Dancers, colleagues, friends, I want to preface this very first blog post with a few key points:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
This is new to me, I don’t even really know how to start and the blank screen is terrifying. But just like creating choreography, I need to dive in with something, get some momentum going, learn and re-evaluate along the way, and just do…So here we are!
But I have a plan. Kinda.
The purpose of this post is to share my thoughts on all things dance education, healthy active living, the dance world (I feel a post about fouette turns coming up!), perhaps a sprinkle of Claire and her Jojo bow obsession (if you know, you know) and anything else I hope you find valuable, entertaining and/or helpful.
Thanks for being on the journey with me.
Thanks for being here. Seriously. This is scary but I appreciate you showing up, providing feedback and cheering me on as I dive into this “project” I have been working on for a while now, in my head.
So, let’s get into it.
Why did I start The Movement Project? Well, it started for a few reasons but the first reason was a men’s Sunday night hockey league….wait, what?
You see, my husband, James, has participated in a men’s Sunday night hockey league for as long as we have been dating. It consists of a group of guys who have been on the same team for years. It is REALLY important to them (i.e. you’d think it was the Stanley cup finals each week but I digress). My point is, these guys make a commitment, attend each week and LOVE it. Their skill set may have decreased since their prime years as athletes, but despite that, they show up, they play hard, talk strategy, recap the game over beers and look forward to it every week. It is undoubtedly just as good for their mental health as it is their physical health (post-game beer not included). They each light up when they talk about it, they share a strong connection to their teammates, it clearly brings them joy…Yeah. You get the idea.
As a dancer, after I graduated from university the thing that I was passionate about (dance) was not available to me the same way it was for my husband who played hockey as a child. I mean, there are beginner classes here and there in the area, but nothing that made my eyes widen, my heart race and made me feel the way a great class feels, you know?
My only option was to travel to the city for this experience and honestly, it was not a viable option. I mean, by the time I drove down, found a parking spot and paid more for it than the actual class itself, etc.… the entire experience ended up being a 4-6 hour event and $50-$100 at the end of the day, depending on how many classes I took (which was usually at least two to make the trip worthwhile). I could never attend consistently, I never knew the teacher’s warm-up, they never knew me by name, I could never improve, especially in my ability to pick up other people’s choreo. It was more frustrating than joyful at times. Ugh.
In addition to this, almost anytime I ran into a former dance student that had graduated from one of the high school programs I have run, 99% of the time they said the thing, “I miss taking dance classes so much.” It kept coming up over and over again.
So, last summer I decided to offer my own classes for teens and adults. Great choreo, low-pressure atmosphere, dancing for the joy of dancing. I gave it a test run and it was MAGICAL. Full classes, incredible energy, lots of excitement and that FEELING that I (and apparently so many others) missed from our dance days that nothing else could replace. The best part? The culture that was established early. No sense of competition between dancers, incredible class energy, lots of smiles, participants genuinely cheering for each other, and just dancing for the JOY of dance, no other reason. It was everything.
So, why did I start The Movement Project? To provide dancers (new, current and formerly trained) with that feeling that only a great class can cultivate. It is hard to describe what I am referring to, but if you are a dancer, you know what I am talking about.
In addition to classes, I have some big ideas that include the Durham dance community and The Movement Project allows me to explore them under one organizational umbrella. So, stay connected, spread the word and thank you for coming along for the ride.