I have a reoccurring conversation that disgruntles me.
I regularly speak to adults who didn’t grow up dancing and who want to learn a contemporary dance form, but they feel like they “don’t have anyone” to learn from.
the classes they’ve found aren’t satisfying,
the classes they’ve found hurt their bodies,
their local communities only offer non-professional classes (usually for kids and teens),
diving into the pro community with no skills is super intimidating so they’ve rejected the possibility,
they actually went to a class and dove right into learning choreography. They had fun the first few minutes when the sequence was short or easier, but then the instructor moved on, and on, and on. With rapidly dwindling confidence, they were left stumbling in the wake of a complex sequence. They became an outsider who felt the hollow sensation of not-fitting-in.
When you’re new to a form, learning a lengthy piece of choreography (maybe alongside people much younger or more skilled than you) is daunting, and dare I say, not very helpful. The length of many routines delivered in dance classes is unreasonable for the beginner. Depending on the dance form you are learning, choreography may not even be how the dance is meant to be practiced.
Choreography isn’t necessarily the best path to competency in any form of dance. There ARE other ways to instill dance technique in adults. There are ways to bring people into their bodies, raise confidence, invite connection with others, and have a dance experience without depending on ever-growing choreography sequences. However, these methods are not yet part of the conventional teaching model. Before it sounds like I am anti-choreography-in-the-classroom, I’m not. It IS valuable.
Learning someone else’s routine/choreography can be thrilling and downright FUN. Routines help us experience someone else’s movement (and often, that someone is more experienced or knowledgeable than us). Routines invite new patterns; practicing it gives us the opportunity to refine, reprogram, and challenge ourselves.
Even within the most dance-friendly cities (NY, LA, SF, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris), resources for quality beginner-friendly, concept-based learning, appear limited.
These reoccurring conversations are a big part of my motivation to provide opportunities for adults to dance.
When I bring guest teachers to Colorado, I judiciously choose artists who use a variety of teaching methods and know how to work with people of all levels.
In 2019, I am thrilled to bring two opportunities to experience contemporary partnering and floorwork.
First up, we have the playful, high-energy and welcoming Marion Sparber and Alan Fuentes from Italy/Mexico/Berlin with ‘Shared Levitation’ (Feb 1-3)
the imaginative, insightful, and oh-so-smooth Almog Loven from Israel with ‘Weightlessness’ (April 12-14).
I hope you will join me for these weekends of dance. Early bird specials are still active for Weightlessness. Day passes will also be available. Please, don’t hesitate to write with any more information.
Also, if you know of other great teachers for adults, please tell me who and where they are below so that I can recommend them to people who ask! Thank you : )