News / Announcements

WORKSHOP: Audio Description for Traditional Ballet Performances (Saturday, December 17th)

Hosted by Movement ResearchDark Room Ballet is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

NOTE: This is a FREE class, but donations are welcomed.

Dark Room Ballet Presents:
Audio Description as an Art Form

Audio Description for Traditional Ballet Performances

Saturday, December 17th , 2022
4 PM to 6 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: This is a 2 hour class

This workshop is offered online via Zoom

To register, please email:

Workshop Description

Using the framing device of Act 1, Scene 1 from Giselle, participants will develop a different set of expectations for audio described traditional ballet performances, and will co-create a manifesto for ballet audio description for wide-spread dissemination among traditional arts presenters.

Note: this is the last workshop in the Audio Description as an Art Form series, sponsored by Movement Research.

More audio description workshops are planned for 2023!

News / Announcements

WORKSHOP: Forming Effective Audio Description Partnerships Between Dancers and Describers (Saturday, December 10th)

Hosted by Movement ResearchDark Room Ballet is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

NOTE: This is a FREE class, but donations are welcomed.

Dark Room Ballet Presents:
Audio Description as an Art Form

Forming Effective Audio Description Partnerships Between Dancers and Describers

Saturday, December 10th , 2022
4 PM to 6 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: This is a 2 hour class

This workshop is offered online via Zoom

To register, please email:

Workshop Description

Audio describers can create their best art when they can form real partnerships with dancers that have self-audio description skills. Whether you are a dancer who wants to hone your self-audio description skills or an audio describer who wants to learn the questions to ask when developing descriptions (and what to do with the answers), this crucial teamwork will be cultivated here.

Note: this is the second to last workshop in the Audio Description as an Art Form series, sponsored by Movement Research

News / Announcements

Support the Telephone Film and Dark Room Ballet on #GivingTuesday!

Cyber Monday is coming to a close, which means that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

You may have heard about the Telephone Film project before. 

Description in caption

3 photos of Krishna side by side. In each she is holding a cordless phone to her ear in a playful pose, in front of a doorframe. She also wears one of her handmade Dark Room Adorned bracelets on her wrist.  The left photo is tinted with a blue effect, her expression coy. The second photo is tinted to look like a sepia mosaic, and she is making a surprised face. The right photo shows Krishna laughing, edited in watercolor style pink, purple and red tones.

If you haven’t, here is some more info:

The first of its kind, Telephone is a work-in-progress short film bringing awareness to the important art form of audio description (AD) for dance. Audio description allows blind and visually impaired people to be included fully in the joy of artistic expression.

Co-directed by Dark Room Ballet founder Krishna Washburn and choreographer Heather Shaw, Telephone is the first screendance film created specifically with a visually impaired audience in mind, while facilitating an immersive sensory experience for audience members of all sight levels.

Created during the global pandemic, the film features diverse disabled and non-disabled artists from across the globe, demystifying and legitimizing AD, not just as an access tool, but as a beautiful, rich art form in its own right.

Telephone is at the forefront of a completely new approach to audio description. Most of what is considered “best practice” for AD is meant for television or film. A neutral AD voice describes the visuals and does not express emotional content. In television and film, the performers’ voices (layered over the AD) inform the audience of the emotional themes. However, in dance, performers rarely speak. Is the neutral AD voice really the best choice for dance? How do those listening to the AD connect with the emotional content of the performance?

The audio describers of Telephone are reshaping the world’s perception of AD, adding emotional context and allowing their words to dance in the same way a dancer’s body moves. The result is a beautiful merge of poetry and movement, proving that:

Dance is visceral – not merely visual.

You can help!

Telephone is now holding initial screenings!

But we need to raise funds which will go directly towards the fantastic team of artists we have on board, as well as to cover costs to produce the film. Our original goal was met (covering initial costs) and we are now fundraising to cover post-production needs such as editing, accessibility providers, composers and more.

  • Interested in making a one-time donation? You can do so on Ko-Fi. 💰
  • Have you had a chance to buy a bracelet made by Krishna at DARK ROOM ADORNED? There are over 60 to chose from, like BLINDING LIGHTS. 💎
  • And don’t forget, there are 3 Dark Room Ballet tote bags left! You can buy one to support TelephoneHeels like Magnets (thanks to JazeluCreations on eBay) 👜

Before you go…

And if you just can’t stop thinking about telephones, watch the Yip Yip Martians discover a telephone on Earth and try communicating with it using different animal sounds they know on Sesame Street!

Thank you as always, for supporting the missions Dark Room Ballet and the Telephone Film!

News / Announcements

Help Telephone Film reach its goal of 15k by Nov 15th!

