Footloose teaching willard how to dance

What Line Dance is in the Movie Footloose? Is it Easy to Learn? – Country Dancing Tonight

The Slappin' Leather Line Dance

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The Slappin' Leather Line Dance

As someone that loves line dancing, it is exciting to see line dancing get a little extra exposure in, say, a major movie or tv show. That’s exactly what happened back in 2011 with the remake of the movie Footloose! Early in the movie the 4 main characters (Ren, Ariel, Willard, and Rusty) go to the big city and get in on some country line dancing. The line dance is pretty easy to see and very intriguing and many have been curious what it is called. But between the name of the song heard and the name of the movie, there seems to be some confusion! This post will break it all down and should answer all questions!

The line dance in the 2011 remake of Footloose is Fake ID, choreographed for and danced to Big and Rich’s song Fake ID. The Choreographers were Jamal Sims & Dondraico Johnson.

That’s really all you need to know if you were just wondering what the dance is, but read on to see why it could be confusing and also to find out more about the dance and best of all how to learn it yourself!

How People Get Confused about the Line Dance in Footloose

It can be a little confusing to people what the line dance might have been for a few reasons. Firstly, at least one resource online confuses the dance with another dance Jamal Sims choreographed for a different movie. Back in 2009, Jamal was the choreographer for the dance scene in the Hannah Montana Movie and created Hoedown Throwdown. So, that’s the first thing! The line dance in Footloose is not Hoedown Throwdown! It’s Fake ID.

Next, it might be confusing, simply because there is a line dance called Footloose. And as with many popular songs, there will always be choreographers that will create their own line dance for a given song. Footloose is no different! There are (when I counted) about 21 versions! With so many Footloose line dances out there it makes sense people would just assume that in the Movie it must be one of them. But it is not! It is Fake ID.

Finally, there’s a very popular line dance called Slappin’ Leather that was choreographed for the original song of the same name as the movie. I’m guessing this has led some to think that line dance is the one in the movie. but it is not! The line dance in Footloose is Fake ID!

But as a side note, Slappin’ Leather is a very fun line dance and easier to learn by far than Fake ID! I’ve included Slappin’ Leather in my list of 20 Beginner Line Dances You Need to Know! post. Click here and click on #16 in the list to watch a video, download the step sheet, and learn Slappin’ Leather!

Is it Easy to Learn the Line Dance Fake ID?

As I just mentioned Slappin’ Leather is an easier dance to learn than Fake ID. So, yes Fake ID is actually a pretty hard dance to learn. If you are a beginner it might take some effort. But if you can hang in there and get it, beginner dances will be a breeze! Below are 3 videos showing how to do the line dance Fake ID. To get an idea of how the dance stacks up in degree of difficulty here are some stats about the dance:

Original Choreography:

Count: 48Tag: After each wallWall: 1Level: Intermediate can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Foot Loose – Fake ID Line Dance – Official Dance Tutorial (

The official Fake ID video being taught by the choreographers Jamal Sims & Dondraico Johnson. This is cool to see the actual choreographers teach the steps to the Fake ID line dance from Footloose! Watch ’til the end when they dance in sync with the Footloose movie clip!

Modified Choreography:

Count: 48Tag: After first wallWalls: 4Level: Intermediate

https://youtu. be/LCLCN4CqwP4Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Footloose (Part 1) Line Dance Instruction Choreography by Kerry Kick (

This video has the title “Footloose!” I think because its modified choreography, but still seems like Fake ID to me. It is a variation of the dance to make it a 4 wall dance. (Part 1 of 2) can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Footloose Part 2 Instruction Choreography by Kerry Kick (

This is part 2 of the teaching video. This will go over the tag that starts the dance on wall 1 like Jamal’s but then shows how it can be a 4 wall line dance from that point forward. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Fake ID – Line Dance – May 26, 2012.mp4 (

This is a great demo of the dance with all the sections/tags noted as it progresses.

I’ve included these last three videos because at least in Southern California this is the version of Fake ID people are learning and dancing. And I won’t lie, the original choreography is already pretty challenging, but this 4 wall version with 3 tags is even trickier. If you’re new to line dancing and you just said: “what’s a tag?” Click here for an explanation of tags.

Step Sheet: Click here to download.

