Dance Generators

Generating connection, expression, and presence

Dance Generators is an intergenerational dance company housed at the University of San Francisco’s Performing Arts & Social Justice department. With members ranging in age from their teens to their nineties, the group fosters artistic collaboration between diverse bodies and abilities, while building trust across generations.

In the videos below, you’ll find an introduction to Dance Generators followed by three pairs of younger and older members of the dance company reflecting on their experience connecting and moving together as partners, including what they’ve learned, the bonds they’ve formed, and the contagious nature of intergenerational dance.

Dance Generators

Created by Dance Generators, Liv Schaffer, Douglas Rae, Anjali Daryanan





Reflect and Practice

As we hear in these pieces, dancing together can be vulnerable, but it can also support deep connection. If you want to experiment with the possibilities of dancing with a friend from a different generation, Dance Generators offered the exercise below to try:

Extend an Invitation

Invite a friend from another generation to dance with you and assure them that they can dance in whatever way feels best to them — there is no wrong way to move. You might dance in silence, or with a bit of your favorite music. You could try seated or standing.

Find Unity 

Facing your friend, try a few movements that feel good to you to warm up. Perhaps a shimmy of the shoulders, a smooth sway of the hips, a floating motion in the hands… the possibilities are endless! Ask your friend to copy your movements like a mirror. Try to move in unison. Stay with it for 1 minute, then switch roles and let your friend do the leading.

Allow Space for Creative Dialogue

Now try having a silent conversation with your friend using only movements. Take turns offering movements and responding to one another. Let this play out until your “dialogue” finds a natural ending. What do you think your conversation was about?

Offer your responses and see those of others’ below:



Return to the main page of the Cogenerational Social Healing Collection, a collaboration between On Being and CoGenerate.

You can also explore crowd-sourced submissions, or share your own, in our Community Garden (best experienced on desktop or in the Miro mobile app).


Audio Recording and Editing by Elena Botkin-Levy 
Video Editing by Anjali Daryanani
Produced by On Being and CoGenerate

Musical Credits:

Change by Independent Music Licensing Collective (IMLC) — Zoe/ Cecilia: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Sky Twirl by Independent Music Licensing Collective (IMLC) — Eva/Yope: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Horizons by Atch — Seb/Kathleen: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)