The Autism Project (TAP)

Hubbard Street’s Adaptive Dance Programs create environments in which everyone dances. The Autism Project (TAP) focuses on students' strengths — on their talents and potential, as they learn to see themselves as we see them: as dancers and choreographers.


This clear, structured curriculum, developed collaboratively with the Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays at the University of Illinois at Chicago (RCADD), uses dance-specific visual supports to ensure success for all students. Students explore dance technique and the choreographic process using developmentally appropriate methods, supported by a 1:1 teacher/student ratio if needed. The Autism Project classes are held September - May, with two class offerings: one for students ages 5–8, and a second for students ages 9–14.

Hubbard Street’s Autism Project began with findings and research gathered from work with students on the autism spectrum, in both inclusion and Special Education classrooms, as part of our school partnerships with the Oak Park School District and the Chicago Public Schools. Hubbard Street continues this work in schools, utilizing the supports developed for this studio program, under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

2016–17 Schedule
September 14, 2016- April 22, 2017
Performance and Family Class: Friday, April 28, 2017

Students ages 5–8: Wednesdays from 5:15–6:00pm OR Saturdays from 2:00–2:45pm
Students ages 9–14: Wednesdays from 6:15–7:00pm
Parent/Child Class for students aged 3-5 and their caregiver: Saturdays from 3:00–3:45pm
Note: Those caregivers interested in the 3–5 year old Parent/Child class are asked to attend a mandatory Autism Project Training on the first day of class, Saturday, September 17 from 3:00–3:45pm.

Classes utilize Hubbard Street’s Creative Movement curriculum, with developmentally appropriate structures, to provide continuity and promote comfort through routine, as well as clear visual supports, developed by RCADD and Hubbard Street, to facilitate success with all students. Families are provided with Social Stories prior to the start of class to help familiarize students with class structure, location, and concepts. Please note, these classes are not therapy (although therapeutic benefits may be gained), but are regular dance classes. All participating staff have received additional training in the specific needs of students with Autism and the curriculum has been created with the support of staff from RCADD, as well as members of Hubbard Street’s Adaptive Dance Advisory Committee.