“One of the useful elements of an encounter with a new idea is what perspective does it provide? For those of us with no practical information about people with disabilities, the perspective from DanceAbility is radical. It causes us to re-examine the disabled people. This is no small matter because without experience we are a mass of prejudices and ignorance.”

∼Steve Paxton

Founder of Contact Improv


Some of the following awards were made to DanceAbility International or parent company Joint Forces Dance Company. Others were awarded to Artistic Director Alito Alessi, and regarding these, Alito notes, “The individual awards are an honor, but not mine alone. I have learned so much from each person I have danced with, as well as each person who has helped behind the scenes. I am so grateful to all the pioneers of dance and mixed-abilities dance who have created a world-wide movement that continues to grow.”

  • Fulbright Senior Specialist, 2007
  • Hong Kong Choreographer of the Year Award, 2007
  • Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, 2006
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2005
  • Fentress Endowment Award, Eugene Arts and Letters Award, 2005
  • National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, 1995 - 1996
  • National Endowment for the Arts 2-year Choreographer’s Fellowship, 1992-1994
  • Oregon Arts Commission Choreographer’s Fellowship, 1990-1991
  • National Educational Film & Video Festival, Silver Apple Award, and American Film & Video Association Festival , Finalist, for ‘Common Ground: Dance and Disability’ (co-producer, teacher of workshop documented), 1991
  • Oregon Governor’s Arts Awards, Guest Choreographer, 1991
  • Metropolitan Arts Commission Award, 1989-1990
  • Tides Foundation Award, 1988-1989
  • Common Foundation Artist in Community Award, 1987-1988
  • University of Oregon Kole Cup Award and Joseph Kinsman Starr scholarship for outstanding community contributions, 1974

DanceAbility International
Joint Forces Dance Co.
576 Olive St. Suite 208
Eugene, OR 97401