Comparing the Dancing in the 1984 & 2011 Footloose Movies

While the music and dancing are different, the storyline and dialogue are surprisingly identical. The new movie really doesn’t get ambitious and stray too far from the original. I think the movies complement each other well. There are parts of the original that are superior to the redo, but also scenes in the remake that explore the moment more and take things to a new place.

For example, the death-defying, heart-pounding early scene of Ariel recklessly straddling the two speeding vehicles toward an oncoming semi is not recreated in the 2nd movie. However, it does depict the original tragedy that is the foundation for the story. It’s heart-stopping as you immediately know no one survives.

The car accident that kills 5 high school kids in Bomont is tragic and leads to the town’s conclussion that rock ‘n’ roll music, alcohol and dancing are to blame. Dancing is outlawed… until city boy Ren comes to town to shake things up.

But back to the dancing and music of the movies…

The Original Footloose movie with choreography by Herbert Ross is super fun and explosive. In general, the dancing in the original feels more authentic and raw. More spontaneous and, more rebellious.

The new Ren actually seems less rebellious and more clean cut. The dancing follows in some way. I think the main difference in dance scenes between the two movies would be the scene that features the line dance Fake ID. In the original, the music heard is Hurt So Good and Footloose. In the new movie, the scene is far more developed with the much more choreographed dance scene featuring the line dance Fake ID to the Big and Rich song Fake ID.

Jamal Sims’ Goal for the 2011 Footloose Choreography

When interviewed Jamal Sims working for Craig Brewer (the director of Footloose) said their goal was to “catch the spirit” of the original and not to create something over the top. They wanted to maintain the Southern homeyness of the original but interject modern dance moves into it. I think they were successful. 27 years after the original release, Craig Brewer and Jamal Sims gave us a modernized high-res version of Footloose for a new audience.

The final video embedded here is the scene including the line dance Fake ID. One thing for sure is that it’s energetic and fun and I’m sure it has led to lots of people wanting to learn it and even get further into line dancing. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Footloose (2011) – Line Dancing Scene (6/10) | Movieclips (

Footloose line dancing scene when Ren, Ariel, Willard and Rusty cross the state line to go dancing.

Footloose Movie Soundtracks Compared

Besides the dancing and the different choreography, just for fun, here’s a comparison of the actual music. Both movies took most of their soundtrack from modern songs of their time, but the remake also kept several from the original.

1984 Footloose Original Soundtrack: (In order of occurrence)

SongArtistMovie Scene
The Girl Gets AroundSammy HagarAriel straddling the car & truck
Dancing in the SheetsShalamarHi-Spot Drive-In Theater scene
Bang Your HeadQuiet RiotGetting pulled over by cop scene
Somebody’s EyesKarla BonoffAriel and Chuck’s picnic
Holding out for a HeroBonnie TylerTractor chicken race scene
NeverMoving PicturesRen’s angry dance scene
Hurts So GoodJohn MellencampDance club scene
Waiting for a Girl Like YouForeignerDance club scene
FootlooseKenny LogginsDance club scene
Let’s Hear it for the BoyDeniece WilliamsTeaching Willard to dance scenes
I’m FreeKenny LogginsFinal dance preparation scene
Almost ParadiseAnn Wilson and Mike RenoSlow dance at the prom scene

2011 Footloose Original Soundtrack: (In order of occurrence)

SongArtistMovie Scene
FootlooseBlake SheltonTitle and kids driving off
Where the River GoesZack BrownRen MacCormack coming into town
Walkin’ BluesCeeLo GreenCar repair scene
Bang Your HeadQuiet RiotCar repair scene
Suicide EyesThousand HorsesRace track scene
Holding Out for a HeroElla Mae BownQuiet scene of Ren at home
Catch Hell BluesThe White StripesAngry dance scene
Fake IDBig & RichDance club scene
Let’s Hear It for the BoyDeniece WilliamsTeaching Willard to dance scenes
Little Lovin’LissieFinal dance preparation
Almost ParadiseVictoria Justice and Hunter HayesSlow dance at the prom scene



