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There has been a lot of debate about whether or not dancing should be considered a sport or an art in many different circles, from dancers and athletes, to schools and higher education. Our need to categorize and label our world is challenged when we start conversations about dance. Many dancers wonder if they should see themselves as artists or athletes, and Hope College itself tries to give our dance program everything it needs. Hope’s Dance Department Chairman Matthew Farmer discusses the effects of this debate and shares his goals for the department, as well as what he hopes to instill in his dance students.

Matthew Farmer’s faculty photo.

Farmer has been teaching Hope for 11 years and is also a Class of 2004 Hope alumnus. His many accomplishments include professional dancer and choreographer, teacher, mentor, father and husband. He remains busy teaching 3 to 4 classes per semester, ranging from studio technique, theory, composition and improvisation. He choreographs alongside Jasmine Mejia for the Hope’s Dance H2 company and is frequently invited to teach masterclasses and choreograph dance pieces at various colleges, institutions and dance festivals.

However, Farmer hasn’t always been a dancer. In fact, he was ranked third in the State of Michigan in high school hurdling and has always been passionate about track and field. This gives her a unique perspective in the conversation of dance that finds its place in the spectrum of sports and art. He said, “I’m one of those people who believe in the phrase ‘both and’, so I’m not a big fan of dualistic thinking. He thinks dancers and athletes use the term sports as a comparison when they find it beneficial, and try to give it up when they don’t.

In a sense, he sees dance as a sport because by definition there is a physical prowess that an individual must acquire in order to reach a professional level and perhaps make a living. This is the case with many other physical activities, from surfing to gymnastics to football, which we use under the term sport.

However, Farmer makes an essential distinction between dancing and other sporting activities as he also views dancing as an art form. It is therefore treated very differently from a cultural and audience point of view. “The crowds will absolutely understand and forgive an athlete for their mistakes,” Farmer said. “They will be frustrated, of course, because they might miss the basket on the last shot and lose the game, but in the end [people think,] “Well what they’re doing is really tough so I’m pissed my team lost but I get it. ”

Always Dance 43.

Since dancing is also an art form, it will never get the same forgiveness from a crowd. Farmer said, “No audience will ever see a dancer walk on stage and be like, ‘Oh man, that sucks, but I get it. “What they’re doing is really difficult.” Unlike traditional athletes, dancers are judged at a level of artistic perfection, and as Farmer says, “Dancers are only as good as their next perfect performance.”

After living in both worlds, one as a competitive athlete and the other as a professional dancer, Farmer came to the conclusion that dancing is culturally and audience more difficult. . However, he understands that not only do artists strive for perfection, but so do athletes. “People finally understand when Tom Brady has a bad game,” Farmer said. “But they don’t understand when a professional dancer is having a bad day. And for me, this is where I think, from a cultural and crowd point of view, dancing is more difficult, being both an artistic and a sporting phenomenon.

Another challenge that dancers face is the pressure to have a certain “look”. “While athletes can have different physique depending on the demands of their chosen sport,” said Farmer, “dancers are generally grouped into a singular category (i.e. dancer) and therefore are expected to have a very specific appearance. ” This specific manner is usually muscular and slender, with extreme flexibility, and all that is considered “culturally attractive” at that time. It varies with different dance styles, but Farmer said that “… the general term ‘dancer’ conjures up an idea in the minds of people that all dancers are then supposed to champion. This expectation is independent of the dancer’s natural body type and, with the combination of being constantly seen, can be damaging to their sanity.

Farmer’s unique experience and insight with this debate influences what he hopes to teach his students about what it really means to be a dancer. “Part of our job as good educators, and one of the things we try to do specifically in Hope, is to train and re-educate dancers that they are athletes too, and that means we have to address our body through nutrition. [and health]”said the farmer.

Still from Dance 42.

On the other hand, he said that although most young dancers see themselves as artists, there is an artistic side to dancing that many young dancers don’t understand. He said: “For them art is ironically attached to physical prowess instead of ‘what have I to bring to the planet that no one else is doing?’ Or “what does it mean to be a dance artist with something to say?” ”

In Hope, there is a dual education that the dance department strives to achieve. In the end, being the best natural person in the room isn’t going to get a dancer a job. Dance companies look for artists first, they look for the athlete who has something to say. This dual education is one of the biggest things missing from many higher education dance programs and has only recently been considered.

