Holly Thomas

My dance experience began in 2000 when I had the opportunity to be part of a dance project directed by Saburo Teshigawara, culminating in the performance of ‘Flower Eyes’. During this project I met Katy Dymoke. I discovered contact improvisation and began dancing with Touchdown Dance. Prior to this I trained in theatre. I spent three years teaching and working with visually impaired students exploring performance, theatre, movement and music. I also have experience of sensory photography and audio-description. My teaching and performative work has almost always included students, participants and artists who are disabled.
Whilst I would not describe myself as a CI teacher, I am interested in sharing my experience. For me, contact improvisation is a slow journey. At the start and for many months I moved with my eyes closed, connecting with the floor, the breath and the space around me. I have found a quality of connection in the sensory dance which is familiar to me and which I enjoy. I have found that sensory work provides an opportunity to redefine connection and to explore shared perception. To dance from this place is to observe, to allow and give a voice to the participants experience. My experience when dancing together with disabled and non-disabled, sighted and visually impaired dancers is both familiar and at times challenging. I am very interested in how we perceive ourselves, the space and each other and in exploring the collective sensory experience within the dance.

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