Finding Joy and Giving Thanks in DX CLASS this November

As we slide into November with cooler temperatures, pulling out those fabulous scarves and heavier coats, things in the DX studios are staying hot! This month will see the return of a familiar face in our Friday CLASS series, and the last month of facilitation for our newest DXer in Takoma Park MOVES. Keep in mind: with all of the holiday celebrations happening, the amount of time with these artists is limited. Join us when you can!

Friday CLASS w/ Helanius Wilkins: Nov. 7, 14*, 21**
*plus live music w/ David Schulman
** plus live music w/ Mark H Rooney

Helanius Wilkins

For so many of us in DC, and beyond, Helanius’ is a name we know! I am so excited to have him back in our Friday CLASS series. Helanius brings such delight to the room, and cultivates a real sense of wonder and play throughout all of the rigour and challenge that live within his classes. I am always amazed at how seamlessly he weaves together ideas and people and movement patterns. I always leave feeling sweaty and ready for the rest of the day. Helanius has been quite active in this past year, with his talents as a teacher taking him to a number of university departments across the northeast. I so look forward to seeing what he brings from those, and hope you will join us in these explorations! Remember: there are only 3 Friday CLASSes this month becasuse of the holidays. Make sure to mark the dates! Classes are Friday mornings at Dance Exchange.  9:30 to 11:15 am. $12 (or $10 with a class card). 18+

Helanius J. Wilkins, a native of Lafayette, LA, is an award- winning choreographer, performance artist, and instructor based in Washington D.C., and is the Founder & Artistic Director of EDGEWORKS Dance Theater. In 2008 he was awarded the Pola Nirenska Award for Contemporary Achievement in Dance, DC’s highest honor given by the Washington Performing Arts Society; he has also twice received the Local Dance Commissioning Project from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was named an Emerging Choreographer by Bates Dance Festival, and was a three times finalist for  the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Awards.

In addition to performing the  works of several nationally recognized choreographers, including Robert Moses, Earl Mosley, Joy Kellman, Troy Powell, and Kevin Wynn, he has performed with Present Tense Dance Company (Upstate NY), Maida Withers’ Dance Construction Company (DC), and as a guest with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD). He has served as an adjudicator and teacher at various American College Dance Festivals, has been a faculty member at the Washington Ballet and Joy of Motion Dance Center, and, most recently, was a Visiting Artist at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA. He is currently the Guest Artist in Residence at American University in Washington, DC, for the fall 2014 semester. Wilkins holds an undergraduate degree from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from George Washington University.

Class description: This class deconstructs traditional approaches to technique and re-images body limitations to examine and explore the “joy” of daring dance and to create an endless well of movement possibilities. My dance vocabulary fuses velocity, weight, and gymnastic principles with anatomical approaches to motion. This class incorporates conditioning work for strength, mental training for clarity and articulation, and strong performance skills that emphasize intent and outcome. Ultimately this class enables participants to increase their sense of body awareness and connectivity, identify personal movement preferences while broadening movement possibilities, explore expressive range, and manipulate movement ideas through the performance of choreography.

Takoma Park MOVES w/ Amanda Newman: Nov. 1, 8**, 15*
*plus live music w/ David Schulman
**plus live music w/ Mark H Rooney

Amanda in Dance Exchange's 'New Hampshire Avenue: This Is a Place To..." Photo by Ben Carver.

If you have been coming to Takoma Park MOVES, then you know what an incredible facilitator Amanda is. Her classes have brought us delight and laughter in one moment, and somber reflection another; we have shared stories through language and movement, created our own narratives, and made so much dance together. Families, local artists, advocates for the arts, local community organizers; we have all come together for this gathering on Saturday mornings, and I know I have left each class feeling enriched and enlivened. If you have not yet had the opportunity to join us, there are plenty more on the horizon! Because of the holiday celebrations, be sure to mark your calendars and come move with Amanda during her last month of holding the Takoma Park MOVES series. Classes are Saturday mornings at Dance Exchange. 10 to 11:30 am. $12, or $10 per person in a family. All ages welcome.

Amanda Newman is a dancer, creator, and collaborator from Salt Lake City, Utah, and a Resident Artist and the Communications Coordinator for Dance Exchange. She has performed in work by Juan Carlos Claudio, I-Fen Lin, Pamela Geber Handman, Ellen Bromberg, Stephen Koester, and Carl Fink as well as staging her own work both in and out of the theater. Amanda assisted in the creation and production of community-engaged projects and site-specific choreographic works by Pamela Geber Handman, Ellen Bromberg, and Sofia Gorder of inFluxdance. These experiences catalyzed Amanda’s own interests in community-engaged arts practices which broaden our circles of inclusion, hold our individual and collective histories, and allow space for complex, critical conversations. She also co-founded and directed Connect2Health, a volunteer organization which utilizes student volunteers to bridge the gap between underserved patients and the community resources they need to lead healthier lives. Amanda holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah.

A movement class for the entire community, Takoma Park MOVES recognizes the rich possibility of exchanges when people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and levels of experience come together in a creative process. Join us for a mix of professional dancers, those new to dance, community movers, and families. Classes are $12, or $10 per person in a family, and are facilitated by Dance Exchange Artists. 10-11:30 am, Saturdays at Dance Exchange. All ages welcome.

About Matthew Cumbie

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