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13 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Now is the perfect time to mark your calendars for the first show of Danceworks Performance MKE's 2022-23 season, “I Am Because You Are…”! 🗓📲💃🏻I Am Because You Are…November 12-13, 2022Baumgartner Center for Dance128 N Jackson St. Milwaukee WI🎟️ dwmke.org/purchaseticketsExcited to learn more about the show? Read all about it below 👇“And you are because I am.” In DPMKE’s 25th anniversary season, the company explores the philosophy known as “Ubuntu” by looking back at the unforgettable work that has shaped Danceworks, Inc. through the years. This philosophy, a belief in which our common bonds with others shape us deeply, single handedly reflects our community’s investment in helping shape our identity. We are also able to fully become who we are by unapologetically sharing ourselves with others and our history as a company runs through the veins of each new work we present.Please venture back in time with us to remember through a documentary telling and live embodiment of the company’s touching, comedic, and curious works that have become Danceworks favorites. Los Angeles artist and Milwaukee Native Taryn Vander Hoop (@tarynvanderhoop ) will set new repertoire on DPMKE and Dawn Springer (@dawncspringer), Gina Laurenzi (@gina_laurenzi ) and Christal Wagner (@waitingforutah ) will revisit and craft brand new works for the stage respectively. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Happy #MKEMonday! Today is a special day because it is the first day of Emoji Yogi, an outreach program for K5 and 1st grade students that guides students through movement, breathing exercises, yoga and storytelling. 🧘🏿🧘🏻‍♀️ Danceworks is proud to be partnering with the Choose Love Movement for this program. The Choose Love formula of 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞+𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞+𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬+𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 will help form each lesson. 💙 You can learn more about Emoji Yogi & the Choose Love Movement when you go to www.danceworksmke.org/emoji-yogi/ ⬅️ ... See MoreSee Less
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5 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Our students are putting those brand new light weight, adjustable barres to good use! A huge shoutout to all of the amazing Raise the Barre donors from this past summer. Because of YOU, we were able to purchase 27 new barres for the studio!! #thankyou If you donated $100 or more, your names are still going on the barre. Keep a lookout - coming soon 👀 ... See MoreSee Less
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Danceworks Blog

In the beginning…

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

In honor of Danceworks’ 20th Anniversary, we are sharing 20 stories of individuals who have made an impact on—or who have been impacted by—Danceworks and our programs. This counts as the third and fourth in our series, “20 Years, 20 Stories.”

The call came two days after I had submitted a resignation. I was ready for a new challenge but had no idea what it would be. I showed up at a Danceworks board meeting for an interview, and as I recall, was hired that night. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Polly Morris and Mary Newton. None of us would be. Without them, there would be no Danceworks! Read on to discover our delightful history and remember…sometimes new doors don’t open until you close old ones. -Debbie

Some thoughts from Mary and Polly… When we got together recently to reminisce about Danceworks, our common thought was that we barely recognize Danceworks these days . . . but that’s a good thing!

The Danceworks crew, in the early days.

The Danceworks crew, in the early days.

Our original mission of providing performance, outreach and instruction is clearly alive and well, but the activities and personnel that populate those focus areas have shifted and multiplied exponentially. That’s a logical outgrowth of the agile flexibility that has characterized Danceworks since its inception. When an organization is not tied to the vision of a dominant personality or the expectations of a traditional audience, it is free to explore new partnerships and take advantage of a shifting community landscape. It has been exciting, but not surprising, to see Danceworks thrive in the midst of constant change.

Looking back 20 years to the beginnings of Danceworks, we were both in a similar phase of life, with young kids and bodies that moved a lot easier than they do these days. We were also both on a hiatus from our academic and professional lives, and we had the mental energy to take on the organizational challenge of creating and growing a new non-profit. Fortunately, our skill sets https://xanaxcost.com were complementary, and we usually agreed on where we needed to go. As an added bonus, our personalities meshed as easily as if we had grown up together, which may be why we were often mistaken for each other.

More people than we can count seemed to appear just when their skills or talents were needed. Some stayed with us for just a short time, and others—like Amy Brinkman-Sustache—are still with Danceworks. Regardless of their tenure, they were all critical to our success. We really feel that we had the best, be it teachers, performers, accountants, office workers or financial angels. And the students and audiences always showed up, too, as we moved the studio from Milwaukee Street to Bay View and back to Water Street, and performed in diverse venues from the tiny Walker’s Point Center for the Arts to the grand old Pabst Theater.

Along the way, we developed computer skills (starting on an old Apple IIE!) and became experienced at grant writing, both of which have paid long-term dividends. We also developed expertise in the more dubious specialties of bulk mail and VHS tape dubbing, for which we now find little demand. Achieving UPAF membership was a significant milestone, permitting the gradual turnover of the operational and artistic direction of Danceworks to paid staff. It’s been great to watch from the sidelines as Debbie Farris, Sarah Wilbur, Dani Kuepper and the others have moved Danceworks forward.

We’ve moved on now to other things. Polly first went to UW-Milwaukee as an arts administrator, and now is the Director and Curator of the Lynden Sculpture Gardens in River Hills. Mary teaches reading and spelling at the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Milwaukee, and advocates for improved reading instruction statewide through the Wisconsin Reading Coalition. Our seven kids, one of whom wasn’t even born when we started Danceworks, now range in age from 19 to 30. We all continue to treasure our many Danceworks memories and wish Danceworks the very best as you enter the next 20 years!



About Our Blog

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.