Categories
News / Announcements

Teacher Training Begins Summer 2024!

The Dark Room Presents: Teacher Training, Summer 2024 (Saturdays, July 6 through August 10)

This special all-virtual course for current and future movement educators continues our commitment to access, inclusion and disability justice for blind and visually impaired people. 

Should I Apply to Register for Dark Room Teacher Training?

Candidates for this course should:

* Be current or prospective movement educators in any movement practice, including but not limited to dance technique, dance improvisation, yoga, pilates, strengthening and conditioning, somatic practices, and choreography. This course prioritizes disabled applicants, especially blind and visually impaired people.

* Be able to commit to six weeks of intensive study from July 6 to August 10, including homework assignments.

* Have a strong commitment to making their own classes accessible to blind and visually impaired people.

Applicants do not need prior experience teaching blind or visually impaired people and they do not need any specific educational or professional background.

What Topics are Covered in Dark Room Teacher Training?

* Fundamentals of the traditional blind dance techniques, including back body posture and using the taped floor as a mirror replacement.

* Extensive practice in creating movement definitions and descriptions that de-center sight.

* Theories of movement curriculum development that support the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people.

* Extensive practice in self-audio description (moving and speaking simultaneously).

* Approaches to answering student questions, and developing a reflection-based teaching practice.

* Breaking down stereotypes about blind and visually impaired students, and the associated stereotypes of best practice for teaching blind and visually impaired students.

Yes, I Want to Apply! What do I do?

Step One: Send an email to info@darkroomballet.com with the subject line Teacher Training 2024.

Step Two: You will receive a Teacher Training application from info@darkroomballet.com; complete the entire application and submit it to info@darkroomballet.com by Thursday, June 28, 2024. 

Step Three: Your application will include a choice of time slots for an interview conversation with Krishna; Krishna will notify you about your interview call, which can take place on the phone or over Zoom. The interview call will last about ten to fifteen minutes and will not only give Krishna a better idea of your work and interests, but also give you and opportunity to ask her questions about the course.

Step Four: Show up to the first class on Saturday, July 6, 2024!

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet Introductory Classes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults — New Cycle Begins Saturday, March 9th!

Beginning Saturday, March 9th from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (New York Time)

Watch/listen to Krishna’s message on YouTube (open captions, transcript available)

NOTE: Sponsored by Movement Research, this class is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

About Saturday Introductory Level Class:

This is a FREE class!

This class is suitable for people with no prior knowledge of ballet. This repeating series of eight classes introduces students to the most common ballet vocabulary that they would need to know in order to participate in Open Level Dark Room Ballet Class. The class introduces students to necessary anatomical concepts like turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

Classes take place each Saturday online via the Zoom platform; there is also the option to call in via phone.

Dark Room Ballet classes and workshops are taught by Krishna Washburn, a blind dancer and dance teacher, and they prioritize the needs of blind and visually impaired students.

Note:

Please note that Dark Room Ballet Introductory Level Classes now operate as a scholarship program for new blind and low-vision students.

Learn more about the Dark Room Ballet Intro Level Scholarship Program


If you are a blind or visually impaired individual interested in learning ballet remotely, you MUST contact us by no later than March 6th, so you can complete the intake process to register for this class.

Register:

The next Intro Level cycle begins on Saturday, March 9th, 2023.

To register, email info@darkroomballet.com to begin the intake process.

You can also reach Dark Room Ballet by phone at (929) 367-0025

  • If you have some ballet experience, you may also qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights; please contact us if you are interested.
  • Returning students are welcome to re-join intro level classes, as well as encouraged to join Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class. Please let us know if you would like to re-join intro class as a returning student.
  • If you work with an organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, please share this information with people who may be interested in registering for this class.
  • If you are NOT a blind or visually impaired student, you may qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights on a select basis; please get in touch with us to explain your interest.

Other Classes in the Dark Room

In addition to online Introductory and Open Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults, Krishna often teaches workshops on related topics open to everyone, including anatomy, improvisation and audio description.

Learn more about past and upcoming online workshops: Dark Room Ballet Workshops

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Top image as shared and described on social media:

A green flyer with black text includes a black and white photo of a dancer wearing a tutu. With eyes closed and hair in a bun, the dancer stands with one leg en pointe, arms held above, with the other leg pointing upwards behind an arched back.

