FRIDAY Class in April

Though a shorter month, with only 3 classes, it’s still a series packed with punch! This month we see a couple of familiar faces at the helm, each with their own bag of tools and experiences that I can’t wait to dive into. Be sure to check out who is facilitating and when so that you can make plans to join us and celebrate the start to spring. Classes are $12 (or $10 with a Class Card) and go from 9:30 to 11:15 on Friday mornings. 18+

FRIDAY Class w/ Jessie Laurita Spanglet: April 4 & 11 (w/ David Schulman)
I’m delighted to have Jessie holding down the first few weeks of FRIDAY Class this month. Not only is she an accomplished performer and a beautiful mover, she’s equally articulate and engaging when working administratively and in the creative work she makes. She’s our second local Guest Artist in Residence this season and, as someone that is in her making process, I can attest to the rigor and clarity and curiosity that she brings to the room. I hope you’ll join Jessie and the rest of us at Dance Exchange as she brings all of these things together in her facilitation of FRIDAY Class. Don’t forget to check out her HOME event later this month, too!

Jessie flying through the space. Photo by Zachary Z. Handler.

Jessie Laurita-Spangletis a teaching artist, choreographer, and performer who is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at The University Of Maryland, College Park. Since coming to Maryland, Jessie has had the great pleasure of working with Tere O’Connor, Adriane Fang, Sharon Mansur, Alvin Mayes, Stephanie Miracle, Graham Brown, Connor Voss, Sarah Beth Oppenheim, and most recently, The Dance Exchange. Jessie is a Stott Pilates certified Pilates Instructor through the Balance Body Pilates Training Center in Richmond VA, and a 200 hour Interdisciplinary Yoga instructor through the Nosara Yoga Institute in Nosara, Costa Rica. Jessie was raised in the rolling hills of Charlottesville VA, where she had the great pleasure of studying with and dancing for Katharine Birdsall, as well as teaching dance and Pilates in various studios, rec centers, and arts spaces. Jessie earned her BFA in Dance from the North Carolina School of The Arts.

Class Description: Class will focus on invigorating the mind and body and connecting with the other movers in the room, while honoring each individual’s approach, history, and style. Through improvisation and movement phrases we will work towards articulation in our joints, specificity in our choices, a strong connection to the floor, a large appetite for space, and a playfulness with one another.


FRIDAY Class w/ Wayles Haynes: April 25
Wayles is certainly no stranger to many of us in the DC moving community, and especially here at Dance Exchange. She’s an active performer and maker all around town, and has been a collaborator and educator in a number of capacities within the DX programming. Because of all of this, I’m excited to see what unfolds when Wayles takes the helm for FRIDAY Class! For those less familiar with Wayles, expect a fantastic time and some seriously sweet moves. She’s articulate (both in her moving and her speaking), insightful, and always down for a good laugh. She’s only on the schedule for this one week (for now!), so be sure not to miss out!

Wayles Haynes

Wayles Haynes, Youth Programs Coordinator at Dance Exchange, holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Hawaii, and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst.  A dance educator since 1999, most notably at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, she now teaches at George Mason University.  Wayles leads the Youth and Teen Exchange, youth-led dance companies patterned in the Dance Exchange model where leadership and artistry develop in a collaborative peer-learning environment. Wayles dances and plays in the Metro/DC area as resident choreographer of alight dance theater and company member of Jane Franklin Dance.

Class Description: Wayles’ class investigates the interplay of efficient function and dynamic expression.  Drawing from a background in classical modern techniques and movement analysis, dancers will explore how subtle movement impacts balance, awareness and performance.  Improvisation, somatic theory and fierce technical phrase work will illuminate our need to move and connect to ourselves and one another.  Ultimately, we shall dance, have fun and get serious about play.

About Matthew Cumbie

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