Act 1

Ren McCormack, an ordinary city teenager, is in a dance club in Chicago, dancing off his stresses born of his long and arduous eight-hour work day ("Footloose"). But this is his last visit; he tells his friends that due to financial pressures brought on by his father's abandonment, he and his mother Ethel are moving to a small town in the middle of nowhere named Bomont (much to the chagrin of his friends, who gripe, "Bomont?! Where the hell is Bomont?!"), where his aunt and uncle have offered them a place to stay. Once there, Ren and Ethel attend church and get their first glimpse of the minister Shaw Moore ("On Any Sunday") a conservative minister who is a big authority figure in the town. After a long sermon lambasting the evils of "rock and roll" music and its "endless chant of pornography", Moore's daughter Ariel runs off to a gas station to meet her "trailer trash" boyfriend Chuck Cranston, along with his buddies Travis and Lyle. Chuck and Ariel are only together for the sex ("The Girl Gets Around"). While they embrace, Moore shows up and catches Chuck with his hands around his daughter, much to his displeasure.

The next day, Ren shows up for school and Willard Hewitt, a slow-witted cowboy with a bad attitude and a strong loyalty to his mother, decides to beat him up but Ren goes along with it and doesn't mind. So, they become friends. Ren tells Willard about the dancing he used to do in Chicago ("I Can't Stand Still"). Willard tries to stop him from dancing in the middle of the school, but Ren ignores him and puts on a show in front of the school principal, who angrily explains that dancing is illegal in the town of Bomont. Willard defends Ren, saying that he is new in town and does not know the rules. After the principal leaves, Rusty, who is madly in love with Willard, tells him how brave he is to have stood up to the principal on Ren's behalf. Rusty and her friends, Wendy Jo and Urleen, then explain to a bemused Ren that dancing is illegal after Moore passed a law forbidding dancing after a horrifying car accident involving four kids returning from a dance — one of whom was his son, though this is unknown to Ren or to the audience at the time. They then warn him to lie low unless he wants to get into even more trouble than he already is. ("Somebody's Eyes").

Ariel returns home to a disgruntled Shaw, who stubbornly ignores her despite her repeated attempts to engage conversation with him. Exasperated, she leaves the room in a huff, leaving Moore and Vi, his wife, alone to bicker over her. Shaw expresses his concern over Ariel's relationship with Chuck Cranston, but when Vi attempts to assure him their fling will soon cool down, he silences her and storms off to finish writing his sermon. Ethel, fed up with the groundless suspicion that Ren is forced to suffer as the "new kid", commiserates alongside Vi. They are joined by Ariel, and lament how no one ever listens to them, everyone being so set in their own ways that they are seldom allowed to get a word in edgewise ("Learning to be Silent").

After school that day, several of the students go to the Burger Blast, a burger restaurant. Ariel, Rusty and their friends are doing homework at a table while Willard talks to Ren, who is dressed up in a waiter's uniform and roller skates, as he has just been hired to work at the restaurant. When Ren takes Ariel's order, she flirts with him. Willard warns Ren that Chuck Cranston would not be happy if Ren were to become involved with Ariel. Ren then proceeds to question Willard about his relationship with Rusty, to which Willard proclaims that he thinks she is very good-looking, but is confused by her non-stop talking. Ariel is talking with her friends about how she wants to find a decent guy ("Holding Out for a Hero"). Chuck shows up in a fury and starts to yell at Ariel. Ren and Willard come to her defense, but it is Betty Blast, the owner of the restaurant, who breaks up the fight.

After Ren gets off work, Ariel takes him to her secret place beneath the train tracks where she discusses her hatred of Bomont. Unbeknownst to them, Chuck witnesses the pair together.

Afterwards, Ren walks her home, catching Moore and Vi by surprise, as they had believed that Ariel was at home in her room all the while. On top of Shaw's displeasure at his daughter's disobedience, a nervous Ren unintentionally insults him in an attempt to ease his worries, making the situation more awkward and causing all of Shaw's friends (who were over playing a game of bridge) to dash off. An irritated Shaw then sternly orders Ariel to cease her visits with him, but Ariel retaliates, claiming that he is doing no more than make her feel like a prisoner. After a fed up daughter and wife storm off in a rage, Shaw begins to feel a pang of guilt, pondering whether or not he is being fair with his daughter while considering the problematic task of being both a preacher and a father ("Heaven Help Me").

