Today we have a special guest for you! We have Nicole Warren from Chance 2 Dance (C2D). In 2018, Nicole Warren designed the blueprints for a new dance studio vision; C2D built out the state of Florida's First sensory-friendly dance studio and black box theater to provide a safe, inclusive, and accommodating atmosphere for all individuals to receive specialized dance classes. Chance 2 Dance is Central Florida's only inclusive and accommodating dance organization that provides complete programming for the special needs and disabled community.
These classes were also recognized as a 'Unique Abilities Partner' for staffing on-site work experience employees with jobs to nurture and support life skills. Nicole is also the owner of Odyssey Dance Company; a youth-elite training dance company, and co-owner of Inclusive Impact Initiative; where she became a #1 Best Selling children's author for co-writing 'An Inclusive Classic: Peter Pan in Everland.'
Tune in today to learn how Nicole focuses on the future as an advocate for acceptance and hopes to help our modern world embrace opportunities for all individuals through equal-arts options and dance.
Don't forget we love to hear from our listeners! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We look forward to receiving your questions on our Google Phone (407) 900- 9305, Facebook (Practical Access), Twitter (@AccessPractical), or Instagram (@Practical_Access).
Welcome to Practical Access. I'm Lisa Dieker.Rebecca Hines:
And I'm Rebecca Hines. And Lisa, one of the most fun things about this summer series is the energy that everybody's bringing in. I know today's guests is going to bring it Who do we have?Lisa Dieker:
Oh, so we have with us today, Nicole Warren from Chance to Dance. And we are so excited, Nicole to not only hear your personal story, but your professional dance story. And so welcome to the podcast.Nicole Warren:
Thank you. I'm so excited.Lisa Dieker:
Right, so we're so excited. She's a UCF alum. We just have to plug that one more time, University of Central Florida. But really, Nicole, can you share with us a little bit about your story about how you got started with Chance to Dance? And then we'll ask you a few more questions about your organization.Nicole Warren:
Absolutely. So I grew up dancing. From the age of three, I ran into a pole and lost all the nerve endings in my front two teeth. So I was very insecure and had very terrible confidence. And I also was had am diagnosed ADHD. So my parents put me in dance. And fast forward. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with my bachelor's in education, and after graduating,Rebecca Hines:
And I know, I know that that that you're you're driven by this personal experience that really led you to see somebody who had really significant needs. I think one thing that's impressive about your your website is that you really demonstrate a full understanding of people of all types of abilities. I appreciated that there's even a social story on your going to class for Chance to Dance and so do youNicole Warren:
Great question, a little bit of a loaded question. So we have multiple programs. I'll focus on our studio programs to answer your question. The classes are how we offer them, we try to base them around age, and then level and then style. We've created our own programming that we hope to codify and replicate so that we can share inclusive dance programming. But for right now we'reLisa Dieker:
Well, that's, that's exciting. And I think beyond dance, if I if I've looked correctly, you also do stage performances. Can you talk to me a little more about that and what that might entail if I want to not just dance but also perform what does that look like?Nicole Warren:
So we do an annual production in the winter, which is an inclusive retelling and we take a popular story like the Nutcracker or Charlie Brown Christmas and we completely rewrite this story to be an inclusive retelling where the characters are identified with varying backgrounds and needs as the lead characters and so we want to showcase that you can have a quality, performance andLisa Dieker:
Okay, got it. Got it? And what about cost? Is there a cost involved? And a timeframe? Like would parents want to have fun with their kids and drop them off for some dance classes? Is it 10 minutes, 30 minutes an hour, and is it one week, two weeks, three weeks, and what? What's the range I would have to be looking at to have this wonderful experience.Nicole Warren:
So the goal of Chance to Dance is equal arts opportunities. And so with equality, we want to mirror a traditional dance studio, a traditional dance school. So we run season round, and we do it semester wise. So we follow the school calendar schedule, and we do our fall season is August to December, our spring season is January to May. And then, of course, summer is June to July.Rebecca Hines:
And honestly, part of being part of inclusion is you know, that is, that's what neurotypical kids do. That's what other kids do, you know, at some point you do. If you're going to compete, then you're, you know, you're going to reach a ceiling, potentially. So I sometimes remind people that, Oh, it feels like Oh, but my kid didn't get to go and be a part of the elite group.Nicole Warren:
Yeah, absolutely. So in 2018, I designed and Chance to Dance built out the state of Florida's first sensory friendly dance studio. But prior to that, our inception was 2016. And the way that I started, the entire organization was just walking up to a charter school or a private school or a vocational location. And just saying, Hi, I'm Nicole, I just started this nonprofit can I offerLisa Dieker:
That's that's really exciting. And I see on your site, a place for volunteers and donors. So if I were, you know, had the energy to dance, what would I do to volunteer and what what maybe training would you give your volunteers or what might that look like?Nicole Warren:
So, to be a volunteer, you just register on our website and we have a volunteer form. And then we have a little orientation where you you meet me and you a very minimal interview, just to make sure like we If it's all kosher, and we have good vibes, and then we give you like a waiver or liability agreement, and then we give you some tricks to the trade, but mostly you're not everLisa Dieker:
So if you're needing some student volunteer hours as a high school student, and you're a dancer, this would be a great opportunity. And I think my last question would be how, what if I'm not in the backyard where Chance to Dance is, and I want to get this started? I love your thought of just offering some dance lessons. So that's great. If you're a dancer, what if it's the flip side,Nicole Warren:
Right, so what we actually have been doing, I mentioned the Movez program earlier, that is a codified program that will have modules and trainings. And we are also creating a replicable training manual and workbook so that we can create a certification program for Chance to Dance so that you can be Chance to Dance certified and take your certification and get a badge and your and weRebecca Hines:
And that's, that's great. It's so needed, it's so difficult for people sometimes to take that first step. So it's great that there's resources like you guys out there. So my final question is, you know, if I'm a parent or a teacher, and I have some space, whether it's a small classroom, in my school or someplace, you know, in my home to create a sensory friendly dance area,Nicole Warren:
I always go through the list of like, what are your top key senses so sight, sound, hearing, taste and touch. And so for sight, I usually would recommend in encouraging consult that they use color theory. So all of our branding and everything around our studio is all based around color theory colors that would enhance and encourage positive moods. Bright blues, but not a dark,Rebecca Hines:
Those are great suggestions.Lisa Dieker:
But yeah, I noticed you have a great on this website, your sensory friendly list as well as a good video of the studio. So we encourage folks to come out and look at your site Chance to Dance. And Nicole, we're so appreciative of you joining us on our podcast to talk about another way to have fun this summer.Nicole Warren:
Absolutely. And registration is now open for fall 2022.Lisa Dieker:
We love it. Love it. Well make sure you register early and get up to get that space. So thank you. And if you have further questions for us, please send us a question on our Facebook at Practical Access or you could Tweet us at Access Practical. Thank you agian Nicole for joining us. Thank you so much. I'm so thank you