The Summer UNtensive is a 4-day virtual gathering for body-based artists, students, and teachers offering embodied anti-racist creative practice. With three intertwining streams: Embodied Anti-Racist Practice, Pedagogy For Change, and Creating Worlds, participants can craft their own learning experience including race-based affinity spaces, syllabus workshops, movement practice and more.

As anti-racist dance practitioners, our communal call to the field is to get grounded, get fleshy, and get slow together, so that we may deprogram from the violence of the busy.

The UNtensive is programmed by Kai Hazelwood and Sarah Ashkin of Practice Progress, hosted by innovators in dance, technology, and community stewardship, ARCOS Dance, and held by a team of renowned guest artists. Over the 4-day gathering participants will co-learn, co-dream, co-manifest into the embodied future we need and deserve. Let’s all get free. 

ACCESSIBILITY: The whole UNtensive will be offered with closed captions, or live CART, and the entire Creating Worlds stream will also have ASL interpretation provided. Visual descriptions will be offered at the beginning of all sessions. For Accessibility questions please email

The UNtensive 2023 is supported in part by an Actions that Promote Community Transformation (ACT) Seed Grant awarded to the MFA in Dance and Social Justice Program at University of Texas at Austin.

JUNE 15–18, 2023

1. Embodied Anti-Racist Practice: Our Relationship to Time Can be Anti-Racist (10a-12p PST)

Registration is required for the full 4-day workshop. This series takes place in two race-based affinity zoom spaces:

BIPOC Communal Rest Circle led by Kai Hazelwood:
We will cultivate rest, pleasure, and community. Through guided discussion and movement exercises, participants will have their feelings and experiences witnessed in knowing community. Drawing on the wisdom of authors like Resmaa Menakem (My Grandmother’s Hands) and adrienne marie brown (Pleasure Activism), participants will be guided through rest experiences, play with ways to care for their nervous systems, and set mindful boundaries to assert their value and their needs. 

White Working Group led by Sarah Ashkin:
This working group works to enliven our awareness of race and racism as it lives in our bodies, relationships, and communities. Our embodied work together will focus on moving our whiteness.   We will use movement, mindfulness, drawing, writing, reading, and conversation to actively practice anti-racisting. There will be readings, writings, and home practices given after each session, which can deepen our learning.  

2. Pedagogy For Change: Deep Teaching (12:30-2p PST) 

Designed for body-based educators of all levels, these sessions will look at tangible ways to shift the studio or the syllabus away from the busy work and into the deep work.  Single-class drop-ins welcome. This stream is held by Hazelwood and Ashkin and our guest artist teaching team. 

3. Creative Worlding: Entering/ Being / Sharing The Well (2:00p-4:00p PST)

How are we committing to world-building in our creative practices? How can art and artists implicate themselves in the healing we all need now? Using radical care and inquiries against productivity, we will open ourselves to different approaches to UNtensive making. We will dig into our creative processes beginning Thursday and share what we’ve found in “the well” on Sunday. Friday’s workshop will be asynchronous.  Single Class drop-in welcome, but registration for the full 4 day workshop is encouraged.  This stream is held by our team of guest artists. 


Andrew Suseno (he/him)

Andrew Suseno (he/him) is a queer, Indonesian-Chinese American residing on the unceded land of Lenaphoking. He has a Physical Therapy doctorate, Feldenkrais Practitioner and Laban Movement Analyst Certifications, and significant dance and Contact Improvisation experience. Andrew created Moving Rasa aka Parcon Resilience as a form of site-specific movement improvisation and inquiry that centers his hybrid experiences as a diaspora person of the Global Majority. Rasa is the Indonesian word for taste or discerning feeling through the heart. For Andrew Moving Rasa is a dynamic connection to his Javanese, Indonesian roots leaning into the full extent of his somatic and improvisational background to dismantle internalized oppression and lift up hybrid practices that invite all people across ability, age, gender and sexuality to connect to their Rasa and roots. 

Unraveling “Busy” across space and time
COURSE: Creative Worlding, Thursday 6/15

In this workshop participants will connect with nature and the ancestors through movement and imagination to explore the origins of their experience of Busy and how it serves to protect them and hamper them. No experience is needed. Participants are encouraged to bring a picture or object that helps connect them to nature or ancestors to facilitate this experience.

