IntoDance is a dance class for people with physical impairments caused by chronical diseases.
Is the class for me?
There is a dancer inside of everyone. Our class aims to empower the dancer in you. IntoDance classes were created for M.S and Parkinson’s dance students. Nevertheless, the classes are designed to allow people of all abilities to explore and discover themselves in dancing.
Why should I start dancing?
Based on the current literature, our method aims to enhance every aspect of a person’s well-being. Inspired by our experience as artists, dancers and teachers, our method integrates different elements of dance into the classes allowing for dancers to enjoy the physical, psychological and psychosocial benefits of dance.
IntoDance, selectively integrates various elements of dance into its classes. The aim is to increase physical awareness through movement, and to promote relaxation. Muscular tension and stress can be reduced while coordination and balance can also be improved.
Dance as Artistic Expression
The class is designed to open the door for creativity and self-discovery. This combination provides the dancers with a regular positive experience and awards them with a sense of community outside their everyday lives. The essence of the classes is not only based on the benefits of movement but is also primarily artistic. This gives our dancers the opportunity to encounter the beauty, sensitivity and theatricality of dance, while increasing their capacities of physical awareness and muscle strength.
Purpose of the class
The class is structured to guide our students in a joyful journey to uncover the dancer in themselves. The structure and guidance supports the connection between body, mind and soul through breathing techniques, imagery, movement exploration, music and choreography in an open, friendly and safe environment were individual experiences are paramount.
Coffee time and sharing experiences
As part of the class, and of equal importance, dancers are invited to share their experiences and feedback from the class while having a deserved and relaxing time in the Deutsche Oper canteen.
- Our classes are suitable and open for people with mixed-abilities and the access to the studio is wheelchair friendly.
- Comfortable clothing and socks/soft shoes are recommended but not necessary.
- You can sign up for a class on the “sign up for the class” form or contact us by e-mail or telephone.
In 2016, Anneli and Soraya were invited to be part of the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation’s Forum hosted by the Het Nationale Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam. The Forum was the first attempt to connect dance professionals working in different dance & wellness programmes across Europe. It was the first time we met Andrew Greenwood, Switch2Move and his wonderful work with movement classes for dancers with MS, Parkinson’s and Dementia.
We started with some trial classes and immediately saw the need and the wish from our participating dancers for such classes to continue. At the same time, we noticed how much we ourselves were gaining from participating in the classes as well. It was immediately clear to us that the safe atmosphere for discovery and exploration that we create during the classes benefits us all in our daily lives, and we were determined to find a way to sustain the classes. We founded the Verein in July 2018.
The following year, we invited Andrew to deliver an educational workshop on his method in Berlin where we met Stephanie, Miriam and Kathy. Our common past experiences as performers and educators connected us, and the workshop inspired us to start teaching dance classes in Berlin.
IntoDance classes are the result of a collective experience. We love sharing our knowledge of the fields of dance, pantomime, education, social work and science with the class while learning so much through the shared experience of the class that we bring back to our respective fields. Our aim is to continue growing, share our knowledge and experiences, learn from our dancers and enjoy dancing!
During my professional career as a dancer I had the opportunity to explore diverse dance styles (ballet, contemporary, modern-jazz and tango) and work with different choreographers in several theaters around the world. Every piece that I danced in, no matter which style, as well as each choreographer that I worked with, all contributed to enriching my movement vocabulary, my body awareness and my love for dancing.
I danced professionally for 25 years and I decided to move towards teaching dance. I recently graduated from a Master’s program of Arts in Education (dance teaching) with the Royal Academy of Dance and Bath University of London. The studies opened up a new pedagogical perspective for me and allowed me to connect dance, pedagogy and science. This increased my curiosity in developing dance programs that expand the benefits of dance to professional, vocational and community dance students of all ages.