Text reads:
Dark Room Ballet with Krishna Washburn
Introductory Ballet for
Blind and Low-Vision Adults
NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED

Starting
Saturday
March 9th

8 classes
on Zoom

4 PM to 6 PM
(New York Time)

All Dark Room Ballet classes and workshops take place online via Zoom –
visit darkroomballet.com or LINK IN BIO for more info!

Categories
Krishna's Thoughts News / Announcements

Remembering 9/11

A message from Krishna:

Next Monday, please come dance with me in a virtual Open Level Ballet Class to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of September 11th.

Like a lot of native and longtime New Yorkers, I always remember this day as a time of fear and tragedy, but also of solidarity and immense courage.

I’m sharing a photograph from 2019, when I participated in a memorial performance for families affected by 9/11.

Taking place in Manhattan’s Times Square, the group performance was an offering organized by Butoh choreographer Vangeline, in which I appeared as the lead ghost.

This year, I would also like to organize a fundraiser for The September 11th Families’ Association, as part of our 9/11 Open Level Ballet Class commemoration.

If you would like to join Open Level Class on September 11th, please email us

If you would like to donate to the fundraiser through September 11th (via PayPal), please visit: We Remember in the Dark Room

Please join, donate, dance, remember, grieve, learn, and never, ever forget.

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet Introductory Classes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults — New Cycle Begins Saturday, September 9th!

Dark Room Ballet promo image described at end of post

Beginning Saturday, September 9th from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (New York Time)

NOTE: Sponsored by Movement Research, this class is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

About Saturday Introductory Level Class:

This is a FREE class!

This class is suitable for people with no prior knowledge of ballet. This repeating series of eight classes introduces students to the most common ballet vocabulary that they would need to know in order to participate in Open Level Dark Room Ballet Class. The class introduces students to necessary anatomical concepts like turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

Classes take place each Saturday online via the Zoom platform; there is also the option to call in via phone.

On a tan background, an image of two feet wearing ballet pointe shoes with toes pointing down.

Dark brown text reads:

DARK ROOM BALLET WITH KRISHNA WASHBURN

If you are a blind or visually impaired person who has never considered studying ballet before (maybe because you worry about your balance or your body awareness), come and study in the Dark Room! 

Balance and body awareness are learnable skills for blind and vision people, and ballet taught in the blind-specific tradition is probably the most efficient way to learn them. 

Master your body and balance with calm and confidence in a way that is meant for your own educational needs.

INTRODUCTORY BALLET
for BLIND/VI ADULTS 
STARTS SEPT. 9th

REGISTER NOW at 
LINK IN BIO or 
DARKROOMBALLET.COM

Note:

Please note that Dark Room Ballet Introductory Level Classes now operate as a scholarship program for new blind and low-vision students.

Learn more about the Dark Room Ballet Intro Level Scholarship Program


If you are a blind or visually impaired individual interested in learning ballet remotely, you MUST contact us by no later than September 5th, so you can complete the intake process to register for this class.


Register:

The next Intro Level cycle begins on Saturday, September 9th, 2023.

To register, email info@darkroomballet.com to begin the intake process.

You can also reach Dark Room Ballet by phone at (929) 367-0025

(If you have recently contacted us, we have received your message.)

  • If you have some ballet experience, you may also qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights; please contact us if you are interested.
  • Returning students are welcome to re-join intro level classes, as well as encouraged to join Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class. Please let us know if you would like to re-join intro class as a returning student.
  • If you work with an organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, please share this information with people who may be interested in registering for this class.
  • If you are NOT a blind or visually impaired student, you may qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights on a select basis; please get in touch with us to explain your interest.

Other Classes in the Dark Room

In addition to online Introductory and Open Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults, Krishna often teaches workshops on related topics open to everyone, including anatomy, improvisation and audio description.

Learn more about past and upcoming online workshops: Dark Room Ballet Workshops

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Top image as shared and described on social media:
A white flyer with black and white text that is placed around a stylized black line drawing of a dancing body, standing on one leg with a knee bent, back arched with one arm above the head and the other extended to the side.

Text reads:
Dark Room Ballet with Krishna Washburn
Introductory Ballet
For Blind and Low-Vision Adults
(no prior knowledge required)
Starting Sept 9th
8 Saturdays
4 PM to 6 PM (New York Time)
All Dark Room Ballet classes and workshops take place online via Zoom –
visit darkroomballet.com or LINK IN BIO for more info!

Categories
News / Announcements

REMINDER: Pro Class Starts on April 15th!

Hosted by Movement Research, Dark Room Ballet classes are designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults (though all are welcome).

