FRIDAY CLASS with Matthew Cumbie (this week only!)

Matthew flying in "How To Lose a Mountain"

On the way back to Dance Exchange after guest-teaching Christopher K. Morgan & Artists company class on Tuesday, Matthew and I spent a while talking about the nature of “set” material vs. improvisation, and how exciting it is when you start to realize that these two forms are one and the same: you can find rigor, form and detail in improvisational practices in the same way that you can discover the unfamiliar and surprises within set material. Matthew’s class really cultivates an awareness of the myriad options available to us each time we move–in class or out. He’ll teach class this Friday, March 29 from 9:30-11:15am. It’s just one class this month, but don’t worry! He’ll teach FRIDAY CLASS for the full month of June. Class is $12, or $10 with a class card.


Matthew Cumbie is a professional dance artist currently based out of Washington, D.C. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Matthew began exploring movement at a young age in improvised backyard performances with his cousin and brothers, eventually harnessing these experiences to further deepen his understanding of movement as an art form by studying dance in college. He holds undergraduate degrees in Communication Studies and Dance from Texas Lutheran University and Texas State University-San Marcos, respectively, and an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University. He has been recognized nationally for his work in the classroom and on stage through awards and opportunities and has been able to work with many excellent artists, including Jill Sigman/thinkdance, Mark Dendy, Christian von Howard, Sarah Gamblin, Jordan Fuchs, jhon stronks, and Keith Thompson/dancetactics performance group. His own improvisational collaborative projects with Amanda Jackson and Nicole Touzien have been performed in Texas, New Mexico, Brooklyn, and at Harvard University. Matthew started working with the Dance Exchange in 2011 and became a full-time artist in 2012.

Class description: What does it feel like to receive a hug? A handshake? What does your heart beat feel like? Your ankle joint? And how do these sensations affect or inform us? Using these questions, and similar ones, as guiding posts this class will examine how, when, where, and why we use touch to inform our physical practice and how this can foster a sense of  easeful movement. Dancing between solo bodies and ensemble bodies using improvised modalities and set material, we will cultivate different kinds of touch and tone that root us in the ground and sky so that we can find our own capacity for uninhibited choice-making.

About Sarah Levitt

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