Founded in 2007 by pioneering Deaf dancer/choreographer Antoine Hunter, Urban Jazz Dance Company consists of a mix of professional Deaf and Hearing dancers. UJDC’s mission is to provide opportunities for Deaf and other-abled artists to contribute to the arts and larger society, increasing awareness around Deaf issues via the performing arts. Featuring the syncopation of urban jazz rhythms, the company values the importance of play and performance to connect cultures of all races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds. UJDC is also the producer of the annual Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival and views Deafness as a human experience with its own values, principles, and cultural norms – not a disability.
Arts Education Programming:
We use our artistic talents to educate audiences about current events; empowering the deaf community, advocating for Deaf rights, women rights, disability rights and towards eliminating discrimination, prejudice, etc. We provide educational workshops and performances at centers, Deaf schools, mainstream programs, Universities, state colleges and seniors homes and in the process, provide a healing space for many who have experienced domestic abuse. We have performed and hosted workshops in Europe, Brazil, Peru, Africa, and USA. We host the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival annually in San Francisco, CA creating a platform for Deaf artists to share their Deaf culture.
Supports For Students With Disabilities
Promote ASL and Deaf culture for Deaf students, exposure to successful Deaf adult role models showing them that they can achieve anything they desire. The key is accessibility. We provide age appropriate coursework with a background of dance and theater plus ASL DANCE and ASL theater and additionally provide a framework curriculum for ASL Dance and theater for the Deaf that can be used systemically across the United States for any student with any ability.
Supports For English Language Learners
The key method to teaching English language learners is to provide visual cues and clear connections between movement, ASL and English. Those who don’t have access to full communication have delayed language development. Through dance, students create ASL dance stories where they will play roles, develop physical characters and create shapes while conveying plots of conflict and solutions which builds their English language comprehension and expressions.