Thus, the answer to the question of whether or not dance is a sport or an art is inclusive rather than dualistic. Like a lot of things in the rest of life, it doesn’t fit perfectly in a box. Dance is both a sport and an art. It requires physical ability and an intense dedication to technique, while also meeting the human need to create and tell our unique stories. Higher education has struggled to find a place for this activity, and Farmer is working to get the dance department at Hope College to serve every student better.

Be sure to read next week’s follow-up article for a more in-depth analysis of the complex history of higher education dance and Hope’s place.


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Participants in “Zumba with Louise” at Mount Merrion in Dublin this morning gave an extra boost, with the news that starting September 20, they will be allowed to go inside.

Now is the right time, just before the cold weather sets in. The students and teachers are delighted.

“I’m thrilled,” says instructor Louise Heatherwick.

“We did it outside all winter last year. We were here with hats, gloves, scarves and thermal clothing.

“But now we’re all excited to be able to go back inside.”

For her, the move indoors now means that she will be certain that her classes can continue and will not be postponed until the last minute due to the weather.

She says her business has suffered a lot over the past 18 months.

“It’s more or less a cancellation,” she said.

“Before, I had ten lessons a week and it just went down.

Now she looks forward to the future and the boost today’s news has had. He is also shared by those in his class, including Mel Reed.


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“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

“We’re a small group and at least we can guarantee we’ll be going back there to do Zumba every week, that’s what we love.”

“A difficult year”

It’s a similar story across town at the Viva Dance School in Fairview.

The school’s founders, Marcin Szymutko and Ksenia Yanchenkova are delighted to be able, once again, to open their studio to their students.

They’ve stocked up on Zoom lessons and can’t wait to resume teaching in person.

Ksenia Yanchenkova and Marcin Szymutko

“The last year and a half has been very difficult for the school,” says Szymutko.

“We haven’t seen a lot of students in person. We have taken a lot of online courses, but nothing beats face-to-face communication, ”says Ms. Yanchenkova.

“Now we have a date. It’s great to see students walk through the door, having fun, laughing and smiling and learning a few steps.”

A welcome announcement

After-school groups will also be back indoors from next month – a welcome development for the 200,000+ children who participate.

At Mel Ryan School, which teaches dance and acting, as well as other life skills, the owner looks forward to welcoming the children after a difficult year.

Dance and Theater Teacher Mel Ryan

“It was pretty hard, not so much for me, but for the kids because they missed so much precious time for development, emotional education, intelligence, communication, confidence building. They missed it. all of that, ”said Mel Ryan.

The school welcomes 3-17 year olds. Pre-Covid, he had 500 children in his books.

“ I have had parents calling me every day to talk about their children who suffered from anxiety, especially teenagers. My heart goes out to them, ”she said.

“I had a parent tell me yesterday about their six year old whose verbal communication has deteriorated and has now developed a stutter. So there are a lot of things going on that you might not realize. not count. “

15-year-old Chloe McWilliams has been attending Mel Ryan School for many years and can’t wait to return.

“I really missed all of my friends,” she said.

“It will be very exciting just to go back to dance and do theater again.”

“Crazy to go there”

The sports facilities are also getting ready, after more than a year of calm, because September 20 is a key date for all those who practice indoor sports.

“It was calm,” said Eoin Ryan, squash coach at Sutton Club in Dublin.

Squash coach Eoin Ryan

“We can’t wait to get started. The past 18 months have been nonexistent.

“The kids missed it a lot. I hope we get them all back.”

And this is the concern of many sports coaches: will the same number of players resume their sport once the restrictions are lifted?

“The seniors will probably be a bigger concern, the juniors I think will come back pretty quickly,” he said.

“Seniors, seniors, if they haven’t done much in the last 18 months, there are concerns about injuries, and maybe they’ve gotten into other sports, but that’s the challenge. “

For many, September 20 may not be early enough for some.


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Breaking is one of four new events approved for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Burgeoning interest in dance is on the rise in Japan, in part fueled by the January start of the D. League. professional break dance in the country. The contests attract sponsorship from large companies and the events, both on-site and streaming, generate a lot of excitement. This article examines the popularity of the station wagon with young people and its potential as an Olympic event for wider appeal.

