Dance class is a meeting ground—a space for understanding relationships to the body, the people around us, and the world in which we live. As John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” Education is a group effort, an ongoing active process that allows us to realize the importance of our interactions with others. Through embodiment, performance, collaboration, viewing, discussion and self-reflection, students will cultivate skills that feed their process as well as the community of the classroom. I believe in educating the entire person and dance is an artform that lends it's self to that practice. In class, we embrace the intersection among the physical, intellectual, and emotional, and we carry that practice beyond the studio's walls. My job as an educator is to facilitate discovery and growth by providing students space, tools, and guidance as they embark along their personal educational journey. In studio classes, I strive to cultivate an inquisitive and nurturing learning environment. Students are encouraged to ask questions of themselves, make mistakes, and learn through the process of experience and self-reflection. My technique classes tackle concepts such as momentum and how to harness it, the utilization and efficiency of muscularly energized movements, and the power of grounded weight. We delve into more refined explorations of anatomical alignment, seeking clarity in joint articulations and pathways, and address how to move effectively and injury-free for each of our singularly, unique bodies. Accompanying these physical endeavors are psychosocial components that we mutually consider—forgiveness, acceptance, perception of self, failure/success, fear, etc. I believe that we carry within our physicality our own personal history shaped by the culture in which we are raised. Class can be a chance to acknowledge that, celebrate it, and to share it with others. It is my mission to ignite within students a passion for movement, an inquisitive spirit, and a desire to cultivate community within our movement practices and our lives.
CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE + CLASS DESCRIPTION:
We start by honing in and focusing on an idea or image in relationship to a landscape of the body, investigating its architecture and how intention can broaden our perception of personal movement patterns. From there, we expand outwards into a wider view using shorter exercises to get our bodies articulating, gaining alertness and spatial awareness, and as we move forward, we build. We build experientially - in size and space, in musicality and in sensation. We access moving from our bones and finding ease in our joints, as well as fully engaging our musculature and using momentum as power. Class culminates with a hefty-sized phrase.
photography by Vesa Loikas