In 2016 Anneli Chasemore and I met Andrew Greenwood, Switch2Move and his wonderful work with movement classes for dancers with MS, Parkinson and Dementia during the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation’s Forum hosted by the Het Nationale Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam. The Forum was the first attempt to connect dance professionals working in different dance & wellness programes across Europe. We fell in love with the challenge to create similar classes in Germany and we committed ourselves to develop a group with the necessary skills to pursue this endeavour. Although in July 2018 my professional career as a performer ended, a new exciting door was opened and IntoDance e.V was founded.
Dance has not only been my way of living but an instrument to discover and connect with myself and others, to express my feelings and to share who I am. I am learning every day from my wonderful colleagues and our dancers. Everyone is special and contributes to my personal and professional growing.
I was lucky to have had, and am forever grateful for, my twenty year-long career as a professional ballet dancer, dancing in several companies in the USA before coming to Berlin in 2004 to join the Staatsballett-Berlin. During my career in Berlin I was promoted to soloist and retired at the end of the 2015-16 season. Since then I have worked for Tanz ist Klasse!, the education and outreach department of Staatsballett-Berlin, where I work regularly with school children developing new work as well as bringing the world of ballet to new audiences. This experience has enabled me to see ballet and dance through new eyes and rediscover the magic of it all.
My perspective on dance was further expanded when learning the methods of Andrew Greenwood and becoming a certified Switch2Move practitioner. Teaching dance to people with Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s has shown me how beneficial and healing dance can be, which led me to become a founder of IntoDance e.V. In April 2017, I began studying for my bachelor’s degree in social work and would love to pursue the ways in which social work and dance can overlap and enhance one another.
The dream of dancing continued. I entered the Colon Theatre Ballet School in Buenos Aires when I was 14 years old. Years later, ballet and life brought me to Germany, where I danced professionally and eventually discovered that teaching was my path.
In 2013 I suffered a severe stroke which forced me to start anew in many ways. I had to use a walker for several weeks, however quitting dance was not an option for me. I was given a new chance and was determined to improve. Busy with my therapies, I noticed that something was missing, so I brought my old stereo to the rehabilitation gym. When no one was there, I slowly started moving to the music again.
It was not easy at the beginning, but I felt encouraged and motivated. I left the rehabilitation within 8 weeks, already enjoying dancing and fully recovered. The following year I finished my pedagogical studies in dance and started teaching again, adults and children.
After my friend took me to a "Switch2Move" workshop for teachers in Berlin, I could not stop crying. I realised, I had already experienced in my own body what music and movement can do to enrich our quality of life. I joined IntoDance hoping to share my professional and personal experience and help people to discover the healing powers of dance.
My stage career spans 30 years and I have been exceedingly fortunate to share both rehearsal spaces and world stages with stars of the dance world, learning from Nureyev, Makarova, Evdokimova, Schaufuss, Béjart and Petit to name but a few. Working with several choreographers, and performing their individual styles, has also enhanced my dance knowledge greatly.
Creative interests have drawn me towards choreographing, organising dance events, designing stage sets and even creating breastfeeding clothing! Whilst still performing, I was part of the initial creation of the education programme for Staatsballett, Berlin, studying project management for schools at the Technical University, Munich and receiving a teaching diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance, London. My own experiences play a key role in my work today, in finding new ways to pass on the joy of dance to all learners of any age, ability and background in various formats and venues.
After graduating I went on to be part of the West End show “Thriller Live” and worked as a professional dancer for 10 years in London, dancing for a variety of well-known artists such as Celine Dion, Florence and the Machine and Kylie Minogue. After writing my dissertation on CandoCo, a disabled dance group based in the UK, it was an honour to perform alongside them at the 2012 Paralympic Closing Games, which inspired my continued appreciation for the many layers that dance has to offer. I danced on a variety of live TV shows and performances around the world, combining contemporary, lyrical, commercial and hip hop styles, nourishing my passion for the art form.