Irvin Manuel Gonzalez (he/him/él)

Irvin Manuel Gonzalez (he/him/él) is an artivist, scholar, community organizer, and teacher. He currently works as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University. Gonzalez’s scholarship analyzes the constructs of brownness, queerness, and mexicanidad(es) within social dancing, looking at how immigrant, queer, and working-class dancers navigate trans/national politics through affective connections and creativity. As a dance artist, Gonzalez grounds his art approaches, strategies, and constructions in rasquachismo, a low-brow Chicanx methodology, engaging the brown, working class aesthetics and sensibilities he grew up with to redefine the intended use-value of materials, connections, and being. He also interweaves the practices of resistance found in cumbia, quebradita, and other Latinx social dance forms to build movement that highlights brown joy as a form of social justice. Gonzalez is a founding member of Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) and a board member for Show Box Los Angeles (SBLA). In 2021, his collective, PGDC, received the National Endowment for the Arts Grant to produce “Chale Vale!” a dance piece used to highlight the history of Pachuco/a/x in Los Angeles, CA.

Alfonso Cervera (he/him)

Alfonso Cervera (he/him), or sometimes known as Fonzy, introduces himself under the categories of Queer, Mexican American, first-generation, activist, curator, and educator. These are the platforms in which he claims and shares his embodied experience as a professor and artist to newer generations. As a queer first generational Mexicano, Cervera is a choreographer, performer, and a current professor based at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign as an Assistant Professor in Dance. He creates works between the borders of Los Angeles, California, and Illinois where he presents experimental dance works that acknowledge the current times we are experiencing globally.

His research and specialization as an independent artist focuses on the conversation between Ballet Folklorico and Afro-LatinX social dances in a contemporary auto-biographical embodied experience that he calls Poc-Chuc. The practice of Poc-Chuc intentionally works to offer new choreographic methods, techniques. and perspectives in theory and physical embodiment. Cervera has been provided opportunities to practice his technique at the Cornish College of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Cal State San Marcos (San Diego), Riverside Community College (CA), and Mt. San Jacinto Community College (CA).

His collaborative and independent works have been presented at the Judson Church Movement Research (New York City),  Festival of Latin Contemporary Choreographers (San Francisco), Red Cat (Los Angeles), Pieter Performance Space (Santa Monica, CA), Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica), Bushwick Studios (New York), and Lux Boreal’s 4×4 in Tijuana Mexico to name a few. His work has also been presented at numerous festivals, universities, and in non-traditional spaces.

Cervera is also the Executive Director of Show Box L.A, a nonprofit that curates festivals and provides BIPOC artists opportunities to practice their medium. He has also received various grant awards such as the National Endowment of the Arts, Artist Trust Award, a Department of Cultural Affairs recipient, and other awards from various universities and organizations. Cervera is also a collaborator with his collective Primera Generación Dance Collective where they create contemporary works that question and complicate the flux of what it means to be Mexican American.

COURSE: Pedagogy for Change, Saturday 6/17

This class will be co-taught by Alfonso and Irvin who will share decolonial frameworks for connection, that are rooted in Mexican dance methodologies and embodied practices.

Zahna Simon (she/her)

A San Francisco native and Deaf from birth, Ms Zahna Simon is honored Changemaker of the year 2018 for San Francisco Live Oak School where she is a former alumni.  She is a professional dancer, chemist, avid health nutritionist, researcher and Deaf advocate.  Ms Simon attended UCI double majoring in Chemistry and Dance, working with fellow peers, graduate students and distinguished faculty such as Lisa Naugle, David Allan and Donald McKayle.  She is also a former chemist by day at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and dancer by night at various Dance companies in San Diego including being featured in KPBS TV and Radio special “Deaf Dancer Performs in Trolley Dances.” Ms Zahna is currently the Assistant Director for both Urban Jazz Dance Company and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival under Antoine Hunter, Founder and Director and a full time office manager at a Professional Fiduciary Office. She has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine and Ikouii Creative’s Book, IN THE STUDIO, published on Stance on Dance and was a Deaf Editor for Sins Invalid Disability Justice Primer. She has also performed with Kim Epifano, San Francisco Trolley Dances, Alameda Island City Waterways, Man Dance Company and Abilities Dance Boston.

Antoine Hunter aka Purple Fire Crow (he/him)

Oakland native, Antoine Hunter aka Purple Fire Crow is an award-winning internationally known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists, produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Awards include the 2023 USA Artists Fellowship, 2022 Disability Futures Fellowship, 2021 Dance Teacher Award, 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship recognized by the Mayor of Oakland, 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Humanity Arts Award and 2017 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for BAIDDF.