Listening to a group of teenagers talk excitedly, I am puzzled by their jokes. “It doesn’t matter J or B, it’s D you should watch out for,” one of them exclaims. “Did you watch the D. League yesterday?” Another asks. “Yeah! Wasn’t Issei great? Offered a third.

Young people are overflowing with enthusiasm, the expression on their faces as they speak makes the topic of conversation all the more fascinating. Everyone in Japan knows that the J. League is synonymous with football and the B. League of basketball. But League D? And who is Issei? What is it, anyway?

Growing trend of sports dance

The D. League is Japan’s professional break competition that kicked off in January this year. Most people have heard of break dancing, and break dancing is actually the media presentation of the dance style. And Issei? As one of the stars of the league, he is unique in being both the director and the dancer of Kosé 8Rocks, a leading break-up team.

The league is made up of nine teams of eight members each who compete against each other in regular competitions. Fans can follow the action live via a public app or on a smartphone.

Teams perform their dance routines and are ranked based on their scores. Points are awarded for technical difficulty, choreography and performance, as well as for expressiveness. Where things get interesting is when spectators participate in the scoring. This aspect is a major attraction for the audience and helps to attract fans beyond those who attend the performances.

Having gained ground with younger audiences, the breakup is drawing attention from another perspective as well. The International Olympic Committee decided in December 2020 to include sport in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It’s not just about the popularity of the D. League in Japan. Breaking is now becoming truly international.

So how did this happen?

The station wagon is a form of street dancing that first appeared in New York City in the 1970s. It developed its own distinct culture, and as it gained prominence it was featured in popular films by era, including iconic hits such as Lightning dance and Free of any tie.

In the competitive form of the break, individuals or teams compete in “battles”, with competitors, known as b-boys and b-girls, pitting their skills against other dancers at events. with high octane number.

The Fullcast Raiserz Dance Team, a men’s “muscle fighting style” team, led the D. League by the end of the tenth round of the competition. (© Ligue D. 20-21)

Company interest

The breakout format in Paris will likely consist of one-on-one and mixed-team fights. However, it remains to be seen why the IOC decided to introduce a seemingly niche dance sport to the Games as a new competition. The answer to this lies in the great potential for disruption.

“Even before it was included in the Parisian program, I was sure that the break would become an Olympic sport,” said Kanda Kantarō, senior executive of the firm that manages the D. League. A dancer himself, Kanda was keenly aware of the potential for rupture and created a professional league, describing the style as an “artistic sport”.

“If you look at the history of the Olympics,” says Kanda, “you can see that it was originally an arts and sports festival, with a clear dividing line between the two. On the sporting side, there is an obvious demarcation between winning and losing, whereas with artistic events the evaluation is more interpretative. Breaking is a fusion of arts and sports, a combination of the two.

When we talk about artistic sports, we think of figure skating. Sport has traditionally combined technical prowess and expressiveness. While some fans are drawn to technical skills such as jumping, others appreciate the expressiveness and beauty of the performance. These different aspects have broadened the appeal of figure skating and contributed to the development of this sport.

With the station wagon, too, there are people who are drawn to the incredible techniques of the dancers as well as fans who revel in the sport’s elegance and beauty. This dualism characterizes art-sport.

There are also people who are drawn to the fact that the breakup offers a whole new cultural construct. The dancers all have original stage names, usually something they’ve found themselves or a nickname they’ve been given, that represent their identity. This aspect has been anchored in station wagon culture since its inception.

Another attraction of the station wagon is that no equipment is needed to dance.

If you look at the competitive sports that are popular around the world, soccer and athletics, especially running, come to mind. In the case of football, anything round can serve as a ball, allowing “street football” games to take place anywhere there is open space, such as a town square. Likewise with athletics, any open space can serve as a track and anyone can participate, even without equipment.

The same goes for breaking up. It is not uncommon to see dancers at night practicing moves in the empty courtyard of a mall or other location. The accessibility of braking has helped fuel its popularity globally, especially among young people.

The Avex Royalbrats mixed team is one of the best groups in the D. League.  The team includes b-girl Riehata, who is also the group's producer.  (© Ligue D. 20-21)
The Avex Royalbrats mixed team is one of the best groups in the D. League. The team includes b-girl Riehata, who is also the group’s producer. (© Ligue D. 20-21)

In recent years, the IOC has sought to further develop the Olympic Games by introducing new competitions based on their global reach and recognition, with a particular focus on sports that appeal to young people. Sport climbing and skateboarding, as well as station wagons, are examples of this trend at the Summer Olympics, as is snowboarding at the Winter Games.

