Hi, my name is Boban and I am a dance instructor at salsa school Baila Conmigo in Belgrade. I have been dancing for over 12 years. During all those years it would happen to me here and there to close my eyes when dancing with my partner.
After a while I have realized that you don’t need eyesight in order to dance. One day I asked myself, ‘‘How about having the blind and visually impaired people in our classes?’’
Salsa, bacata and many other similar dances all have started out in the street. So they do not require a special technique at all. The person just needs to walk and dance in the rhythm of the music. How about having blind people walk in the rhythm of music and dancing with other people? Because almost all forms in those dances can be done with eyes closed.
That is why I have decided to start a project ‘‘The Dance Does Not Go Blind’’. I have gathered a team of dance instructors, professional experts in this field and committed volunteers.
Our project has the following goals:
1. Start dance lessons for visually impaired people. Classes will be organized in the way that blind people can learn to dance various dances (salsa, bachata, merengue...), but
salsa class is a place where people have fun, socialize and laugh.
2. Include and integrate blind people at dance nights where other dancers also gather. What makes it special are the salsa parties. A place where people come to have fun and practice learned figures. We want blind and visually impaired people to feel part of society. And not only that, we want to have fun as we do.
3. Create the methodology of working with blind people, ‘‘open source’’, which means available and for free in any dance school or institution. At the end of the project we will gladly share the whole experiences with any dance school or individual wishing blind and visually impaired people to learn how to dance and help them become part of the dance evenings. All that experiences will be shared for free.
We have already collaborated with the blind children. It was a completely different experience for us, really emotional. So many children participated because they have not been part of similar activities. Working with them required enormous energy, but the pleasure on their faces gave us energy to keep creating. Unfortunately, we can not announce the recordings and pictures that we have collected on this occasion, because children are on them.
Because we lacked finances, we had to quit with classes after two months.
Society very often forgets about disadvantaged people. So often they feel alienated and they are distanced from other people. And it happens for so many times that a lot of content is unavailable to them because no adequate infrastructure for them exists in their town.
Due to the lack of social activities in everyday life, blind and visually impaired people were denied of basic human rights and are exposed to discrimination. One of the goals of this project is to reverse this process and to help them to get involved in society.
- Boban - salsa instructor and author of the project, Jelena - salsa instructor and student of the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Milica - salsa instructor,
- Professional staff from the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation in Belgrade - Doc. dr Aleksandra Grbović i Doc. dr Sanja Dimovski,
We know that we can make this happen. We just need people who want to help. We are ready, but we cannot succeed without you. With your help, everything is possible. Guys, get involved because our disadvantaged friends need you. Every cent of donation will make us closer to achieving our dream: opening again the dance school for the visually impaired people.
Your donations can be paid through the site Indiegogo
All resources that are spent will be publicly displayed. Here you can download the project budget and schedule resources of costs
Also, after the initiation of the project, on this page you can track progress of our activities, progress of our students as well as the dynamics of spending funds.
The project is supported by:
- White Cane Association, Belgrade,
- Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Belgrade,
- City Municipality Zemun, Belgrade.