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

Dark Room Ballet Pro Class

Saturdays, April 15 – June 3, 2023

4 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

This workshop is offered online via Zoom – participants can attend any sessions.

To register, please email: 
info@darkroomballet.com and let us know which sessions you would like to attend

Who can take Dark Room Ballet Pro Class? 

If you have been studying in Dark Room Ballet Open Level class regularly, and feel confident in your use of tape for orientation and your basic ballet vocabulary, you can take Dark Room Ballet Pro Class.

If you are a blind or visually impaired professional or pre-professional dancer, or a blind or visually impaired dancer who regularly studies in ballet classes designed for sighted people, you can take this class.

If you aren’t sure if you’re ready, ask Krishna during Question and Answer time in Monday night Open Level class (odds are, if she recognizes your voice before you self-identify, she will say yes). If you’ve never taken Open Level, please come! This is a low support class. That means you will not receive a vocabulary email the night before, and the descriptions Krishna uses will rely more heavily on vocabulary than anatomical words.

What is the format of Dark Room Ballet Pro Class? 

There is a five-part barre and a two-part center, plus a ten-to-fifteen-minute lecture on how to apply blind-specific dance techniques to advanced ballet techniques. As always, there is Question and Answer time.

Here’s a list of the weeks and the lecture topics:

Session One (4/15): Fifth Position and the Challenges Maintaining Bilateral Symmetry.

Session Two (4/22): Grand Plie — Why?

Session Three (4/29): Strategies for Maximizing Balance in Center Adagio.

Session Four (5/6): Inside and Outside Turns for Dancers That Don’t Spot.

Session Five (5/13): Traveling Turns for Dancers That Don’t Spot.

Session Six (5/20): Flow State and Petite Allegro.

Session Seven (5/27): Grand Allegro and Orientation.

Session Eight (6/3): Blind Dancers, Artistic Identity, and the Difference Between Bravado and Brio.

What makes Dark Room Ballet Pro Class different from Dark Room Ballet Open Level Class?

Krishna says…

1. There is a greater assumption of prior knowledge. In addition to the assumption that students will know the complete vocabulary set of Dark Room Ballet Intro, students should also recognize the following ballet vocabulary terms: pas de cheval, penche and fondu penche, sous-sous, grand battement, glissade, jete, assemble, temps levee, fouette tendu and fouette degage, couru, detournet, soutenou, pique step, faille, developpe through passe, and should be comfortable combining promenade with other movements. 

2. The mark for the exercise is quicker. In Open Level class, we mark by practicing a complete side of the exercise at a tempo that is similar to the music. In Pro Class, the mark is much more minimal. If the pattern is en croix or through alternating legs, the pattern might not be marked at all! You might find that the exercises in Pro Class are not actually more difficult than those in Open Level, but they require you to use your logical thinking more and your memory more. This is the case for Pro Classes for sighted people as well, in case you were curious!

3. The verbal description is simpler. In Open Level class, we’re used to hearing Krishna saying as much as she possibly can: anatomical words, body sensations, and ballet vocabulary all mixed together. Krishna’s descriptions are going to sound much more like the descriptions that she, herself, hears in technique class: mostly ballet vocabulary, with certain specific anatomical cues. She will sound less like a computer assistant and more like a human, but she promises to never, ever shut up!

4. You’ll have more chances with certain exercises. For most exercises, you’ll have two chances to master (same across two classes), but there will be other exercises that will carry across three classes.

5. You get a mini lecture on a specific advanced ballet movement concept as it pertains to blind dance technique specifically! 

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet Introductory Classes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults — New Cycle Begins Saturday, January 21st

Beginning Saturday, January 21st from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: Sponsored by Movement Research, this class is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

About Saturday Introductory Level Class:

This is a FREE class!

This class is suitable for people with no prior knowledge of ballet. This repeating series of eight classes introduces students to the most common ballet vocabulary that they would need to know in order to participate in Open Level Dark Room Ballet Class. The class introduces students to necessary anatomical concepts like turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

Classes are taught by Krishna Washburn, a blind ballet dancer and dance teacher, and take place on 8 Saturdays online via the Zoom platform; there is also the option to call in via phone.



Register:

Please note that Dark Room Ballet Introductory Level Classes now operate as a scholarship program for new blind and low-vision students.

Learn more about the Dark Room Ballet Intro Level Scholarship Program.

The next Intro Level cycle begins on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

If you are a blind or visually impaired individual interested in learning ballet remotely, you MUST contact us by no later than January 14th, so you can complete the intake process to register for this class.