Kanda emphasizes the physical expressiveness of the split in its appeal to younger generations, stating that “you don’t need words to communicate. Even when the dancers don’t speak each other’s language, they can connect. The station wagon was undoubtedly chosen for the Olympics because of the high expectations for the sport, and the games in turn will provide an opportunity to further develop the station wagon.

Prospects for gold in Japan

Sports dance has enormous potential for growth in Japan. The country has a number of dancers who have the ability to win gold at the Olympics. As in other sports, a gold medal would propel the dancer in addition to being noticed.

One of the main prospects is Hori Issei, known simply by his Issei breaking grip. A D. League star, in 2016 he won the Red Bull BC One World Final, widely regarded as the biggest award in the station wagon world. Another Japanese competitor is Nakarai Shigeyuki, who is called Shigekix. In 2020, he became the youngest winner of BC One and is ranked among the best dancers in the world. On the b-girls side, Ram, who won gold in the individual and mixed team competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

Hori Issei, aka Issei.  The 24-year-old from Fukuoka Prefecture was the first Japanese dancer to win break awards.  (© Ligue D. 20-21)
Hori Issei, aka Issei. The 24-year-old from Fukuoka Prefecture was the first Japanese dancer to win break awards. (© Ligue D. 20-21)

Issei conducts and dances with the D. League Kosé 8Rocks team. Kosé is sponsored by the big cosmetics manufacturer Kose. Other companies investing in the D. League include corporate giant Softbank, the competition’s main partner, and Dai-ichi Life Insurance as the title sponsor. The fact that so many large companies are investing in the booming league reflects the potential for disruption.

Amid the growing excitement, however, there remains the question of how to increase the appeal of sports at the Olympics to the general public. This will require clearly explaining the judging criteria and the different aspects of breakout competitions. Equally difficult is the task of presenting the distinct culture of breaking up, such as the custom of calling dancers’ names, in a way that people can appreciate.

Although formidable, these problems are not insurmountable. If done well, the breaking will reap the rewards, the number of people attracted to the sport after having had the opportunity to observe is certain to continue to increase.

Some people seeing the station wagon for the first time might be taken aback by the street fashion and the behavior of the dancers. However, the top performers already have a conscience and pride that befits the Olympics. Shigekix always wears a costume when attending press conferences and public events out of a desire not to be misunderstood and ignored as “flashy” or unrefined. This reflects a growing awareness among b-boys and b-girls of the growth of the break and their evolving attitude as athletes.

How to further develop the potential of station wagon as a competitive sport in Japan? The launch of the D. League is a major step towards this goal. In July, the league crowned its first champions, the Avex Royalbrats. As more teams compete against each other and fans follow the action more and more, the league will create momentum for dance sports in Japan, helping to ride the wave of recognition offered by the Games. Olympic.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Group Kosé 8Rocks, led by gold medal prospect Issei, perform at a D. League competition. © D. League 20-21. )


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A new dance and Christian art studio is now welcoming students. River Fine Arts owner Lauren Knowles wanted to create a unique dance and art studio for the ministry in town. People can stop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday for an open house. The studio will also have a groundbreaking ceremony from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Kids can try on dancing shoes and eat cookies at Monday’s event.

Knowles moved to Midland in 2009 to teach dance after earning a college degree in dance. She and her husband, Nathan, moved to Ohio for a while, but returned to Midland after accepting a position at Christmas in Action as director of operations. The studio she worked in in Midland had closed and she took time to start a family.

“The dance ministry has been a missing part of my life,” she said. “I danced for so many years and loved running the fine art studio. I had been looking for a way to get there for a while. I wanted to go back to the intersection of the arts and the ministry.

Visit theriverfinearts.com/.


The space was once a ballroom dance studio at 4400 N. Big Spring St., suite C-38. The studio will offer lessons for toddlers with their parents up to the age of 18. Dance lessons include ballet, tap dance, jazz and hip hop. Knowles will be offering a dance class for mom and me, a teddy bear class, where the boys can come work out, and a sibling class, where siblings ages 3 to 7 can dance together. Art and theater classes will also be offered at the studio.

