Accessibility Corner Featured Artist: Feel the Beat
What is Feel the Beat?
Feel the Beat is a nonprofit organization and dance studio that is dedicated to making the experience of music possible for those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and/or with or without disabilities. With its bone-conduction dance floor, students are able to feel sound through vibrational energy that embodies the experience of music in an inclusive platform. Feel the Beat was founded in 2016 by founder and CEO, Jari Majewski Price and co-founder and Vice President, Julia Faliano. The first Feel the Beat dance studio opened in 2017.
Feel the Beat partnered with engineers to create a unique one-of-a-kind fully accessible tactile dance floor, using bone conduction technology, that vibrates sound through an individual’s body into the inner ear which translates into feeling music and delivers the physical dimension of sound to individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
It partnered with the engineers at Clark Synthesis to develop the floor technology. The floor technology was recently patented and is available for events and dance classes at both the Whitlock Recreation Center in Lakewood, CO as well as at Brewability Lab in Englewood, CO.
The floor looks just like a standard ballroom dance floor. Upon contact with the mobile flooring, inner ear function is bypassed and sound is transmitted through the bones, engaging an individual’s sense of touch. Bone conduction transducers take sound waves, mechanical input, and change them into physical input, vibrations, instead. The vibrations travel through the bones and the hearing system to conduct auditory nerve signals just the same as if the input was from sound waves in the air.
Feel the Beat also has created a mobile version of the studio’s vibrotactile flooring. Its mobile flooring has been carefully engineered to deliver the same full-body musical experience in any desired location. Feel the Beat recently attended two local events and provided music and dance accessible experiences with the mobile floor including The Silent Disco & Food Truck Frenzy at the Englewood Civic Center on August 12th, and the Shine Music Festival at the Denver Civic Center on August 27th.
Programs, Events and Ways to Get Involved
Feel the Beat offers publicly available classes at Whitlock Recreation Center as a seasonal program which typically aligns with the school year so fall, winter and a smaller program for spring/summer. View the Schedule — Feel The Beat Dance and register for upcoming classes. Fall seasonal classes start on September 12th and go through December 17th.
Classes include; ballet, hip hop, creative movement, children’s yoga, lyrical & contemporary, jazz and more. Scholarships are always available depending on your needs. Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org and complete a scholarship application.
An Open House Event will be held at Whitlock Recreation Center in Lakewood, CO on Saturday, October 8th from 10:30am to 1:30pm. Follow Feel the Beat on social media @feel_the_beat_dance (Instagram) and @dancestudiofeelthebeat (Facebook) learn more. The day’s event will include:
- Pop up classes and a chance to experience the dance floor
- Meet and greet the Feel the Beat team and instructors
- Snacks and drinks
- And more!
If you are interested in learning more about how you can help Feel the Beat and its mission of dance and music accessibility for all, you can visit their website via the below links:
Written by Sarah Harrison based on an interview with Whitney Swales, Director of Outreach at Feel the Beat.