Help Telephone Film reach its goal of 15k by Nov 15th! (on YouTube, captions available)

Support disability justice and arts access – help Telephone Film reach its goal of 15k by Nov 15th!

Funds raised will go directly towards the costs of post-production, bringing this important screendance documentary to the finish line.

No donation is too small and we appreciate all of your support.

Donate on Ko-Fi:

Video description: Split screen Zoom recording of Telephone co-directors Krishna Washburn and Heather Shaw.

Follow Telephone Film!

On Facebook:

On Instagram:

On Vimeo and Ko-Fi, too!

Krishna's Thoughts

Oak & Ash & Thorn (Monday Night Open Level Class)

Thanks to Clarissa and the The Longest Johns for this music request for Monday’s Dark Room Ballet Open Level ballet class!

If you’ve never taken Dark Room Ballet Open Level, this is what the pedagogical self-audio description sounds like in a typical plié combination.

This exercise integrates three types of reverence cambré; can you figure out what they all have in common? Come dance with us in the Dark Room, the music is great and the learning never ends!

Watch or listen on YouTube:

Krishna's Thoughts News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet on the NFB “Scene Change” Podcast (June 2022)

The Scene Change podcast is presented by the National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division:

So, you're blind. Can you sing? Can you play an instrument? Can you act? Can you dance? Of course you can! 

Join Lizzy Muhammad-Park and her special guests as they pull back the curtain on their successes and struggles as blind people in the performing arts. Be educated, be challenged, be entertained, and be empowered to join us as we work together to make a "Scene Change" for the blind.

On this month’s episode:

Accessible Ballet

Join Lizzy for this month’s riveting episode featuring Krishna Washburn, a professional ballet dancer, and the artistic director and sole teacher of ‘Dark Room Ballet‘, along with The ‘Dark Room Ballet’ program coordinator and lead administrator Alejandra Ospina.

Interested in ballet? This is an online ballet course specifically for blind dancers. She’s got something for everyone. She’s got intro courses, they are eight weeks long, and she also has open courses for experienced blind professionals. They are tuition free.

In this episode, you will hear more about this exciting opportunity and all it entails.

Her summer course is beginning on June 25, and registration closes on June 18, 2022. Sign up here:

Listen to the episode

Listen on YouTube:

NFB’s “Scene Change” Episode 21: Accessible Ballet on YouTube (transcript available)

Listen on SoundCloud:

NFB’s “Scene Change” Episode 21: Accessible Ballet on SoundCloud

Visit the podcast on to listen or link to other platforms:

NFB’s “Scene Change” on

Read the Transcript:

Transcript: Dark Room Ballet on NFB “Scene Change” Podcast (June 2022) – opens in a new tab

Episode 21 notes:

0:41 – Introducing Krishna
3:10 – How it’s like to be a blind ballet instructor
16:08 – How to sign up and prices for other courses
31:48 – The difference between sighted, blind, and balanced
36:15 – Do students need to purchase ballet shoes before class
37:05 – What tape is used
39:49 – Krishna dancing while teaching
41:59 – Who taught Krishna
47:39 – Misconceptions for teachers to break
54:40 – Advice for anyone advocating for equality in the dance space
1:04:51 – Contact information
1:07:54 – Outro

Connect with the National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division!
Like on Facebook:
Follow on Twitter: @NFB_PAD

News / Announcements

JUNE WORKSHOPS: Anatomy and Audio Description

Announcing two upcoming workshops open to all (priority given to blind and visually impaired students), no prior experience required.

Both workshops take place online via Zoom.

To register for one or both workshops, please write to as soon as possible to complete the intake process.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)

No Diagram Anatomy for Dancers in the Dark Room Presents Anatomy in Detail: The Gluteus Complex (Butt Class) 

(link to Movement Research class listing)

The first in a series of three highly detailed workshops analyzing specific anatomical areas in detail. In this workshop, we will use movement and conversation to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the gluteus complex (the butt!), but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning in this area. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Yes, we’ll be laughing, too.

Part One: Superficial muscles

Part Two: Intermedial muscles

Part Three: Deep muscles

Part Four: Bone

Part Five: Nerves and patterns of motor neuron response

Saturday, June 18, 2022

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Voices from the Dark Room: The Multitude of Audio Descriptions and When to Touch Them 

(link to Movement Research class listing)

This self-audio description workshop gives students the framework for thinking of audio description as not a singular process with a singular best practice, but as multiple art forms with multiple purposes. Audio description has, for too long, been considered as an access tool that can be deployed at a moment’s notice with little forethought, but this sort of thinking creates environments of severe inequity. Classrooms, rehearsals, and performances where blind and visually impaired people are given inadequate connection to the art at their center are ableist places.

