MoMo for seven years, surely doesn’t limit himself and refuses to hide behind his crutches. He says the theatre gives him the desire to explore his creative side. The participants of MoMo do a breathing exercise during a workshop held by Susanna Uchatius and James Coomber.
Photo by: Kian Sumalpong

Poulsen — who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a pair of arm crutches for improved balance and mobility — says that MoMo is more than just a dance company and more than about being able to move.

“We’ve explored a lot of different themes and different art forms,” he says.

Through MoMo, Poulsen was able to become more involved in the arts community. With Springboard Performance, he danced solo at the Fluid Festival in 2009 as a part of a choreographed physical therapy cabaret.

Poulsen says that his performance at The Auburn Saloon is one of his most memorable moments. At the festival, he danced to “I Want To Tell You” by The Beatles.

“The solo was a little bit about when I was younger – making the transition from home life to school life with a very visible physical disability,” says Poulsen, whose legs are permanently bent.

The artists at MoMo are currently preparing for an upcoming show called “We Have Come To Be Danced” at the Vertigo Theatre on April 13 and 14.

Poulsen will be participating in three performances and one is a duet with Anderson.

Their performance is designed specifically for two people – one with disability and the other able-bodied – both using crutches when dancing together.

Artistic director Pamela Boyd promises that the audience can expect to be surprised and uplifted by a performance that’s both unique and exhilarating.

ksumalpong@cjournal.ca