To register, email info@darkroomballet.com to begin the intake process

You can also reach Dark Room Ballet by phone at (929) 367-0025


If you have some ballet experience, you may also qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights; please contact us if you are interested.

Returning students are welcome to re-join intro level classes, as well as encouraged to join Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class. Please let us know if you would like to re-join intro class as a returning student.

If you work with an organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, please share this information with people who may be interested in registering for this class.

If you are NOT a blind or visually impaired student, you may qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights on a select basis; please get in touch with us to explain your interest.


Other Classes in the Dark Room

In addition to online Introductory and Open Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults, Krishna often teaches workshops on related topics open to everyone, including anatomy, improvisation and audio description.


Learn more about past and upcoming online workshops: Dark Room Ballet Workshops

Categories
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:

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet Introductory Classes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults — New Cycle Begins Saturday, September 3rd

Beginning Saturday, September 3rd from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: Sponsored by Movement Research, this class is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

About Saturday Introductory Level Class:

This is a FREE class!

This class is suitable for people with no prior knowledge of ballet. This repeating series of eight classes introduces students to the most common ballet vocabulary that they would need to know in order to participate in Open Level Dark Room Ballet Class. The class introduces students to necessary anatomical concepts like turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

Classes take place each Saturday online via the Zoom platform; there is also the option to call in via phone.



Register:

Please note that Dark Room Ballet Introductory Level Classes now operate as a scholarship program for new blind and low-vision students.

Learn more about the Dark Room Ballet Intro Level Scholarship Program.

The next Intro Level cycle begins on Saturday, September 3, 2022.

If you are a blind or visually impaired individual interested in learning ballet remotely, you MUST contact us by no later than August 26th, so you can complete the intake process to register for this class.



To register, email info@darkroomballet.com to begin the intake process

You can also reach Dark Room Ballet by phone at (929) 367-0025


If you have some ballet experience, you may also qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights; please contact us if you are interested.

Returning students are welcome to re-join intro level classes, as well as encouraged to join Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class. Please let us know if you would like to re-join intro class as a returning student.

If you work with an organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, please share this information with people who may be interested in registering for this class.

If you are NOT a blind or visually impaired student, you may qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights on a select basis; please get in touch with us to explain your interest.


Other Classes in the Dark Room

In addition to online Introductory and Open Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults, Krishna often teaches workshops on related topics open to everyone, including anatomy, improvisation and audio description.


Learn more about past and upcoming online workshops: Dark Room Ballet Workshops

Categories
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: darkroomballet.com

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 Anchor.fm to listen or link to other platforms:

NFB’s “Scene Change” on Anchor.fm

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!
Website: www.nfb-pad.org
Like on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PerformingArtsDivision
Follow on Twitter: @NFB_PAD

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet Introductory Classes for Blind and Visually Impaired Students — New Cycle Begins Saturday, June 25th

Beginning Saturday, June 25th from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)   

NOTE: This class is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

This is a FREE class!

Hosted by Movement Research, Dark Room Ballet classes are designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

About Saturday Introductory Level Class:

This class is suitable for people with no prior knowledge of ballet. This repeating series of eight classes introduces students to the most common ballet vocabulary that they would need to know in order to participate in Open Level Dark Room Ballet Class. The class introduces students to necessary anatomical concepts like turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

Classes take place each Saturday online via the Zoom platform; there is also the option to call in via phone.



Register:


If you are a blind or visually impaired individual interested in learning ballet remotely, you MUST contact us by no later than June 18, so you can complete the intake process to register for this class.



To register, email info@darkroomballet.com to begin the intake process

You can also reach Dark Room Ballet by phone at (929) 367-0025


If you have some ballet experience, you may also qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights; please contact us if you are interested.

Returning students are welcome to re-join intro level classes, as well as encouraged to join Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class. Please let us know if you would like to re-join intro class as a returning student.

If you work with an organization that serves blind or visually impaired people, please share this information with people who may be interested in registering for this class.

If you are NOT a blind or visually impaired student, you may qualify to join the ongoing Dark Room Ballet: Open Level Class on Monday nights on a select basis; please get in touch with us to explain your interest.


Other Classes in the Dark Room

In addition to online Introductory and Open Level ballet classes for blind and visually impaired adults, Krishna often teaches workshops on related topics open to everyone, including anatomy, improvisation and audio description.


Learn more about past and upcoming online workshops: Dark Room Ballet Workshops