[Perform-Talk] When it’s appropriate to let dance instructors know of your disability

Leslie Hamric lhamric930 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 13 00:41:28 UTC 2020

I would definitely call them and let them know. That way, you could get a sense of how they are going to react to the fact that you're blind. And if they react negatively and they're not willing to work with you, then you would know upfront that they're probably not the right class for you. whatever you do, avoid sounding apologetic about your blindness. I would start off by saying something like, since I am blind, I will need to Touch someone's legs and feet so I could feel what they're doing. Could you  be paired up with a partner? if you use Aira, make me you could use that to help you in class tomorrow. Since you have dance experience you may be fine. I always have to disclose my blindness when I am taking on a new student because I use a lot of touch at the beginning to feel their body position, their hands on the cello, etc. So I started by saying, since I am blind, I will need to use touch especially in the beginning to identify your body position and where your hands go on the instrument. It's especially important to tell a parent about this if I'm taking on a kid. And I always ask them, are you OK with me doing this? If they're not, then I may not be the right teacher for them. Well I can minimize my use of touch, I cannot take it out completely. Hth and keep us posted on how it's going.

Leslie Hamric
Cello and Braille Music Teacher
Board member of National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division

> On Feb 12, 2020, at 6:14 PM, Cierra Theriot via Perform-Talk <perform-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi everyone.
> hope you are all doing well. So tomorrow I’m wanting to do a tap dance class that they’re having here that’s opened. so last night I emailed and messaged the page on Facebook letting them know of my disability and that I may need a little help because I may need to touch and or be positioned physically to understand some of the movements. I haven’t received an email or a text back from them and I’m thinking about calling them. That makes me a little nervous but if I have to I guess I have to. I also just checked and it seems that they have seen my message but they have not replied. I just don’t want them to be freaking out because someone who’s blind it’s just dropping in without warning them. But I did tell them I have previous dance experience and I can do this. so what do you all think. Should I call them and explain things, or just show up tomorrow like anyone else that has no disability would. 
> Cierra Theriot
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