At school the next day, Ren shows up late to gym class with Ariel and Willard and explains to the teacher that he was jumped by Chuck, but the teacher won't listen. Ren laments that the citizens of Bomont are so "wound up", muttering that at least in Chicago, he had the clubs to turn to in times of stress. After a quip by Willard suggesting that they "should take the coach dancing", Ren realizes that throwing a dance would be the perfect way to alleviate the teenagers' pressures, while at the same time making a statement to Moore and the town council. Willard tells Ren that he is insane, but Ren won't listen and reveals his plan to all of the students, eventually winning them over. Word catches on to Moore, who, as the one responsible for banning it to begin with, is determined to do anything within his power to ensure that it does not happen ("I'm Free").

Act 2

Ren, Ariel, Willard and Rusty are in a town neighboring Bomont, where there is a big dance hall, complete with a country band ("Still Rockin'"). Rusty repeatedly attempts to dance with Willard, but he weasels his way out, dragging Ren off to the bar to get drinks. There, he explains to Ren that he doesn't know how to dance. Rusty overhears them, as do several cowboys, who begin to mock Willard. Rusty comes to his defense, saying that he might not be perfect, but she loves him anyway ("Let's Hear it for the Boy"). During Rusty's song, Ren tries to teach Willard to dance, who after much initial stumbling and apprehension whips off an amazing dance combination, much to Rusty's surprise.

Chuck Cranston then shows up at the Moores' home. When he tells them that Ariel is not where they think she is, Vi and Shaw becomes very worried. Chuck leaves, and shortly after Ariel then shows up pretending she was at her friend's house studying, but her parents reveal that they know she wasn't there. After an argument between Shaw and Ariel, Vi intervenes. Vi then tries to console him while telling him that his reprimanding is not all that logical ("Can You Find it in Your Heart?").

Meanwhile, Ren, Willard and their friends are trying to find a way to present their idea to the town council. Ren is extremely discouraged and considers forgetting the whole idea. Willard gives Ren some advice that his beloved mother told him and explains that he can't give up ("Mama Says (Reprise)"). Just as Ren's confidence has built up, Ariel shows up with a black eye and tells Ren that Chuck beat her up. Ariel tells everyone to leave her alone, but Ren comforts Ariel instead. The two go out to the train station Ariel took Ren to in Act 1. Ariel reveals that her brother was in the car accident that led to the dancing ban. She gives Ren a Bible marked with various passages he can use for his motion. It is then they both realize they've fallen in love with each other ("Almost Paradise").

At the town council meeting, Ren stands up and explains to the council, including the principal, coach, and Moore, that dancing is written about in the Bible and should not be illegal. Ren is favorably supported, but the members don't listen and the motion is dismissed.

After the meeting, Ethel explains that Shaw had those votes locked no matter what, and she suggests that Ren go talk to him face to face. Ren goes to the pastor's house and explains to him that he should not take his anguish about his son's death out on the entire town. They argue, but when Ren points out that they're both dealing with loss — Moore's loss of his son, Ren's loss of his father — they realize a common bond. Ren leaves, but struck by Ren's insight, Moore struggles with what to do ("I Confess").

At the next service, Shaw tells the whole congregation that he is going to allow the teenagers to hold a dance. They are overjoyed. Ren asks Ariel to the dance and Willard invites Rusty, telling her that he is even willing to dance with her. After the crowd leaves, Vi and Shaw are left alone, where Shaw tells Vi how much he loves her and how he has made many mistakes in the past ("Can You Find it in Your Heart?" (Reprise)"). At the end, Moore, his wife, and all the townsfolk attend the huge dance ("Footloose (Finale)"

Inclusive balls in Russia: how Samara teaches the whole country to dance / "Un Certain Regard"

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Tiflocommentary: color photograph. Young boys and girls are dancing in a spacious hall. The boys are dressed in dark trouser suits with a white shirt. The girls are wearing evening and ball gowns of gold, blue, white and other colors. Everyone is wearing medical sheet masks.

It would seem that salon ballroom dancing - slow waltz, lively quadrille and polka - are things of bygone days. However, what girl will refuse the opportunity to get into a fairy tale, where you can dance in a magnificent dress and beautiful music? But what if such balls are available to everyone - both for people with visual and hearing impairments, and for children in wheelchairs? Not a fairy tale - a reality. Samara has been holding inclusive balls for more than eight years, in which everyone participates.

This project is called "Inclusive Balls of Russia". Correspondent of the Un Certain Regard portal Vladimir Vaskevich talked with its organizers, choreographers and participants.

