Email from the road

At James Madison University last week, Elizabeth Johnson and her team of Dance Exchange alums and adjunct artists created a DNA dance for the incoming freshman class of 4000 to link to their year-long study of the connections between science and art. During the residency, EJ sent an email to the company describing the experience:

Hey DX,
Thanks for the thoughts yesterday. We felt the love.

It was truly….wow. I am next to Wayles [Haynes]…and she says “transformational.” It was impressive to see the amazing power of all those people moving. We were awe-struck with the amount of participation and energy. Their gratitude was palpable. Visually arresting. They couldn’t stop dancing after the event was over. We will share the video.

Our team was incredible. They came in prepared to learn and to lead. [DX] alums Michelle [Pearson] and Gesel [Mason], working the bullhorns in the lower half of the quad and fixing some communication issues for the second round. They are incredible facilitators and Ralph [Glenmore] and Ronya-Lee [Anderson] each led hundreds of people in their teams too. Ronya-Lee says it was “exhilarating” and “memorable” and “hopeful to see many people rally around one thing.” Meghan [Bowden] had her own quadrant of 500 people. I personally thank Wayles and Meghan for putting the fun factor in this plan. Vincent [Thomas] helped to make a plan that was organized and efficient. Daniel [Zook] and Sam [Speis] worked the A team. [Daniel] was BEAUTIFUL and so very himself. A student said in his southern accent “that boy can DANCE.”

Onward, gotta run!

Read more about JMU’s DNA dance and see the full video of the performance here.

JMU freshman performing their DNA dance
Photo by Diane Elliot

About Sarah Levitt

Sarah Levitt (Resident Artist/Communications Coordinator) is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based in Maryland.