Aiano Nakagawa (she/they) is a dance artist, writer, and community educator on the topics of race, gender, sexuality, and embodiment. Their experience as a big bodied, Queer, mixed person of color informs how they teach, create, and move through the world.
They hold a B.A. in Dance from Mills College (Oakland, CA) and are a current graduate student at the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco, CA), where they are working towards their Masters in Women and Gender Studies, Spirituality, and Social Justice.
Aiano is the founder and creative director of Art for Ourselves, an online community publication dedicated to the liberation and prosperity of QTBIPOC creative individuals and communities, at every intersection.
As an embodiment and dance educator Aiano specializes in early childhood dance, family dance, and somatic movement practices that honor people's physical, emotional, and developmental needs. Aiano believes each person is the expert of their own body. As a community educator, Aiano works with adults to offer workshops and classes on the topics of race, gender, sexuality, and embodiment. Aiano values teaching as service towards actualizing a world in which all people can be seen, honored, and live freely. Aiano's teaching philosophy stems from the intersection of critical pedagogy,feminist pedagogy, queer pedagogy, and integral pedagogy. Their goal is to create transformative learning experiences that move our collective existence towards liberation.
In all their work - teaching, creating, performing, gathering/hosting, writing/publishing - Aiano aims to support people in cultivating a practical understanding of power, systemic and social oppression, and the responsibility we all hold to do the work that moves us closer to liberation.