I was motivated to explore different ways of moving the body, and subsequently trained to become a yoga teacher. My journey continued when after attending workshops available in London and Berlin, I became a ‘Switch2Move’ practitioner, offering movement as a therapeutic art form. Alongside my dance career, I offer workshops embodying a “non-linear” movement method, yogic techniques and movement meditation, with various themes and collaborations, to provide a creative and explorative way to express, expand, and release blockages by moving the body.
My interest in telling stories, creating pictures by movement, and the search for new approaches of working with groups led me on a journey from social work, via theatre, to the discovery of dance and what dance can be.
During my Social Work studies I was amazed at how the act of doing theater brought out new sides of my fellow students. Having the desire to bring this experience to a wider community, I started doing internships at various theaters and companies all over Germany to learn how to teach different groups. During this time, I met the great dance project tanzbar_bremen and discovered the world of mixed-abilities dance.
Having the wish to do this work as a professional artist, I enrolled at the mime school Die Etage in Berlin and discovered a theatre where the telling of stories is based on movement and pictures. Besides mime, I was introduced to different dance styles, acrobatics and acting.
Together with a colleague I founded the mime duo Panthea Mime Theatre where we stage and perform our own theatre pieces. Mime, as well as dance, are an essential part of my artistic work. In 2017 my journey led me to IntoDance, where I can continue sharing, searching and experiencing the creation of art within the community.
“I find IntoDance very good and it helps me a lot. To summarize, I can say: it strengthens the concentration, improves the memory retention, trains the memory and increases the thinking and movement speed. Limitations become insignificant and/or lose their fearsomeness.”
“IntoDance gefällt mir gut und hilft mir sehr. Zusammengefasst könnte ich sagen: Ihr stärkt die Konzentration, verbessert die Merkfähigkeit, trainiert das Gedächtnis und erhöht die Denk- und Bewegungsgeschwindigkeit. Einschränkungen werden unbedeutend und/oder verlieren ihren Schrecken.”SabineIntoDance dancer
"I think that the joy shared by the dancers who guide the training is contagious. I love dance in general, and I think that the creativity that's being imparted helps me deal better with the limitations of MS. Just laughing together, listening to the music, learning the movements, that's fun. And the variety! Each time someone else leads the workshop, and each time it's a different focus. It's never boring! If you want, you can go for a coffee afterwards. Then you can talk about life in general, not just about the disease. I find that very rewarding. "
“Ich denke, die Freude, die die Tänzerinnen mitteilen, die das veranstalten, das ist ansteckend. Ich liebe den Tanz allgemein, und ich glaube, das Kreative, was da vermittelt wird, das hilft mir, mit den Einschränkungen durch die MS besser zurecht-zukommen. Alleine das Lachen miteinander, die Musik, das Aufnehmen der Bewegungen, das macht Spaß. Und die Abwechslung! Jedes Mal leitet jemand anderes den Workshop, und jedes Mal ist es dann ein anderer Fokus, es ist nie langweilig! Wer will, kann nachher noch miteinander Kaffee trinken gehen. Dann kann man sich allgemein übers Leben austauschen, und nicht nur über die Krankheit. Ich empfinde das als sehr bereichernd.“JanaIntoDance dancer
“I'm really excited! Through dancing, I now dare to try things earlier on that would otherwise have taken me longer to try. We start with sitting movements, and as the class progresses, you can get up if you want to and can - that's very motivating. I have gained more self-confidence as a result.”
“Ich bin hochbegeistert! Ich habe mich durchs Tanzen wieder mehr und früher an Dinge herangetraut, die sonst bei mir erst später drangekommen wären. Wir beginnen mit Bewegungen im Sitzen, und im Verlauf der Stunde kann man aufstehen, wenn man möchte und dazu in der Lage ist – das ist sehr motivierend. Ich habe dadurch mehr Selbstbewusstsein gewonnen.“LorenzIntoDance dancer