Balls for all

The idea of ​​inclusive balls was born in Samara in 2014 — thanks to the partnership of Alexey Trantsev, director of the Inclusive Resource Center, Ekaterina Sizova, head of the Inclusive Art Studio, and ballroom dance director Sergei Boldyrev.

At that time, Aleksey was developing youth inclusive practices in the regions, the main purpose of which was not to help a person with a disability, but the joint activity of young people with and without disabilities, aimed at a specific bright result. The idea of ​​ballroom dancing fit perfectly: beautifully, spectacularly, massively.

“The first inclusive ball was an experiment because there was little understanding of how to adapt salon ballroom dancing to the needs of people with musculoskeletal disorders, participants in wheelchairs and with mental disabilities. It was these target groups that became the first at our balls. To be honest, the effect of the first rehearsal, in which about 30 people took part, was shocking, but Alexey, Ekaterina and Sergey did not repulse this desire. This is where their experience came into play: Sergey went through an international ballroom dancing school, by that time he was giving balls all over the country, and Alexey and Ekaterina knew perfectly well how to work with people with disabilities of various categories. We exhaled after the first test and continued to do more,” said Lidia Vanyukova, manager of the Inclusive Balls of Russia project.

After a while, the organizers saw the first results: everyone already knew how to move around the hall, learned to hear the music and rhythm, and most importantly, they got carried away with the process so much that they were ready to come to rehearsals several times a week. The organizers were convinced that the historical salon ballroom dances could be adapted.

“After the first ball, the participants and organizers were extremely enthusiastic, and when one of the participants asked when the next ball would be, there was no doubt: this inclusive practice will continue to develop,” said Lidia Vanyukova.

Tiflocommentary: color photograph. In a spacious hall with colorful curtains on the windows, couples are dancing. The boys are dressed in dark trouser suits with a white shirt. Girls and women are wearing evening and ball gowns in pink, blue, white, black and other colors. Two girls are dancing while sitting in a wheelchair. Everyone has medical fabric masks on their faces.

How to make the ball accessible

When the number of people wishing to attend the ball began to grow, the organizers faced new challenges: they had to find a room where about a hundred people could dance and waltz at the same time.

“Each inclusive ball is a beautiful fairy tale and a grandiose event that adorns our city. It is especially pleasant to watch how the girls' dreams come true, because everyone wants to put on a magnificent dress, spin around in the dance and feel like a queen at this ball. But for the fairy tale to become a reality, the organizers have to work hard before the ball. While the participants are rehearsing new dances, we are looking for and agreeing venues, if necessary, we bring our own equipment to make them available. Separately, a lot of work is being done with volunteers. For them, preparation for the ball begins long before the dance. After all, a volunteer should not only help in preparation, but also learn how to interact with any participant in the holiday, regardless of their limitations and capabilities,” said Viktor Timakov, an employee of the Inclusive Resource Center and the organizer of inclusive balls.

Every year two balls are held in Samara. During preparation, the organizers recruit volunteers and train them on the rules of inclusive interaction with people in wheelchairs, with blind and deaf participants, and with people with mental disabilities. At the holiday itself, volunteers not only help in organizing, but also join the dancers - they become full-fledged participants in the action.

Soon such a colorful and unusual event attracted partners. The organizers, for example, found those who helped with the rental of dresses for ladies and suits for gentlemen. The project was supported by the Presidential Grants Fund and a number of companies, including Sberbank.

“Initially, we set ourselves the task of making this holiday possible for everyone. At first we doubted whether we would succeed, then five or seven balls passed - and now you will not surprise anyone if even during the transition a couple is formed, where one of the participants does not see, and the second dances in a wheelchair. By the way, at balls it somehow got accustomed to call strollers carriages, and at some balls we choose the king and queen of the holiday. Absolutely all participants are waiting for this event,” Viktor Timakov said.

Tiflocommentary: color photograph. In the spacious foyer with high panoramic windows, against the backdrop of a stand flickering in the light of spotlights, the ceremony of rewarding the king and queen of the ball takes place. A woman and a man sit next to each other in wheelchairs and hold hands. The dark-haired woman is wearing a blue ball gown with a full skirt and white elongated gloves. The man is wearing a black trouser suit with a dark shirt. They have bouquets of flowers and certificates in their hands. On the face are medical fabric masks.

