One Leg at a Time is a dance rehabilitation series led by HDD teaching artists in partnership with Just Detention International at the California Institution for Women. The goal of the project is to help imprisoned women connect to a creative, self-affirming space of inner freedom in support of cultivating mental and physical vulnerability. The workshops are currently being held at the California Institution for Women and led by two HDD teaching artists (read about their experience HERE).
Workshops began in February 2019 and continue once a week throughout the year. The residency challenges both participants and audience members to evaluate how the arts can inform the conversation around mental health and sexual and physical abuse amongst incarcerated women. HDD teaching artists offer a judgement free, safe space where inmates can explore the foundational aspects of oneself and share those depths with others. The curriculum is designed to explore issues of self-esteem and stimulate personal responsibility, by reducing or eliminating the negative impact of traumatic, overwhelming events through dance
Throughout the workshop, teaching artists will prompt inmates with scenarios that allow them to verbally share traumatic events and explore how they can evaluate and manage emotional reactions, culminating with their own expressive choreography. A concluding public exhibition at Track 16 will provide an opportunity for others to walk in the footsteps of the incarcerated inmates by listening to 3 minutes of their life experiences. This journey will allow all walks of life to be encapsulated in a world bridging the gaps between the free and the incarcerated and foster greater understanding, empathy and respect.