We are thrilled to be sharing the exquisite joy of dancing!
Ladonna Freidheim, our founder, is passionate about inclusion, dance, science, and joy! She is a formally trained dancer, experienced arts administrator, adaptation and disability inclusion specialist. Ladonna grew up dancing. After a degenerative disability ended her ballerina life, she recovered from surgeries with paralympic athletes who introduced her to disability culture. With the aid of braces and a cane she is able to navigate the world most of the time, but it is Ladonna’s wheelchair that has restored her dancers soul. A masters degree in occupational therapy contributes considerable expertise to her work adapting choreography and promoting inclusion. In 2006 Ladonna joined Dance>Detour, the first physically-integrated performance company in Chicago. She currently performs with the MOMENTA Dance Company. Ladonna has been nominated for a 3Arts Award, is a Make A Wave recipient, was appointed to a dance panel by the National Endowment For The Arts, and serves on the See Chicago Dance Board of Directors. Additional information on LinkedIn
Ancel Montinelli, Director, is a wheelchair sports athlete and dancer. Ancel is well known as a leader in the field of advocacy for Latinos with disabilities in the United States and in Latin America. He has worked with national agencies and the governments of Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama to create programs and policies to improve the lives of people with disabilities. This includes introducing adapted dance to Costa Rica by organizing workshops and performances by Dance>Detour. Ancel’s work in the disability field has included collaboration on: many research projects related to minorities with disabilities; a self help guide and community needs assessment; an instrument to measure the accessibility of fitness and recreation environments; and projects related to employment. He is a founding member of the ReinventAbility Board of Directors.
Ginger Lane, Director, is an award winning dancer and choreographer. Lane was named one of the “100 Women Making a Difference” in Today's Chicago Woman, appeared in WTTW's award winning film Dance From The Heart, received a 3Arts Award, a UIC fellowship, and was honored to be Grand Marshall of the 2019 Chicago Disability Pride Parade. She served on the Board of Directors of the Robnald McDonald House Charities, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and as Arts & Culture Project Coordinator for Access Living. As a member of Dance>Detour, and founding member of the Disability Arts Culture Consortium, she collaborated with disabled artists to present 2 arts festivals in Chicago. Lane was a member of MOMENTA Dance Company and served on the faculty of their integrated workshops since it's inception. In 2008 she conceived and produced the first Counter Balance: the Power of Integrated Dance, which recently completed its 11th annual showing. Lane currently serves on the Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Chicago.
Robert Lee Williams, Instructor (pictured left) is a trained latin dancer. Prior to an accident resulting in spinal cord injury, Robbie performed with Tango 21. He is now a wheelchair dancer with MOMENTA. Robbie joins ReinventAbility as Co-Leader of our adaptive hip-hop project.
Jonathan St. Clair, Instructor (pictured right) is an experienced Hip-Hop, Break Dance, and Beat Box performer and instructor. He joined ReinventAbility this year as Co-Leader of our new adaptive hip-hop project..
Mia Coulter, Assistant Teacher (pictured right), trained and performed with Dance>Detour. She brings a unique perspective and enjoys bonding with her students. Mia has been with ReinventAbility since 2013.
Erica Brown, Teacher's Aide (pictured left), is a graduate of the ReinventAbility ICRE internship program. She attended our inaugural program in 2013 as a participant and has been dancing with us ever since.
Melissa Sallée, was one of the founding member of the ReinventAbility Board of Directors. Sallée is the former Assistant Director of Dance>Detour, Chicago’s first dance company comprised of multi-talented artists with and without disabilities. She also served as Artistic Director of Élan Dance Company. Sallée trained in classical ballet with Maria Tallchief, Ballet Chicago, Sherry Moray, and Salt Creek Ballet. She has worked full-time as an artist since she was fifteen-years-old. Her introduction to professional choreography began with staging period pieces focused on authenticity. As her ideas about movement expanded, Sallée found her true passion in making movement for everyone, regardless of physical or mental barriers. As a former member of Civil Air Patrol and parent of two officers in training, she was the driving force behind the ReinventAbility veterans workshops.