“We are starting with a mom and me baby class and my little boy will help me teach the class,” she said. “We have regular ballet and tap dance lessons, where they come to learn the basics and do the performance recital in the spring. Then we have dance ministry classes from 6 years old which are free. We have acting classes, which will cover acting, costumes, sets and props where they can build a show and perform every year.

Currently, the studio has an art class on Fridays called “Make a Mess,” where preschoolers can come in and do ridiculously fun, silly projects that parents don’t want in their own homes. she declared. It focuses on sensory and practical projects. The other art courses are a blended approach as well as for students of different levels and backgrounds.

The Bear Cubs dance class will be for little boys who want to tap and dance but may not want to sit still or do perfect foot positions, she said. The class will also have themes like dinosaurs and outer space. The Sibling Course is a great opportunity for older siblings to mentor and mentor their younger siblings while the younger ones are excited to do the same as their older sibling, she declared. There will be a class where students can participate in entry level Bible study and dancing.

The fine arts of the river are named after the Bible verse from Ezekiel 47: 9 which states “Every living thing that gathers where the river goes will live …”

“The idea is that the river mentioned in this verse comes out of the throne of God and that whatever grows beside the river is abundant and life-giving,” she said. “The idea is that we plant the program but not just the program but the children, families and teachers by the river of God to draw inspiration and strength from Him.”

She said The River Fine Arts will focus on all students and not just on dance competitions.

“We have wonderful dance studios for a wide variety of dancers in Midland,” she said. “But no studio approaches it from a ministry perspective. We will be very focused on the whole student with their dance or art technique as well as how to develop each student for what their goal is and support them in their goal later in life.

However, the studio doesn’t just focus on a traditional type of dance ministry.

“When people hear about the dance ministry, they think of waving flags, scarves and streamers,” Knowles said. “That’s not the whole picture though. Of course, in the studio people will hear Christian music, but we are not strictly Christian music. We focus on great music. We are an art that serves a purpose.

She added that some classes could play Hillsong United music while others will dance to the best 50s tunes while learning their tap routines. She said she wanted to focus on teaching students how to be culturally aware consumers around them. The River Fine Arts has two dance studios and an art room. Parents can watch their children in the lobby where a live broadcast of each class will be shown on the lobby TV.

Students will have a traditional recital in the spring, but she is also working on having a Christmas show every year. Classes start August 16.

More business news

–Midland Meat Co. will construct a new facility behind the current building. Owner John C. Scharbauer said current plans are for them to complete the building before Christmas. He said he also had plans for northern Midland around The Half Acre.


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Tap dancers perform on “What Time Is It” at the Northeastern Dance Academy Dance Recital on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at the Logan County Courthouse Gazebo. (Callie Jones / Sterling Journal-Lawyer)

The Durante dance studio may have new owners and a new name, but the mission and vision remain the same: to offer all young people the opportunity to dance.

Randy Finley recently sold his studio to Angie Pomeroy and Ashley Lynch who renamed it Northeastern Dance Academy (NDA). Finley started dancing 47 years ago and teaching 37 years ago. In 2001 he opened his first studio in Holyoke, then after closing it for a few years to reorganize he opened Durante’s Dance Studio in Sterling in 2008 and a year later he was again in Holyoke.

When the Sterling Studio first opened, there were only 45 students enrolled, but the number was growing every year and at one point there were as many as 221 children enrolled.

“Kids always come first to me and that includes having fun, if they’re not having fun they won’t be there. The last thing I wanted was for a child to leave here sad or crying for whatever reason, because he couldn’t take a step or had misunderstood something that was wrong. been said, ”Finley said.

“This is one of the things that is really important to Angie and me is that there is sometimes this misnomer that if you get really exceptional dance training it has to be really serious and strict and you can’t have fun and we really believe it is, and that’s why working with Randy suits us so well, that you can have exceptional dance training and have fun at the same time, ”said Lynch.

Pomeroy, who was born and raised in Sterling, has been teaching dance for 18 years along the Front Range and owned a studio in Highlands Ranch, with a business partner. She met Lynch, who also has extensive experience in the dance industry, when they were both dance graduates at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Wanting to return to a smaller area to raise her four-year-old daughter, Pomeroy and her husband decided two years ago that they wanted to return to Sterling. As fate would have it, at the same time, Lynch and her husband, originally from Sterling, decided that they wanted to settle here as well.

