FRIDAY CLASS in June

This is our last month of regular FRIDAY CLASS until we start back in September, so let me start by saying THANK YOU to the fabulous group of dancers and teachers we’ve had in the room this year. This season’s series will conclude with a month of classes taught by me and Matthew, including some bonus non-Friday FRIDAY CLASSes. Please note the time change for classes not held on Fridays. Class is $12, or $10 with a class card.

Sarah and Matthew at Bates last summer

Friday, June 7, 9:30-11:15am : Matthew

Monday, June 10, 9-10:30am: Sarah

Tuesday, June 11, 9-10:30am: Matthew

Wednesday, June 12, 9-10:30am: Sarah

Thursday, June 13, 9-10:30am: Matthew

Friday, June 14, 9:30-11:15am: Sarah

Friday, June 21, 9:30-11:15am: Matthew

Friday, June 28, 9:30-11:15am: Sarah

Friday, June 28 will be my last FRIDAY CLASS as a full-time artist at Dance Exchange, so I’d like to call it the FRIDAY CLASS FIESTA. We’ll have a great time getting sweaty in a way that is only possible during a DC summer. I hope you’ll join me.

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Matthew Cumbie

MATTHEW CUMBIE is a professional dance artist and collaborator who hails from Houston, Texas, and came to dance in college. Now based in Washington, DC, he has been a company member with Keith Thompson/dancetactics performance group (2011-2012), and has performed with Mark Dendy, the Von Howard Project, Sarah Gamblin, Jordan Fuchs, jhon stronks, Paloma McGregor, and Jill Sigman/thinkdance. In 2010 Matthew co-founded Big Rig Dance Collective, a collection of professional dancers in north Texas committed to collaboratively connecting artists to communities through art-making and performative experiences that were rooted in situationally and geographically accessible spaces. His own collaborative projects with Amanda Jackson and Nicole Touzien have been performed in Texas, New Mexico, Brooklyn, and at Harvard University. He began working with Dance Exchange in 2012 and joined the company full time later that year. As a company member with Dance Exchange, he works in and out of doors in collaborative art-making and creative research to further develop our understanding of our selves, our community, and the world around us. He has been on faculty at Texas Woman’s University and Queensborough Community College, and teaches at festivals and schools across the country. He holds an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University and is Resident Artist and the Education Coordinator for Dance Exchange.

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.

Sarah Levitt

SARAH LEVITT is a choreographer, performer and teacher based in Maryland. She received her early dance training from Gene Kelly via VHS, Barton & Williams School of Dance, and Ilona Kessell. These formative experiences helped her to earn a Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship in Dance from the University of Maryland, where she received a BA in Dance, and was honored with a Dorothy Madden Emerging Artist Award upon graduation. Since 2007, she has worked with Dance Exchange as a guest artist, company member, and currently, as Resident Artist/Communications Coordinator. At Dance Exchange, she originated roles in Liz Lerman’sThe Matter of Origins (2010)Cassie Meador’s Drift (2009) and How To Lose a Mountain (2013) and has toured extensively with the company to perform, teach, and develop new work. Highlights include residencies at the Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI), Harvard University, and St Elizabeths Hospital (DC). Prior to joining DX as a full-time artist in 2010, Sarah also performed in work by Robert Battle, Gesel Mason, PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, Samantha Speis, and Keith Thompson. In 2011, she and collaborator Benjamin Wegman received a Local Dance Commissioning Project award from the Kennedy Center to create Hammock, which premiered at the Kennedy Center. Her work has also been presented at Dance Place, Baltimore Theater Project, University of Maryland, and the Bealtaine Festival (Ireland). Sarah was awarded the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Choreography (2009) and Solo Performance (2010), and shares with Benjamin Wegman a 2012 Metro DC Dance Award for Emerging Choreographer for Hammock. Sarah will begin pursuing her MFA in Dance at The Ohio State University this fall.

Class description: This class examines the functional form of the body, and how we work with our body to expand our capacity for physical expression. And why we do this at all. Sometimes it seems like being still might be best. But we’ll look for internal motivators that translate into physical action and explore how this translation from impulse to movement happens in our bodies. Class will emphasize finding stability through the core and support from the floor in order to investigate the spectrum of balance, momentum, directional changes, energy states, and clarity of intent. Through the use of improvisational structures to warm up the body, mind, and spirit, we’ll develop a new freedom to dig into dancing and find ease, efficiency, and power as we travel through space together.

About Sarah Levitt

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