Hunter’s work has been performed globally and he has lectured across the U.S. including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts as an ambassador for social change. Hunter utilizes his company’s artistic talents to engage with audiences, empower Deaf and disabled communities, and advocate for human rights and access, working to end discrimination and prejudice.

His shoe company DropLabs and Susan Paley released an innovative haptic product to help people feel music. Hunter curated 2021 Bay Area Deaf Arts at SOMArts, is a 2021 YBCA 100 honoree, is on the production team of Signing Animation actively working on inclusive films and serves on the boards of Dance/USA, BABDA, Museum of Dance and councils for CalArts Alumnx and Intrinsic Arts. In response to Covid-19 in July 2020, Hunter founded #DeafWoke, an online talk show that amplifies BIPOC Deaf and Disabled stories as a force for cultural change.

COURSE: Pedagogy for Change, Friday 6/16
Creating Space for Deaf Communities in The Arts

Led by Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow & Zahna Simon. Learn how to work with Deaf communities to create space for inclusion in the arts and debunk common myths around Deafness.

Image of Alice Sheppard sitting in their mobility chair

Alice Sheppard (she/her)

Living into a dare, dancer and choreographer Alice Sheppard resigned her tenured professorship to train with Kitty Lunn and Infinity Dance Theater.  After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she became a core company member, toured nationally, and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.  Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru/GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom.  In the United States, she has worked with Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton, and Full Radius Dance

A USA Artist, Creative Capital grantee and Bessie Award winner, Alice is the founder and artistic lead for Kinetic Light, a disability arts organization, working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology to create transformative art and affirm the intersectional disability arts movement.  Through nuanced investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of disabled people and BIPOC disabled people, Kinetic Light promotes intersectional disability aesthetics as a creative force and equitable artistic access as an aesthetic critical to the creative process and promise of relationship with disabled people..  

Alice is a noted speaker and writer with work appearing in the New York Times, as well as other academic journals.

COURSE: Creative Worlding, Friday 6/16
In the Idea :: In the Feeling

It’s a long way from the initial tickle that starts a work.  In this workshop, we will look at ways of getting started — how do you know it is time to create? –ways to develop and deepen work — and, finally, some ways to stop.  When is that work done?  As we get started, we will also consider practices of access, like captioning and audio description — in the creative process.

Rajni Shah (they/them)

Rajni Shah (they/them) is an artist, researcher, and writer, currently working at DAS Graduate School in Amsterdam. Their practice considers listening and gathering as creative and political acts. They are a queer quiet trans non-binary feminist killjoy. And they write songs. For an archive of previous works, please visit

COURSE: Creative Worlding, Saturday 6/17 (asynchronous)
What would this body be if I let it dream?

The title of this class is a quote from UK-based artist and healer Omikemi.* Rajni will invite participants to spend time in deep listening, tuning in to witness and offer gratitude to what might already be within. You will be encouraged to be exactly as you are. The pace will be slow.

*to read or listen to Rajni in slow conversation with Omikemi, and encounter the quote in its original setting, please visit:
(this is not necessary or compulsory)

the image contains a collage of individual images of artists in a grid format. the bottom corner of the grid has text that reads: Practice Progress UNtensive, with CC an d ASL symbols includedSUGGESTED INVESTMENT: $35–$350

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Kai Hazelwood (she/her) is a transdisciplinary artist, educator, event producer, and public speaker raising the profile of bi+/queer and BIPOC community issues through art projects, community events, and public speaking. She has appeared in BuzzFeed videos and speaks at community events, high schools and colleges about bi+ and BIPOC community issues. Kai is currently an adjunct professor in dance department at Chapman University teaching Modern technique through an anti-racist framework. Kai is also the founder and artistic director of Good Trouble Makers, a practice driven arts collaborative celebrating plural-sexual/bi+ identities and centering BIPOC. Good Trouble Makers are dedicated to making. Making art, making room, making change, making good trouble. Kai is also co-founder of Practice Progress.
Sarah Ashkin’s (she/her) work tarries at the intersection of critical whiteness studies, site specific performance, and reparations pedagogies.  She is the co-director of GROUND SERIES dance and social justice collective and a co-founder of Practice Progress, a body-based anti-racism facilitation platform.  As a dedicated dance maker, educator, and organizer, Sarah uses dance as a multipurpose tool to dismantle and build our world for the better. Sarah holds a Masters in Dance, Politics and Sociology from the University of Roehampton, London and is a current doctoral student in Performance Studies at University of California, Davis.