Sarah Greene of Human Illustration leads one of her virtual dance classes. Photo by Stacy Williams, Saratoga Bridges
A pioneering online platform is giving people with special needs a fun and fulfilling way to express themselves through dance.
For Human Illustration [HI] founder Sarah Greene, helping individuals through an inventive online platform was a natural extension of her existence. “I could not imagine my life without dance. For the past 15 years, movement has propelled every other aspect of my being,” says the Bedford-based dancer and entrepreneur. “I graduated in May of 2020 from Skidmore College with my Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and honors in dance. Once the pandemic hit, I had a deeper internal focus and decided to earn my 200-hour certificate as a Registered Yoga Teacher. Additionally, I am currently enrolled in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College.”
It was also the pandemic that spurred Greene to found her online dance platform, from which she says she derives great pleasure. “I taught a dance class to 25 developmentally disabled individuals at Saratoga Bridges, a not-for-profit organization located in Saratoga Springs, New York, serving and providing resources for disabled individuals,” explains Greene. “My students inspired me each and every class. It was incredible to see how just the simple motion of tapping their feet on the ground lit up their faces with pure joy. After my in-person dance class at Saratoga Bridges was cut short, due to the pandemic, Human Illustration was born.”
Green notes that she “did not want her students to lose the opportunity to dance,” adding that “the sheer joy they experienced was something special. Although I could no longer be with them in person, I took a moment to evaluate my resources. A computer and myself were all I needed to create Human Illustration.”
Human Illustration is currently offering a 12-week program at $96 per person, eight weeks at $72 per person, and four weeks at $36 per person. “If an organization is registering a group of individuals, they can pay through grant money if they would like,” notes Greene. “You can join by going to our website, www.humanillustration.com, and clicking on the Join Us tab.”
For Greene, the future looks promising. “My goal is to share HI with as many disabled individuals as possible,” she says. “I want all my students to have autonomy in their learning and grow in all facets of their lives from the joy that movement provides. I plan on providing my services to various Arc Chapters and disabled individuals across the country, having special guests speak, and [holding] various workshops.”