How to dance blindly

When the organizers received a request for participation from blind people, they immediately set to work.

“Through experience, we understood what was one of the main differences between our inclusive dances and ordinary ballrooms. We refused to change partners during the ball. Participants will recognize their ladies and gentlemen in advance - for this, my colleagues and I try to select the most suitable couples by height, combination of restrictions and their capabilities. But if they wish, we never interfere if they want to dance with someone else,” said Daniil Kitsaev, choreographer of the Inclusive Balls of Russia project.

This feature turned out to be relevant for blind participants. During dance rehearsals, couples need to work out the elements so that they can feel each other, even if one of the partners cannot see. During the dance, the partner without visual impairment, even if he is in a wheelchair, is the leader, if necessary, he gives voice commands that help the blind lady or gentleman orientate himself.

“Preparing a pair with a blind participant always takes more time and requires individual work. We try to put our most experienced dancers in such pairs. They and the choreographers show the blind person the movements, if necessary, they themselves get into the necessary dance poses and give the visually impaired person the opportunity to touch how the arms and legs should be positioned, what the inclination of the body should be, what the dynamics of the movement should be, and so on. At first, during the movement, the sighted partner gives voice comments so that the blind person understands the essence of what is happening, and, if necessary, counts the rhythm of the dance, since the rhythm of the music and the dancers may not coincide, but you need to move in the general flow, while observing the figures of the dance, ”shared experience Daniil Kitsaev.

The first acquaintance with ballroom dancing begins with a slow waltz, it is the easiest to master. Be sure to study polonaise and polka, and eventually tango, figured waltzes and more complex dances.

“In the process of training our blind dancers, we encountered the fact that it is difficult for the blind to convey the beauty of movement. For example, with Arina (participant with a visual impairment. - Note ed.), we worked for a long time on such an element as raising hands - when they soar like the wings of a bird. For a long time, some kind of robotic aircraft was obtained. Then there were difficulties with the elegance of the bow, but Arina's numerous training and perseverance did their job. Now she is a permanent participant in the last balls,” said Ilya Ivochkin, administrator of inclusive balls.

Ilya joined the inclusive project as a volunteer. There are people with disabilities in his family, and he was interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the power of inclusion and the nuances of interaction with participants with different disabilities. Dance has become an ideal tool for this. Over time, Ilya began to be trusted by the most difficult newcomers, and a year later he became the best volunteer for inclusive balls and was invited to the team of organizers.

“I was very lucky with my partner, because by that time Ilya already had experience of participating in several balls. At first, I felt extremely awkward, I thought that I would trample everyone's feet, but the wonderful atmosphere of dance, mutual understanding and trust on the rehearsal site did their job. I loosened up, I began to get different elements. I even began to offer my advice to choreographers on how best to teach the blind. I asked everyone to say during transitions in dances: 'I'm here', so that when I move alone, it would not be so difficult for me to understand where someone is standing, to come to my partner by voice. When we move in columns (ladies in their own, gentlemen in theirs), the girls already know that I don’t see, if necessary, they correct with light movements if I start to get out of the column, ”said Arina, a participant in the balls with visual impairment.

The organizers also note that the balls are not only dances, but also the etiquette of communication, the ability to give each other compliments, new acquaintances. Each of the participants during the holiday learns to be gallant and interact effectively with others.

“Sergey Boldyrev created this holiday so that everyone gets their chance to leave the room, the chance to be in a society of equals. He liked to repeat often: ''All this is done in order to make a fairy tale come true for one evening''. Sergey passed away last year, it was a cruel blow for all of us. But wonderful balls remain, in the prosperity of which Seryozha has invested his whole soul, they continue their development through our common efforts. We want this fairy tale to be repeated as often as possible and for more people from different regions of Russia,” said Lidia Vanyukova. In memory of Sergei Boldyrev, a dance named after him is performed at the balls.

Tiflocommentary: color photograph. In the spacious foyer with high panoramic windows, the ceremony of rewarding the king of the ball takes place. A young man in a blue pantsuit and white gloves hands over flowers and a certificate to a man who is sitting in a wheelchair. The man is wearing a black trouser suit with a dark shirt. Everyone has medical fabric masks on their faces.

