Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Message from Variety, the Children's Charity of Illinois


My name is Mike Murillo, and I’m one of the event coordinators at Variety, the Children’s Charity of Illinois. Variety is really excited to be one of the sponsors for the AXIS Dance Company’s performance at the Auditorium Theatre on November 19th and 20th.

Variety’s mission is to provide funding and services for programs that strive to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life for children who are mentally and physically challenged, abused, sick, homeless or underprivileged. Our “Kids on the Go” program is dedicated to helping children with disabilities participate in some of the same activities as their able-bodied friends, such as bike riding, sports and dance. I enjoy seeing young people with disabilities just as active as anyone else!

As a recent addition to the Variety team, I was not educated on physically integrated dance, but after attending the AXIS panel discussion last Wednesday, at Access Living, I was really moved and gained a huge an appreciation for the art form. What I learned was that physically integrated dance is about the beauty of the human form and appreciating the movement of each individual. The individuals performing are interested in being seen for how their art inspires people’s perceptions of the opportunities the human body can create, regardless of physical ability.

I am inspired by the philosophy and mindset that physically integrated dance hopes to shift the way that society looks at disability. Whereas traditionally a lot of society sees physically disabled individuals as more helpless and less capable than able-bodied people, physically integrated dance is an avenue to the possibility that we as humans are all capable of amazingly creative and technical ability. I really believe that physically integrated dance, and activities like it, can begin to shift the society’s perspective of what being disabled is, from a medical view to a more social view, including looking at physical handicaps through the lens of social barriers, attitudes towards disability, and possibilities to better integrate individuals into society, which is also a goal of Variety of Illinois.

Finally, I’m really excited to see the AXIS Dance Company perform. They are one of the premier integrated dance companies in the US and it is going to be an honor to see and support them at the Auditorium Theater. I really hope that you join me in seeing the performance!

If you would like to continue the dialog, please “like” Variety on Facebook at

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