Danceworks is an ever-growing, evolving organization. Offering 90+ classes a week is just a part of what you do. It can be easy for us to fall into a rut of sharing WHAT we do rather than WHY we do what we do.
If I were to paint a picture of this with brushstrokes, they would be broad sweeps of color jumping off the canvas. You might not see a specific dancer because we don’t define what that is. We embrace as many types of dancers as we do people. What we do hope they all have in common, however, is a thriving sense of joy, health, and creativity.
And while our students may not all leave Danceworks as professional dancers—although some might—our hope is that they will all leave more fulfilled.
With fall just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the training and experiences we offer young people. As I was wrapping up a Directors meeting this morning with Amy Brinkman, Candice Wegner, and Dani Kuepper I asked, “Why would you recommend Danceworks to a parent as a place for their child to dance?”
With over 70 years of collective Danceworks experience between us as mothers and daughters, dancers and teachers, you can bet that what we offer to youth (and adults!) are the experiences we would want for our own children, (and parents!) to experience.
So I thought I’d invite you into my office to hear a little of the conversation following this question to my team (Why would YOU recommend Danceworks…?):
Dani: It’s a way to be in community with other people, that’s what I love about choir, working out with my morning (exercise) group, and dance class. We’ve all come together to do something healthy for ourselves.
Candice: It’s a place for kiddos to come and just be themselves, in their own element. You can walk in as who you are and feel confident. When Maddie (her daughter) came, there was no one trying to make her into something, only more of who she is.
Dani: Do you know of another dance studio that provides preteens and teens a complete concert season, with special focus on improvisation and choreographic skills?
Amy: Danceworks Youth Performance members can grow from our children’s classes and summer camps to train in the art form year round in a safe environment.
Dani: Our youth performers are encouraged to be creative, independent thinkers and collaborators. This is not to say that they are not getting solid technical training, because they are, from some of the best professional dancers in town. As a parent (of four), the selling point is the way that they are encouraged to think and interact as a young adult.
Amy: Our faculty is really good at quickly figuring out how a student learns.
Our conversation got pretty extensive and this is a blog. I want to keep it short. But there’s a lot more to be said about the opportunities we provide young people. From creative dance for the wee ones to serious young artists in the making, we are serious about offering each child a rich and rewarding experience. So, more on that to come!
In the meantime, you can follow the link below to connect your child to a safe environment that nurtures and develops their body and spirit through creative movement, physical discipline, and artistic development.
But why stop there? How about you? Dani said she overheard Carlos and Ceva (50+ students) talking after class: “It’s amazing what your body can do when there is so much joy!”
We hope to see you soon!
Photography credit: Christal Wagner photos from Danceworks Youth Performance Concert 2019 Wandering Wonderland, Directed by Artistic Manager-Youth, Gina Laurenzi, and the members of Danceworks Youth Performance Company in order of appearance
Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.