During these challenging times, we at { DIYdancer } have been deeply grateful for the sense of community, resource, and support as artists of the dance world meet each other at the edge of all that is familiar and comfortable.

In the spirit of necessary camaraderie and destigmatizing the conversation around dancer mental health, we have teamed up with OKAY LET’S UNPACK THIS to reimagine the fourth issue of our magazine in a new audio zine format. Issue 04: Vulnerable Resilience features honest and intimate fireside chats about mental health as a process, and how we brave the struggle as humans first, movers always, in four hour-long audio episodes (free on our website or wherever you get your podcasts).

Chapter 01 features an essay from performing artist and dance maker Janeill Cooper; a conversation about tools and practices with clinician and social worker Mario Espinoza; a writing prompt from A.I.M by Kyle Abraham dancer and marketing associate Catherine Kirk; and Coco Alvarez-Mena (Oregon Ballet Theatre) discussing fear with dancers Derek Agnoletti (Joffrey Ballet), Catherine Kirk (A.I.M.), Loreta Krikščiukaitytė (professional ballroom dancer), Juliette Ochoa (recent USC Kaufman grad), and Jakevis Thomason (freelance artist and choreographer).

Chapter 02 follows an excerpt of dancer and yogi Caitlin Burns’ COVID journal; a tantalizing dreamscape from longtime Dd contributor Alejandra Iannone; and a provocative discussion about trauma and healing in dance with Whistle While You Work—a platform that promotes conversation around harassment, discrimination, and violence towards women and marginalized groups particularly while at work in the arts—featuring writer and dramaturg Robyn Doty and international dance artists Frances Chiaverini, Julia Eichten, and Vânia Doutel Vaz.

Chapter 03 includes a profile of arts organization Erase the Stigma by dance writer Kathryn Boland; a conversation between Misa Kinno Lucyshyn (Sidra Bell Dance), Isla Clarke (NDT), and Maxi Hawkeye Canion (Dance Church) about the experiences trans and non-binary professional dancers face as company members and freelance artists; and a breath break from our sponsors.

Chapter 04 is anchored by a “messy talk” (format courtesy of Whistle While You Work) with prominent dance artists and teachers Alyah Baker (Duke University), J. Bouey (The Dance Union podcast), Chanel DaSilva (founder MOVE|NYC), Berlin-based performance artist Michael John Harper, and Gabrielle Salvatto (Tanz Company Innsbruck), facilitated by Courtney Henry; a breath break from dancer and yoga teacher Marisa Martin; and a short boundaries practice exercise from our creative director Lara Wilson and dance artist Taylor Unwin.

Text HOME to 741741 for free crisis counseling, or visit www.crisistextline.org
Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1 (800) 662-4357, or visit www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline


This special edition audio zine was created thanks to a partnership between DIYdancer and OKAY LET’S UNPACK THIS. All four episodes are guest edited and co-hosted by Courtney Henry and Leal Zielinska, produced by Stephanie Wolf with editorial direction from Candice Thompson. Theme music was composed by multi-disciplinary dance artist Morgan Bobrow-Williams. Art direction by Lara Wilson, with design from Celine Kiner, based on commissioned drawings from painter and bodyworker Tess Jenkins. Additional editing and website support from Sydney Burrows. Thanks to our sponsor MSeam Apparel for supporting the first person stories of dancers in every issue of our magazine. 


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