redefining DANCER

Art as Action (AaA) cultivates a sense of belonging for dancers with and without (dis)ability/chronic illness.

Our programs offer inclusive and supportive spaces to dance for a wide variety of bodies, including but not limited to:

  • People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or other (dis)abilities/chronic illnesses and their care partners
  • People discovering dance later in life
  • People with technical dance training who want to explore physically integrative dance, many with aging bodies no longer welcome in traditional dance spaces

“As a dancer with PD, learning to let go of constricting beliefs about myself and my movement has opened a world of creative opportunities. AaA is a safe space to explore and expand where judgement and expectations are checked at the door.”
- Amy Dressel-Martin

Art As Action

dance for every BODY

Our programs welcome and accommodate people with (dis)ability/chronic illness, creating spaces where they feel considered and catered to from the moment they arrive.

We create physically/emotionally safe and comfortable spaces, allowing our dancers the freedom to surrender to the flow of dancing instead of fighting to conform to specific shapes and movements. Through modifying choreography to be physically integrative, we have found more opportunities for innovation and creativity.

To continue breaking down barriers to dance and expand accessibility, we now offer both virtual and in-person programming.

“Dancing with AaA from my wheelchair nourishes my identity, gives my spirit hope, and is just so fun!” - Carol Cowley

20 years of creativity, collaboration & community

Art as Action (AaA) was founded in 2002 as a collective of Artivists - champions of the healing language of art. AaA programs use artistic expression to facilitate creative growth and personal transformation.

In 2011, we launched Reconnect with your Body, dance for people with and without Parkinson’s disease (PD), and began centering people with PD and other (dis)ability/chronic illness across all of our work. This shift was born from the recognition that every BODY should have access to the healing, liberating, and connective experience of creating art—but that there has long been a lack of community-minded dance spaces that are accessible and welcoming to all bodies and abilities.

To this end, AaA includes dancers of all abilities in our annual show and has developed The Artivist Process, a collaborative framework that unifies diverse voices to produce creative works. The Artivist Process offers a supportive environment where Artivists of all experience levels can take creative risks, build relationships and produce compelling performances. As a result, all performers have equal voice, and all voices are amplified in the culminating performance.

Since 2014, Reconnect members have also participated in The Artivist Process and the annual show. This has not only unleashed the dancers’ artistic potential, but also helped to influence a more inclusive performance over the years. The inclusion of a wide range of performers has also attracted a varied audience who are then inspired to engage with AaA.

Ultimately, the growth of Reconnect and The Artivist Process have transformed Art as Action from a multi-disciplinary performance collective into a physically integrative dance company.


our mission

Art as Action brings people together at the intersection of dance, (dis)ability and creative potential.

(The AaA show) was exceptional. It communicated a powerful and beautiful story of humanity. Dance, movement, and the expression of one’s heart is so healing and powerful. I want to thank AaA for providing the opportunity for dancers and community members like me to celebrate life and the artistic voice in all of us.

Mollie McGill, audience member