France Geoffroy may be paralyzed but that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her love of dance. And she is thriving. The Montreal woman owns a dance studio that accepts all kinds of dancers, including those who don’t dance traditionally, like Geoffroy herself. She’s professionally trained to merge both disabled and able-bodied dancers together to form a beautiful masterpiece.
At the age of 17, Geoffroy was in a diving accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down days before she was supposed to start dance school–a longtime dream.
‘You cannot imagine how you’re going to eat, how you’re going to work,’ she told CTV, ‘Could you imagine that you’re going to keep going [with] dance? Impossible.’
For a while she was completely discouraged, that is, until she saw Celeste Dandeker dance on TV. Dandeker had been a professional dancer in the London Contemporary Dance Company when she injured her spine, leaving her unable to walk. She was left wheelchair-bound and after a few years, she went on to found one of the first ‘integrated’ dance schools in the world. This school specialized in the integration of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Pretty cool, huh?
Geoffroy went to the U.K. to learn from Dandeker and then returned to Canada to open her own studio, Corpuscule. Her’s is the first integrated dance school in Quebec. Since 2000 she has established a whole team of dancers and choreographers who stage beautiful integrated pieces. These contemporary dances are breathtaking and are an incredible example of creating art regardless of limitations.
Danse integrée. Osez nous découvrir. Un pas de plus pour l’art !! pic.twitter.com/dKQ8Et63wz
— Quadriptyque (@quadriptyque) October 14, 2016
Geoffroy talks about integrated dance being about the audience seeing ‘a singular experience of the body in motion.’ And we certainly feel that. She hopes that her studio and the art they produce will encourage others to emulate them and make integrated dance more popular. We’re looking forward to it.