Inclusive balls — in every city

The idea of ​​inclusive balls is not unique, the organizers say. But it was in Samara that this initiative turned into a regular project and became more widespread. Since 2014, 14 balls have been held here, more than a thousand people from 50 regions of Russia took part in them.

“We try to follow the main principles of inclusion: we have about a third of the total number of participants with disabilities, and all dancers study together as equals in order to achieve the final result, and turn the ball into an event that will be remembered for a lifetime. We do not give concessions to anyone, but there are still no those who would not succeed at all. Everyone reaches their first ball. And then someone puts an end to it, and someone has been dancing with us for several years, ”said Viktor Timakov.

To exchange experience, the organizers began to invite participants from other regions to the balls. During the rehearsals, those who wished to pay for hotel accommodation and meals. Participants from different cities flocked to Samara, from Kaliningrad to Ussuriysk.

“For several years, participants from more than 50 regions of the Russian Federation came to us, everyone was impressed by the magic of the inclusive ball. Inspired, they left for their place, and then wrote to us when there would be another ball. So we realized that over time, Samara simply won’t be able to cope with the flow of applicants, and in order to scale the project, we need to start organizing inclusive balls in other regions,” said Lidia Vanyukova.

Employees of the Inclusive Resource Center trained future organizers at their sites, if necessary, and went to the place - to another region. Inclusive balls were held in Yaroslavl, Vologda and other regions. The idea of ​​an inclusive ball turned into a social franchise that began to spread throughout Russia.

“Last year we got the idea to organize several balls all over the country at the same time. We wanted people to dance together in the Volga region, in Siberia, in other regions of the country. This is how the project ''Inclusive Balls of Russia'' was born, which was supported by the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives. Now we are actively working with partners in different cities, organizing field trainings and master classes from our choreographers so that on December 2, 2022, the largest inclusive ball event will take place in our country for the first time,” said Lidia Vanyukova.

What is free dance and why does it have so many fans around the world

Maria Belokovylskaya went to the strangest disco in her life

Maria Belokovylskaya

The dancers groan, growl, suddenly fall to the floor, freeze, looking at one point, and then jump wildly, falling into a trance. An unfamiliar man puts his hands on my shoulders and looks intently into my eyes, as if we had just
returned from honeymoon. It seems that the entire musical heritage of mankind was sent to the mixer and the maximum whipping mode was chosen: after the Pet Shop Boys, the harbinger of the apocalypse rumbles Carmina
Burana. This is how a free dance looks like, it is also rhythmoplastic, it is also ecstatic dance. No aperitifs and mind-expanding substances - everything happens in a sober mind and sound memory. Only you, music and a group of strangers with whom you have to exchange something that you cannot yet formulate. At first, I feel like an uninvited guest at the Sabbath or a witness to an exorcism, and as an impostor I timidly huddle in the corner. But soon I cease to control the body and completely surrender to the action. What is happening in the hall is controlled by a tall man with the appearance of a shaman, who calls himself a guide. Not a teacher - during the free dance you are not taught anything. You yourself find the answers to the necessary questions, and the guide only helps to come to them in the shortest way.

Nick Hobbs

Tasha Birch

My guide is Nick Hobbs, an Englishman living in Istanbul. During his Moscow tour, which happened to him every few months before the pandemic, Hobbs holds open freedance sessions for everyone. These sessions are thematic. For example, our theme sounds like female waves. It looks like the name of the trainings about seduction, but in reality it is about the study of the mysterious female soul and gender expression. “I work only with those topics that are of interest to me,” Nick explains. “And I immediately see how it responds.” Hobbs teaches yoga, translates Jacques Brel, writes plays and guidebooks about unknown Istanbul, arranges performances and speaks nine languages, including flawless Russian. Answering the question of how he came to freedancing, Nick says that he always moved a lot and did not understand what to do with this energy. “I was an actor and performer, but not a dancer. And about 10 years ago I met Alex Nikiforov, one of the key figures of the freedance movement in Russia. My style in dance was formed under the influence of yoga and my inner feelings.” My session with Nick lasted more than seven hours, which flew by like a comet. But even this is not the limit. Dance meditation schools hold retreats in which participants dance for several days in a row. Freedance did not appear yesterday. She came up with one of the most popular techniques for working with the body at 1960s American Gabriela Roth is a director, dancer, philosopher and teacher with a special interest in shamanism. She called her practice "5 Rhythms". Roth had her own musical group, The Mirrors, and she even recorded two records with Boris Grebenshchikov - "Refuge", a kind of Buddhist ceremony consisting of prayers and mantras, and the album "Crossing". "5 Rhythms" is a mix of shamanism, mysticism, Eastern philosophy, Gestalt therapy and transpersonal psychology. The idea is that by being in motion, we free the mind and become one with our true nature, the source of limitless possibilities. In Prayer After Sweat, Roth talks about movement as a spiritual practice and details the basic principles of the 5 Rhythms.

