Since 1996, Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts has incorporated adaptive dance or physically integrated dance into its programming. In January 2018, Keshet welcomes Silva Laukkanen (Austin, TX) to the position of Adaptive Dance Director.

Ms. Laukkanen will be working as a teaching artist, dancer, and program coordinator with a concentration in Keshet’s adaptive/integrated dance program facilitating program expansion and curriculum development.

Silva has been working in the integrated dance field for over 15 years. She received her BFA in dance from The North Karelia College of Outokumpu, (Outokumpu, Finland). Her future took an unexpected turn during a chance opportunity to teach at a rehabilitation center in her native Finland where she was reminded of the transformative power of movement in the lives of everyday people. Because of this experience, she decided to re-focus her career on community and integrated dance. In 2003 she graduated from The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK with the emphasis in community dance. During the same year she became a certified DanceAbility teacher receiving her training in Trier, Germany. She has been working with integrated dance around the world teaching community programs to dancers of all backgrounds and company classes to professional integrated dance companies. Since 2010 she has been working with the Austin based dance company Body Shift as a teacher, choreographer and coordinator.  In 2011, she additionally joined Austin’s Forklift Dance as a teacher and dancer.

In 2017, Silva received the Keshet Fellowship for Contemporary Dance, which allowed her to spend a month dancing and creating in New Mexico at the Keshet Center for the Arts and throughout the state, sparking excitement for involvement in Albuquerque’s growing dance community. Upon her arrival, Silva will be working with Keshet’s Pre-Professional Education Director, Sarah Gonzales, to develop a curriculum track for adaptive dance within this program, establishing the first formalized pre-professional training program for young dancers with disabilities in the United States. Silva will also be working closely with Keshet’s long-time partner, the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, as Keshet and the Foundation build new adaptive dance opportunities throughout the State of New Mexico.

“Over the last 20 years Keshet has seen growth and continued need for adaptive dance programming throughout the state of New Mexico. “We are excited for Silva to build on this foundation and strengthen what Keshet offers dancers with disabilities,” Keshet Founder & Artistic Director, Shira Greenberg said

About Keshet:

Established in 1996, Keshet’s mission is to inspire and unite community by fostering unlimited possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts.  In 2013, the Keshet Center for the Arts was created as a home base for Keshet’s production season and as a resource for Keshet’s national and global performing arts partnerships; a welcoming space to house Keshet’s community education and engagement programming; and the central location for the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community (KIIC), a business incubator and resource center for arts entrepreneurs.  ###

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