Part One: Audio Description in Technique Class

Part Two: Audio Description for Narrative Performance (story arc)

Part Three: Audio Description for Non-Linear Performance (emotional quality)

Part Four: Audio Description as Cooperative Creation and Collaboration (two voices)

Part Five: Audio Description for the Ensemble (a thousand voices)

News / Announcements

COMING SOON: No Diagram Anatomy for Dancers in the Dark Room (March 19 and March 26)

Sponsored by Movement Research, these two workshops are a continuation of and makeup dates for workshops held last year in the anatomy series.

Like all current Dark Room Ballet classes, these workshops:

  • Will take place virtually using Zoom
  • Prioritize the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults
  • Are free, especially for blind and visually impaired students
  • Are taught by Krishna Washburn, a blind professional dancer and dance teacher

Workshop dates:

  • The Complete Lower Body: from the soles of the feet to pelvis — Saturday, March 19 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)
    The Complete Upper Body: from the fingertips to the crown — Saturday, March 26 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

You can participate in either or both workshops.

Our instructor Krishna says of the workshops:

These two workshops are meant to help participants cultivate deep levels of body awareness, to get to know and appreciate the unique features of their own anatomy, and to feel movement in a highly specific way that can then be described verbally (self-audio description). These workshops are an invitation to disabled dancers, especially blind and visually impaired dancers, who may have been denied important information about their own bodies, or who have been discouraged from trusting their own physical perceptions, to find certainty, confidence, and joy in movement. 

These two workshops are not fine-grain scientific anatomical analysis, but workshops that do deep dives regarding sensing highly specific anatomy on more targeted regions of the body will be coming up later this year (June: Pelvis, August: Foot, November: Neck)

To register:

Please write to:

Please let us know which workshop you would like to attend…

If you are not blind or visually impaired, please let us know why you would like to attend these workshops…

If you are a current or returning Dark Room Ballet student who has already registered, you don’t have to write, but you can if you want to!

Please note:

These workshops are separate from Dark Room Ballet Introductory Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults (which begin again on Saturday, April 9th) and Dark Room Ballet Open Level classes, which are ongoing and open for registration; please let us know if you are interested in either class so we can learn more about you as a potential new student.

News / Announcements

WORKSHOP: Self Audio-Description and the Motor Neuron: Learning How to Play Your Own Instrument, Wed. February 16th from 6 PM to 7 PM (Eastern Time)

Krishna Washburn of Dark Room Ballet will be sharing one of her popular anatomy and audio description workshops, this time sponsored by Hook & Loop out of Philadelphia (not Movement Research in NYC).

The Dark Room Ballet community and friends are invited — if you have participated in a version of this workshop before, please feel free to join again!

The workshop is free and will take place online; you must register directly with Hook & Loop to receive the Zoom information and recording after the event.

Description and RSVP link below.

Self Audio-Description and the Motor Neuron: Learning How to Play Your Own Instrument

Wednesday February 16th, 2022

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Eastern Time

Facilitated by Krishna Washburn
Closed Captioning available

This workshop helps people to begin developing a self-audio description practice, in order to create movement art that connects with others on a visceral level. This workshop de-centers and de-prioritizes sight, and is appropriate for movers and dancers of all levels of experience or inexperience. Learn how to understand how movement feels in your body, and then practice talking about those feelings with others while also learning about the wonders of human anatomy.

By RSVP-ing you will receive the zoom link, full access information and a recording for this workshop. Recordings will be sent out by early March via Hook & Loop.

Please fill out this form to RSVP: Self Audio-Description and the Motor Neuron: Learning How to Play Your Own Instrument

Please send email to with any questions.

News / Announcements

What Blindness Brings to Art: a conversation with blind and visually impaired movement artists

A virtual event on Friday February 4

Hook & Loop is a Philly-based accessible artist collective led by people identifying as Disabled, chronically ill, or on the disabled spectrum which create accessible spaces, creative practices and interdisciplinary events to be experienced by everyone.

As part of the “Fractals” series, Krishna Washburn will be participating in a virtual event…

Facilitated by K. Hamilton Projects via Hook & Loop:

What Blindness Brings to Art: a conversation with blind and visually impaired movement artists


2 PM to 3 PM Eastern Time (podcast screening to follow until 4 PM)

Featuring: Kayla Hamilton, Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, iele paloumpis & Krishna Washburn

Full Program Information for all events in this series: HOOK & LOOP Fractals Program

To RSVP for this event, please fill out this form and select the February 4th event: HOOK & LOOP Virtual Event Series RSVP