Followers of Roth in the UK - Suzanne and Jacob Darling Khan, husband and wife. “After studying with Gabriela, we started teaching, and in 1996 we opened The Moving Center School UK, a 5 Rhythms center in Europe,” they say. “We have been running this school for 10 years and have worked with thousands of people from different countries.” Over the years, Suzanne and Yakov developed their own method, which was influenced by communication with Peruvian shamans. “Time spent in the Amazonian jungle changed everything.


There we got acquainted with mandalas and realized that they contain important knowledge for unlocking human potential.” In 2007, the Darling Khans created The School of Movement Medicine, a synthesis of mandala work and conscious movement practice. In Russia, one of the pioneers of freedance is Alexander Girshon, a candidate of psychological sciences, a dancer and a performer. You can get to his classes at the Center for Integral Dance, which he also founded. "AT 90% of the time I conduct dance-psychological training, explains Girshon. “This is a specific genre that combines dance improvisation, dance-movement and body psychotherapy, as well as personal growth training.” In dance, a person develops the so-called moving self: a holistic creative experience and the embodiment of one's own "I".

Actor, director and creator of the La Pushkin theater Oleg Zhukovsky also conducts trainings. The task of the dancer is the complete destruction of stereotypes of thinking, movement and behavior. A lot of what needs to be expressed is repressed into our subconscious. Zhukovsky's "Dance of the Body" training allows you to penetrate into the very depths and meet with an unfamiliar creature that lives in each of us, and then release it into the wild. In other words, wake up the inner beast. The principle of releasing pure, unrestrained
The creative flow is also at the heart of the theater project La Pushkin, with which Zhukovsky traveled to 16 countries. “Stanislavsky invented the theater of experience, and I have a theater of living” - this is how the creator describes his method.
Another Russian school at the intersection of dance and transpersonal psychology is Authentic Movement with Nina Kungurova.

Kungurova not only teaches classes, but also arranges online workshops with famous teachers. For example, with Janet Adler and Fu Schroeder. Adler is the author of the authentic movement discipline method and has been working in hospices for over 30 years. Schroeder is the abbess of the Zen Center in San Francisco, who actively supports programs for ethnic and sexual minorities. Everyone has their own way to freedance. Nick Hobbs' girlfriend, Tasha Birch, was a professional sportswoman before dancing meditation. “I was an athlete and ran marathons,” she recalls. - Then I became interested in yoga and once got to a yoga therapy session in the Crimea. After shavasana, the master suggested moving as the body wants. And my body didn’t want anything - I didn’t understand how to start dancing among strangers and what kind of movements these should be. There are asanas in yoga, and everything is clear with them, but here you need to follow an unknown call. As an athlete, I thought that I had perfect control over my body, but it turned out that we didn’t even know him.” Over time, Tasha said goodbye to professional sports - she says that, despite her good physical shape, "did not feel fully included - as if there were not enough pieces in the puzzle. " Once the girl got to the session "5 Rhythms" - and then everything fell into place. “I realized that dance practice can be very deep. For some, this is a drain of emotions, which is also great, but someone is experiencing qualitative internal changes. It is impossible to comprehend this by thinking, especially Western thinking: it is directed outward.” In order to better understand the structure of the human psyche and the processes that occur during free dance, Tasha received an education in the field of transpersonal psychology. “Now it is natural for me to express myself through the body and movements. And when I add a voice, it’s already a cosmic level of awareness,” she smiles. The author of this text is still far from space, but something in the universe has nevertheless moved. After a session with Nick Hobbs, you want to smile, thoughts in your head are like volatile substances, and your body is lighter than a balloon. Not a single school disco gave me such a feeling. And not a single slow dance ended with such an amazing date with yourself.

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