Winter Senior Intensive Wrap-up

The winter senior intensive on Sunday and Monday was full of smiles, warmth, creativity, dancing and just plain fun. The group of dancers, aged 50 and over, worked together for two afternoons, generously sharing stories and movement around the theme of memory and forgetting. Each day began with a technique class followed by work with Dance Exchange tools for generating and crafting movement.

The Dance Exchange team, lead by Cassie Meador, included Martha Wittman, Ben Wegman, Ralph Glenmore and myself. Former company members/adjuncts, Andy Torres, Dorothy Levy and Peg Shaefer participated in the intensive along with a group that ranged from former dancers to those returning to dance after a long time and those who had never danced before. We spent an afternoon watching each other move and trying to capture the essence of the movement. Rather than remember the entire phrase, we learned that there is no need to say “I’m having a senior moment.” We can just say “oh, I’m essencing that thought.”

Some of the work created in the intensive was shared as part of an Evening on Dance and Aging on Monday evening. The evening also included a reading by Ben and Martha of a chapter from Liz Lerman’s new book Hiking the Horizontal that will be published this spring by Wesleyan University Press (pre-order on Amazon is available here). I got to dance one of my favourite pieces, Darwin’s Wife, a solo that Liz choreographed. (Short biographical note on the blogger- I am Canadian- that’s how we spell favourite!) The event concluded with company and adjuncts answering the question “How did you start to dance”. The Evening on Dance and Aging was part of an ongoing series of Monday night events at the Dance Exchange. The next will be held on February 7, a Critical Response Session for Dance Exchange company members Ben and Sarah’s piece Hammock (for more information, click here).

About Shula Strassfeld

Shula Strassfeld began dancing “too late” and has been dancing ever since. She joined Dance Exchange in 2007.