Get ready for the fall kickoff of Youth Programs!

Wayles Haynes performs with INSPIRE interns at Gazebo Park in downtown Takoma

At Dance Exchange, I’m constantly living in multiple worlds. In all that I do here–performing, teaching, and facilitating in my role as Youth Programming Coordinator–I strive to recognize the complexity and context of each moment. Realizing the beauty of the present, the legacy from the past and the possibility of the future demands diligent questioning.  This summer at Dance Exchange we were lucky to host an abundance of brilliant, eager young minds through our internship programs. INSPIRE, a partnership with MMYC, brought us eight interns who learned Dance Exchange tools for working in community and created a community event in Takoma Park. We also hosted Summer Fellow Tabaré Gowon, and interns Jessica Placzek and Phoebe Stonebraker, who assisted with the artistic and administrative aspects of the Dance Exchange this summer.

Bringing new perspectives into my work-life in the form of interns afforded me the opportunity to answer a multitude of “Why?” questions about our processes and outcomes at Dance Exchange. Born from curiosity and received with initial bemusement, these moments of explanation can aggravate or illuminate.  Even the most self-reflective organization can become attached to conventions.  These moments reaffirm what is working and help us to reexamine what is less useful.  It reminds me to give a deep cleaning in the house of my mind, movement and assumptions.

On this cusp of season change and as we welcome our Youth Programs back to the building, I’m preparing for many more “Why?” moments. I’m constantly challenged and motivated by dancing, discussing and discovering with the youth in the studio and in our community.  It keeps me fresh and growing.

I’m pleased to introduce the Youth Exchange (ages 6-12) this fall and prepare for the return of Teen Exchange, which will explore the theme Shift, Transform, Revolve in 2011-2012.  Find information on Youth Exchange programs on Dance Exchange’s fancy new website (nice, huh?) and some videos from summer projects on Teen Exchange’s YouTube channel.

We are hosting an Open House TODAY, September 13th from 4-6:30pm at Dance Exchange. Come dance, dream and discuss with us!

About Wayles Haynes