Sydney Erlikh

Meet Sydney

I am an educator, artist, and scholar originally from California. I taught special education in alternate assessment classrooms for seven years in New York City and California, where I created dance opportunities for students. I am a Dance Ability certified teacher and have attended the AXIS dance teacher training. Through a 2019-2020 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship with my partner Maggie Bridger, we lead the Inclusive Dance Workshop Series at Access Living in Chicago. I study dance and disability and am working on a multi-sited ethnography on inclusive dance companies in South Africa and Finland with dancers with intellectual disabilities. I was co-awarded a 2019-2020 Schweitzer Fellowship which lead to the creation of the Inclusive Dance Workshop Series at Access Living in Chicago. In the summer of 2020, the group created a film at a distance Shared-Time and in 2021 they were invited by Full Radius Dance to make a Response Film. I was selected as a SeeChicagoDance Critical Writing Fellow in 2020 and participated in the 2021 and 2022 Harvard Mellon School of Theater and Performance Studies Research. I currently serve on the CounterBalance planning committee, Chicago’s annual integrated dance concert, and the NDEO dance and disability task force, which was awarded a Theresa Foundation grant. I was recently selected by the Finlandia Foundation and the American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow for my dissertation research.

Why did you choose DHD at UIC?
DHD is an interdisciplinary program. I felt that this program could give me a strong theoretical background in disability studies while matching my dance background. Chicago has a vibrant arts and culture scene that provides many research and practice opportunities to combine with academic classes.

What do you want to do with a DHD degree?
I would like to use my research and educational practices to fill the gap in dance studies scholarship, pedagogy, and practice, which is underdeveloped and has primarily focused on physically integrated dance.

Research Interests
Disability Arts and Culture, Inclusive and Disability Dance, Intellectual/ Development Disabilities, Dance Studies, Arts Education, Ethnography.

Selected Presentations
July 2022 Presenter- Shared Time – Nordic Forum of Dance Research- Copenhagen Denmark October 2021 Presenter- Dancing Representations of the ID body: a culture worthy of dance- HUB 4 Dismantling Techniques/ Technology of White Supremacy- Dance Studies Association Conference- New Brunswick, NJ October 2021 Panelist Examining Disability Aesthetics in Higher Ed: a bridge between dancers and scholars NDEO Conference- Virtual

Selected Publications
Bridger, Maggie, Sydney Erlikh, and Chun-shan Yi. “Reverberation! A New Wave in Disability Art.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 10.2 (2021): 7-26. Erlikh, Sydney “Access and Art: Virtual dance a lingering pandemic gift” See Chicago Dance (2021) Erlikh, Sydney “No limit in airborne “Revel in Your Body,” a dance film that literally flies” See Chicago Dance (2020).

Awards and Honors
Finlandia Foundation Grant – 4/22 American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow- 5/22-5/23 U of I’s Presidents Diversity Travel Award- 4/22 Critical Writing Fellowship, SeeChicagoDance, Chicago, IL- 8/20-9/20 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Chicago, IL – 5/19- 5/20

MSEd, Middle Childhood Education & Students with Disabilities, Pace University, 2013. BA, Dance & History, University of California-San Diego, 2008