Starting a new year: get into dance class!

It’s 2017! Start your year off in the studio with Dance Exchange. Whether you’re a someone with a long-time professional dance or movement practice, someone who’s coming back to dancing from a break, or someone curious about starting a movement practice- we’ve got someone for you. Join us in one of our class series on Tuesday night, Friday morning, or Saturday morning for a mix of dancing, community, and live music. See below for who is leading class and when!


Foundations in Contemporary DANCE
Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30pm

….w/ Juliana Ponguta: January 10, 17, 24, 31

Juliana Ponguta

Juliana Ponguta

Contemporary dancer, teacher and dance movement therapist, Juliana Ponguta Forero was born in Colombia and currently lives in the Washington DC area where she is a member of the Nancy Havlik Dance Group. Trained in classic, modern and contemporary dance in Mexico, Peru and Argentina, she started dancing Colombian folk dances and tango in her youth: since then, she has been wondering about movement, creativity and expressivity. More recent work has led her into a variety of techniques such as Yoga, Judo, Contact Improvisation and Dance Movement Therapy among others.

She has performed for the Contemporary Dance Company of the National University of Arts of Argentina (UNA), and the Contemporary Dance Company of the Universidad de San Martin (UNSAM) Argentina. She also collaborated on independent projects with choreographers Gabriel Contreras, Elia Mrak, Pablo Rotemberg, Gustavo Lesgart (Argentina) Jhonatan González (Colombia) and Nancy Havlik (USA). In 2014 she founded the art collective “La Montón” with Samanta Leder, Lucía García Pulles and Delfina Thiel. She has guided contemporary dance classes, improvisation, and movement research workshops in Argentina, Perú, Colombia and Brazil. She deeply enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences, hoping to bring new and rich experiences for all. At present she is researching the relationship between body and instinct, body intelligence and the difference between creativity and imagination in trying to develop body language.


Friday CLASS
Fridays, 9 to 11:15am

….w/ Sam Horning: January 6 + live music w/ David Schulman

Sam Horning

Sam Horning

Sam Horning is a dancer, educator, and dance maker currently based in Washington, DC. At Dance Exchange, Sam is the Facilities Manager and Programming Coordinator, and steps into Dance Exchange projects as an adjunct artist. As an artist, his choreographic mind has been heavily influenced by the quotidian and poetic spectrums of dance. He values everyday experiences and archival knowledge, mining both for the inspiration, materials, and compositional structures that become the textures of his dancing. Sam relies on efficiency and chance encounters as a means of movement invention. His work is produced from detailed improvisation techniques and is rooted by the information the body can receive from the floor. Read more about Sam here.

…w/ Jessica Hale & Matthew Cumbie: January 13

Jessica and Matthew in DX's 'At the Edge,' a work collaboratively made by DX artists with Summer Institute participants in 2013. Photo by Brianne Bland.

Jessica and Matthew in DX’s ‘At the Edge,’ a work collaboratively made by DX artists with Summer Institute participants in 2013. Photo by Brianne Bland.

Jessica Hale is a multi-media dance maker, collaborator, and independent contractor based in Brooklyn, NY. As such, her work includes a range of mediums and organizations, including production work for the United Skates documentary and Gibney Dance, leading the administrative facet for Megan Bascom & Dancers, and as the Social Media Coordinator and Videographer for the tech start-up TERP Corp. Jessica has shared her work through a number of residencies,  including AC Flora High School and Hand Middle School in Columbia, SC, and the Kilgore Rangerettes and Dance Department at Kilgore College, TX.

Jessica has performed and presented works ranging from live performances to multi-media at Boundless In Brooklyn: 48 Hr Film Contest, Triskelion Arts, AS220, Dance-Forms Productions International Choreographer’s Showcase in Guatemala, the South Eastern American College Dance Festival, South Carolina’s SCAHPERD and Greenwood Dance Festival. Recently, she worked with choreographer and director Mary John Frank on her interactive dance-based show, Debutaunt, which ran at the Atelier Roquette in Brooklyn, NY, and maintains on-going collaborations with Matthew Cumbie and Dance Exchange. Jessica holds an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, a BFA in Dance from Columbia College, SC and currently works as a Production Assistant for WWE.

Matthew Cumbie is a dancemaker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. His work explores his interests in activism and improvisation, bringing a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience. He has been commissioned to create and share performances at places like Harvard University, Texas State University, Dance Place, Triskelion Arts, and AS220, and his interest in collaborative processes has led him to work with a wide range of artists, including Liz Lerman, Keith Thompson, Sarah Gamblin, jhon stronks, Paloma McGregor, Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Betsy Miller, and Annie Kloppenberg, among others. Matthew began working with Dance Exchange in 2011, shortly after receiving an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University. He currently lives with his lovable dog Lucas and visits Providence often to see his partner and collaborator, Tyler. Read more about Matthew here.

…w/ Matthew Cumbie: January 20
See above for bio.

…w/ Melanie George: January 27

Melanie George

Melanie George

Melanie George is the Dramaturg and Audience Educator at Lumberyard (formerly American Dance Institute), working closely with premiere contemporary performing artists (Susan Marshall, Raja Feather Kelly, et al. ) in the incubation of new works for the stage. Previously, she was the dance program director at American University, and Assistant Professor of Dance and Dance Education Program Coordinator at Kent State University. Melanie is the founder of Jazz Is… Dance Project, and has presented her research on jazz dance improvisation/pedagogy throughout the U.S., in Canada and Scotland. Publications include “Jazz Dance, Pop Culture, and the Music Video Era” in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches (University Press of Florida) and “Imbed/In Bed: Two Perspectives on Dance and Collaboration” with Joan Meggitt for Working Together in Qualitative Research (Sense Publishers). Choreographic works include commissions from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Kent State University, the Gaylord National Christmas on the Potomac Launch Event, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s production of “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” (2016 Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding Choreography). This spring she will be in residence at Salve Regina University, Ursiunus College, and as the featured dance artist at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho.


Takoma Park MOVES
Saturdays, 10 to 11:30am

…w/ Matthew Cumbie: January 7* & 28
See bio above.
*plus live music w/ John Lee

…w/ Cassie Meador: January 14 

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

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

Cassie Meador is a choreographer, performer, educator, writer and Executive Artistic Director of the Dance Exchange. Her works have tackled numerous social and environmental issues such as How To Lose a Mountain, which reflects on a 500-mile walk Meador took from Washington, DC to a mountaintop removal mining site in West Virginia to trace the impacts of the energy that fuel her home. Meador’s Moving Field Guides, an interactive outdoor experience led by artists, naturalists and regional experts in ecology, is being implemented nationwide in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. She recently led two multi-year projects: “New Hampshire Ave: This is a Place To…” a creative placemaking project funded by NEA and ArtPlace America in Dance Exchange’s home community of Takoma Park, MD; and Bricks and Bones: A performance series in response to the erasure of black lives and communities in Dallas, TX and the movements to recover, rebuild and honor those lost histories. This project, supported by the Embrey Family Foundation, Ignite|ArtsDallas and SMU, and Dallas Faces Race, is co-directed by Meador and Paloma McGregor of Angela’s Pulse. Read more about Cassie here.

…w/ Matthew Cumbie & Sam Horning: January 21 + live music w/ Mark H Rooney
See bios above.

About Matthew Cumbie

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