“I always knew I wanted to own a dance studio and being able to just give back to the community I grew up in was extremely important to me,” said Pomeroy.

So when she decided to return to Sterling, she made sure to contact her cousin, Finley. Needing another dance teacher, he quickly approached her and she came on board in January 2020. Then following an injury in October and due to family needs, Finley began to think about selling his studio and Pomeroy and Lynch seemed like the perfect choice. , because they believe in many of the same things he does.

The two longtime friends did not hesitate and, last spring, they took over the reins of the studio.

“Angie and I have casually talked about owning a dance studio for years, the whole time we’ve been friends and it was just the perfect time for us,” Lynch said. “We’re really lucky because Randy has built a really amazing business, he has some really great families here, a lot of really loyal families and a really strong foundation that we can build on. So, it was an easy decision for us.

“And we are really lucky because he is always there and always involved when we need help or seek advice, we are really lucky that he has made himself as available to us as he has. done, “Pomeroy added.

Finley will continue to teach at the NDA whenever needed and he also continues to teach at Candy’s Dance Academy in Brush and Fort Morgan.

“For me, one of the awards comes the following year and my elders come back to say hello and want to take my course. I want every kid to leave here, no matter when they choose to move on, that they still love what we’ve done. I have met too many children and adults who, once they have finished dancing, have finished dancing, it doesn’t have to be that way, ”he said.

For all three of them, teaching dance is not a job, it’s something they are passionate about and they want to share that with the children and help them develop that same love of dance.

“There are a lot of kids, especially in a more rural community, who lack really specific and knowledgeable training and I think that’s one of the things that’s so important to us is that we are constantly working to stay up to date and informed. about what’s going on in the dance industry, so that we can provide our children with relevant and accurate training, but also without ever compromising this fun and healthy environment, ”said Lynch.

NDA offers courses for children from 2 to 18 years old; they have also had adult classes before and hope to do so again.

The creative movement is offered to children from two to three years old. Lynch explained that the class for two-year-olds is a very specialized class using a program that she and Pomeroy have put together that is unique to their studio. It is very specific to age-appropriate development and class preparation.

A ballet and tap combo is offered for ages six and under, hip hop / acro for ages five to seven, then at age seven, students switch to a similar hour – ballet, tap dance, jazz, hip hop, pom or acro for dancers, which is Pomeroy and Lynch’s unique vision of specialized acrobatic movements for dance.

“Rather than trying to teach them tumbling arbitrarily, we’re really focusing on the acrobatic skills that they’re going to use in choreographing in a dance. So it’s very different from your power tumbling or your gymnastics, ”said Lynch.

One of their goals is to get students on stage as much as possible, at least at least four times a year. Contrary to the trend that dance studio owners cannot be organized, they have already booked recitals for 2022 and are excited to host them at Northeastern Junior College.

“And Randy has always been very involved in the community and for us this is just an opportunity to continue, it’s like what more can we do to get the kids to be in front of people as often as possible” , said Lynch.

With that in mind, they will be participating in the Logan County Fair Parade on August 7th.

Right now, NDA is in the middle of a full summer program and offers camps and classes all summer. These sessions will run until August and fall classes will start on September 7th. Although the NDA has yet to organize registration for the fall, it already has around 125 children registered.

They are also looking to sign people up for their “Sterling Community Nutcracker Remix,” which premieres December 18-19. All ages and skills are welcome and the show is open to the community, you don’t have to be a studio student to participate. All dance styles will be included and no experience is necessary.

The casting will take place on Saturday, September 11 at the NDA, 215 N. Second Street, 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for children under six, 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. for ages 7 to 10, 10:30 a.m. at 11 a.m. for 11-13 year olds and from 11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. for 14 years old and over.

For those who wish to register for courses, NDA welcomes girls and boys; in fact they were thrilled to see an increase in the number of boys coming to the studio especially young boys and for high school students enrolled in sports they will be working with you so you can find a way to do both .

“I used to train customer service people for a long time and I was like ‘you have to find a way to say yes’ and that’s one of the things that we really care about, we’re here to understand how we make dancing a yes for you, how can we figure out how to make group, sport and dance work so that dancing can always be a yes for you, ”said Lynch.

