Takoma Park MOVES in October

I would like to officially welcome the fall with open arms and a coffee in hand! This also means that we’ve been moving together for a month now and it’s time to look ahead and see what’s in store for October. We’ve got some serious Dance Exchange love happening in Takoma Park MOVES this month, so come check it out and warm up your heart and sole(s)!


October 5: Shula Strassfeld
While on paper this class series is primarily facilitated by three artists, when the opportunity to bring Shula on board emerged I couldn’t resist asking. Shula has been an integral part of Dance Exchange for a number of years now, and brings a wealth of information about the moving body through a number of forms and in such a gentle and welcoming way. I was recently reminded of what a wonderful facilitator she is when Dance Exchange held a workshop at Artisphere in preparation for our upcoming performance; I’m delighted to have Shula here for this one week! You shouldn’t miss it.

Shula Strassfeld in 'How To Lose a Mountain.' Photo by Zachary Handler.

Shula Strassfeld in 'How To Lose a Mountain.' Photo by Zachary Z. Handler.

Shula Strassfeld began dancing “too late” and has been dancing ever since. After training in NY with members of the Jose Limon Company and Collete Barry and Susan Klein, Shula lived in the US, Israel and Canada. She has danced with choreographers Susan Rose, Joy Kellman, Flora Cushman, Mirali Sharon, Jan Van Dyke and Sandra Neels. Shula has an MA in Dance Education from Columbia University and has taught at Trinity College (Hartford CT), Rubin Academy of the Hebrew University, York University and at the professional schools of Canadian Ballet Theatre, Ballet Creole and the Kibbutz Dance Company. She joined Dance Exchange in 2007.

Class Description: The warm up will use elements of ballet and modern filtered through the body work concepts of Susan Klein and Irene Dowd. And if that feels intimidating- it shouldn’t. What I mean is that we will discover, using the wisdom of good anatomical knowledge, the most appropriate, efficient and safe ways for each of us to move.

From there we will move to exploring movement together using Dance Exchange Tools and variations that unfold as we work. As always each dancer is encouraged to participate as fully as possible while making whatever variations feel best. I hope the classes will be fun, interesting and have at least one “ahah” moment a week.

October 12, 19: Matthew Cumbie
I’m excited to be back in the saddle this month, so to speak! I had such a great time last month in the Takoma Park MOVES series and I’m looking forward to more. These two sessions will be my last ones until the spring, so come dance with me!

Photo by Jesse Scroggins.

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 are 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 a Resident Artist and the Education Coordinator for Dance Exchange.

Class Description: The communities we find ourselves drawn to, those people and groups and places that we want to spend our time with, are formative in shaping and framing who we are. This class series is rooted in exploring those roots, digging into a deeper sense of who we are as individuals, family members, community members, leaders and followers, and asking who we can become through this kind of knowing. We will draw from the Dance Exchange toolbox, improvisational practices, and some set material to move our bodies as solo and ensemble dancers; we will gather, move, and make as a community of artists. This class is open for any who are interested! No experience required.

October 26: Stephanie Miracle
As many of you know either from my raves on here, or now from having had her in class, Stephanie is wonderful. Don’t miss on this opportunity to continue to build on those tools already cultivated in earlier weeks. If this is your first time, check it out! Everyone is sure to walk away with something. It’s a fantastic class!

Stephanie Miracle in the studio

Stephanie Miracle is an independent choreographer, performer and teaching artist currently based in the DC area. Stephanie’s choreography has been presented at Rooftop Dances, 100 Grand, Triskelion Arts, Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center in NYC and in the DC area at Round House Theater, Supernova, Dance Exchange and Dance Place. As a performer she dancer for a variety of choreographers including Laura Peterson, Shannon Gillen, Degnit Shemy, Susan Marshall, Dance Exchange and PEARSONWIDRIG Dance Theater. She is currently completing her MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland and a teaching certification in Klein TechniqueTM. www.stephaniemiracledances.com

Class Description: This class is about using dance to create connections; connections to our physical bodies, to the people around us, to the places we inhabit and the cultures we exist within. Through out the class series we will explore a variety of movement forms including modern dance, yoga, social dances, ballet, martial arts, contact improvisation and somatic practices in order to warm-up, stretch, strengthen our bodies and develop individual expression. All levels of experience are welcome!

About Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (Associate Artistic Director) is a dance artist and collaborator who currently lives in Washington, DC.