MARCHing into Friday CLASS

With the start of March comes hopes for warmer weather, a change of season, and a bit more spring in my step. To celebrate these changes, we have something familiar and something new! Kicking us off this is month is Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, no stranger to the facilitation team at Dance Exchange. Holding down the rest of the month is someone new to facilitating in the DX class series, but certainly someone who brings a deep relationship and legacy with the DC dancing community: Deborah Riley! Check out when they are in the studio and make plans now to join us in moving and making! Class is from 9:30 to 11:15, and costs $12. 18+

Friday CLASS w/ Jessie Laurita-Spanglet: March 6 + live music w/ Mark H. Rooney

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet. Photo by Zachary Z. Handler

Most often seen in our Takoma Park MOVES series this season, I am so excited to have Jessie join us to ring in a new season. Or at least a new month. Jessie brings a rigorous playful quality that I have found so grounding and centering to start my weekend in our other series. With a background that spans from working with mixed abilities and intergenerational communities to being an artist/educator in higher education environments to working intimately with clients using Pilates methodologies, Jessie really does bring quite a bit to the room. And having recently collaborated with her on an improvised duet, I can say that the work will be generous and rich. Be sure to intersect with her here, as this is the only class she is facilitating in this series…for now!

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a performer, educator, and choreographer currently based in Washington, DC. Jessie grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she had the great pleasure of studying with and dancing for Katharine Birdsall, and teaching Pilates at Thinking Body Studio. In 2010 Jessie moved to Maryland where she has enjoyed dancing with Dance Exchange, Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Sharon Mansur, and PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, as well as working towards her MFA in Dance which she completed last May. Jessie is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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 improvisational research and acquisition of detailed movement phrases, we will work towards finding articulation in our bodies, specificity in our choices, a strong connection to the floor, a large appetite for space, and a playfulness with one another.

Friday CLASS w/ Deborah Riley: March 13, 20*, & 28
*plus live music w/ David Schulman

How you'll feel in Deborah's class

This month will also see a new face to our Friday CLASS facilitation team; Deborah Riley! Bringing with her a long legacy, some rich information, and a wonderful spirit, she is an integral part to the DC dancing community. I am thrilled to have her at the helm of some of our classes this month, and hope you’ll take advantage of her being in this series. Deborah is the Co-Director of Dance Place, a local hub of incredible arts activity in our community, and teaches through the DC area. Deborah will be facilitating most of this month, at times with the wonderful sounds of David Schulman, so make sure to join her in the studio as much as you can!

Deborah Riley is Co-Director of Dance Place and has been an artist-in-residence and faculty member since 1987. As a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher she has been instrumental in the training and development of dancers for over thirty years. Among many grants and awards for her artistic work from the NEA, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and others, Deborah was honored with the Pola Nirenska Award for distinguished leadership in dance and the Ohio University Distinguished Alumni in Fine Arts.
She performed and taught for nine years with Douglas Dunn & Dancers while based in NYC before moving to Washington, DC in 1987, where she created Deborah Riley Dance Projects. She is a certified Laban Movement Analyst.

Class Description: How do we move with ease? How does dancing from our inner architecture bring a fuller movement experience? Deborah explores anatomical themes through the Laban Movement Analysis methodology such as shifting from the pelvic floor, ease of rotation, scapula/hand relationship in gesture. Each class begins with a floor warm up focused on sensing and feeling what is present in the body. Explorations of movement initiation and connection to space follow through guided instruction and improvisation. Movement combinations are also offered with the aim of each dancer to determine the tempos and dynamic qualities of the phrase. Everyone is encouraged to dance according to their own potential.

About Matthew Cumbie

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