Takoma Park MOVES…back into class!

Takoma Park MOVES is a movement class for the entire community, and recognizes the rich possibility of exchanges when people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and levels of experience come together in a creative process. This class is grounded in the Dance Exchange belief that every body can and should dance, and shares the company’s long history of intergenerational artmaking practices. Join us for a mix of professional dancers, those new to dance, community movers, and families. Class are $12, or $10 per person using our family rate. and are facilitated by Dance Exchange artists. 10-11:30 am, Saturdays at Dance Exchange. All ages welcome. 


As some of you may remember, Takoma Park MOVES and I spent a great deal of time together last season. I think it’s such an incredible series, and built around an idea that is fundamental to who Dance Exchange is and what we do: to gather, move, and make with people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and amounts of experience with dance. Last season, we saw families and friends; professional dancers and those curious about dance; community organizers and community members; spanning at least six decades in age, and all kinds of ideas, curiosities, and amounts of experience with dance. It was a highlight to my weekends. And I’m so excited to have other Dance Exchange artists involved this year! Also, we’ll be occasionally accompanied by David Schulman, long-time friend and Musician-in-Residence at Dance Exchange, as well as Mark Rooney, a long-time supporter and new Musician-in-Residence at Dance Exchange. Take note as to who is teaching and when below, and join us! Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 am, Dance Exchange. $12 per class, or a family rate of $10 per person. All are welcome.

Takoma Park MOVES w/ Cassie Meador: September 6 (w/ Mark Rooney) & 27

Cassie Meador in 'The Matter of Origins.' Photo by Jaclyn Borowski.

As we were thinking ahead to this season and our CLASS series, one of the first things Cassie told me was the she wanted to be involved as much as she could in our Takoma Park MOVES. Cassie brings a long and rich history with Dance Exchange and with intergenerational moving and making to the room, and one that I’m excited to experience over the course of the next year on these Saturday mornings. Since assuming the position of Artistic Director of Dance Exchange, she has really spearheaded a number of initiatives around dancemaking and environmental activism, and brings some of those sensibilities to our studio work. Join her, and Mark Rooney, as she opens and closes out this month of moving and making together!

Cassie Meador is a choreographer, educator, and environmentalist and the Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. Her works have tackled numerous social and environmental issues. Her most recent choreographic project, How To Lose a Mountain, involved a 500-mile walk from Washington, DC, to the source of energy that fuels her home and city’s electricity, a range of mountaintop removal sites in West Virginia. Other recent projects give testament to Cassie’s expanding leadership role in the arts and environment. She was selected as the sole artist representative to a research initiative of the International Human Dimensions Program on Environmental Change. She has spoken about her work and facilitated artmaking on international platforms such as the 2011 United Nations Climate Change conference in Durban, South Africa, and at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Takoma Park MOVES w/ Matthew Cumbie: September 13 (w/ Mark Rooney)

Matthew Cumbie in 'From the Desk of Rachel Carson.' Photo by Paul Emerson/Company E.

I’m back! And I’m ready to pick up where we left off last season. This means that I’m ready to see all of those faces who spent so many Saturdays with me throughout the fall and spring, I’m ready to see some new faces who might just now be hearing about Takoma Park MOVES or are able to come, and I’m ready to do some serious moving, improvising, and playing together to make some meaningful experiences. This class in particular will be used as an entry into the day that will see Dance Exchange artists and staff kicking off New Hampshire Avenue: This is a place to…, our residency along New Hampshire Avenue. As the day unfolds after class, Dance Exchange will share some performance, some ways to make your own interdisciplinary art, and some food outdoors along New Hampshire Avenue, and invite all in the community to join. Click here for more information, or come to class to find out!

Matthew Cumbie is a dance maker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and is a Resident Artist and the Educator Coordinator for Dance Exchange. Prior to joining Dance Exchange he was a company member with Keith Thompson/danceTactics performance group, and has performed with Mark Dendy, the Von Howard Project, Sarah Gamblin, jhon stronks, Paloma McGregor, Jill Sigman/thinkdance, and Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser. In 2010 Matthew co-founded Big Rig Dance Collective a collection of artists in north Texas committed to collaborative making and performing. His own collaborative projects with Amanda Jackson and Nicole Touzien have been performed in Texas, New Mexico, Brooklyn, and at Harvard University. With Dance Exchange, Matthew collaborates in and out of the studio with a range of artists, activists, community members, environmentalists, and others committed to creative research as a way to better understand ourselvs, our communities, and the world around us. He has been on faculty at Texas Woman’s University, Queensborough Community College, and Northwest Vista Community College, and teaches at festivals and schools across the country. He holds an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University.

Takoma Park MOVES w/ Jessie Laurita-Spanglet: September 18

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


Jessie is an artist that we’ve been able to get to know intimately over the last year through a number of different kinds of engagements: an intern, a Local Artist-in-Residence, and as an adjunct on a few different gigs. She’s an incredible source of inspiration and information about the moving body, and an artist that I’m so excited to have joining our Takoma Park MOVES faculty. Join Jessie on this Saturday to get your opportunity to get to know her better, and come back in the spirng of 2015 when she’s on the schedule much more!

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a teaching artist, performer, and dance maker based in Washington, DC. In May Jessie completed her MFA in dance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and for the fall 2014 semester she will be the Artist-in-Residence at University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Jessie spent the summer working for Semester at Sea, an educational program aboard the MV Explorer that brought students to ten different countries in Northern Europe.

About Matthew Cumbie

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