“We want to be accessible, if you have any questions don’t just rule it out, come let us know and if we don’t know how to figure it out, we will work with you to resolve it,” added Pomeroy.

Coming from the customer service experience, for Lynch it was important to make sure it was easy for parents to interact with them. To this end, the studio has a Facebook page; a website, where students can register for online courses; parents are free to send questions to the two women by text message; and they are also willing to meet in person at the studio to answer any concerns or questions parents might have.

The NDA provides a “scholarship,” which Finley also did, which is simply to help out whenever someone needs it. For example, if a student can afford dance clothes, he will pay for them.

“Even to this day, even though I’m not a homeowner, if there’s a kid I know who can’t afford clothes or classes, I’ll pay for him and these ladies. Because there’s always that chance, that kid who just needs to dance, ”Finley said.

Wanting to reach as many young people as possible, NDA seeks to create opportunities for people to access and experience the studio without having to sign up for a course.

“There is so much going on here that we are constantly changing whatever needs to be done to accommodate the community, so that more and more children have the ability to dance,” said Finley.

Pomeroy and Lynch also spoke to the RE-1 Valley School District about helping out with the RE’S mentoring program and mentoring any student who is interested in dancing, and they reached out to local preschools to teach classes in their school so that students do not. have to miss the dance just because their parents can’t get them to the studio every week.

Additionally, they met with the Logan County Arts League, in hopes of becoming more involved in the community and the arts.

“We want dance to be accessible to everyone. Growth is definitely our number one goal; we want as many children who want to dance to be able to dance as possible, ”said Pomeroy.

For more information on the dance studio, call 970-580-7142 or visit their website, www.northeasterndanceacademy.com.


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South Side student-athletes now have a new sports facility where they can train.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot cut the ribbon on Tuesday for a new indoor track at Gately Park in Pullman.

The 139,000 square foot facility at 10201 S. Cottage Grove Ave. will also serve as the new flagship site for After School Matters, the nonprofit group that hosts programs for students in grades 8 to 12 at the Gately Park site and two other locations.

Joyce Chapman, chair of the Gately Park Advisory Council, said the installation was “length ahead for the Far South Side.”

After School Matters and the Chicago Park District announced the project in 2018, according to CEO Mary Ellen Caron. It was scheduled to open last year but was delayed by the pandemic.

Tuesday was the first day of programs at the new facility, which seats 3,500 spectators and, said Lightfoot, “will put Chicago on par with New York and Boston” in the track and field championships.

“I never want to hear again that no one comes to Chicago looking for track talent because we have it in abundance,” said Lightfoot.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot watches students dance during a tour at a dedication ceremony for the new combined indoor track and flagship After School Matters site at Gately Park on Tuesday in the Pullman neighborhood.
Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

The building is named after Conrad Worrill, a longtime University of Northeastern Illinois professor who died last year. Worrill, a high school runner, had long called for an indoor track, so that today’s student-athletes could train all year round despite the harsh Chicago winters.

“He was a runner at Hyde Park High School 50 years ago, and he had to run in the halls of the school” because there was no indoor track, Caron said.

With the new track, Chapman said Chicago could “build our new Olympian.”

But there is more than the trail. The After School Matters wing of the building features art and dance studios, music rooms, culinary spaces, tech labs, and a two-story rooftop garden.

Although the program has served more than 350,000 participants in its 30-year history, Caron said this summer is the largest class to date, with 14,000 students.

The new combined athletic field and After School Matters flagship site at 10201 S. Cottage Grove Ave.  in Gately Park in Pullman.  Photographed on Tuesday July 6, 2021.

The new combined athletic field and flagship site of After School Matters at Gately Park in Pullman.
Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

One is Danny Barksdale, 16, in the Les Enfants dance program. He can see his school building across the street, although even observed during three years of construction he didn’t know what it was going to be.

“When I heard it was for After School Matters, it made me smile,” Danny said. “We finally have an opportunity where we don’t have to travel far just to do what we love. We can be safe and enjoy other activities.

16-year-old Destynee Smith has been participating in another After School Matters dance program for the past five years, Forward Momentum Chicago. She hopes to see the facility used by other youth teams in the city.

“After School Matters (helps) reduce violence and get a lot of kids off the streets, have something to do with their days and brighten up their daily lives,” she said.

Cheyanne M. Daniels is a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a non-profit journalism program that aims to strengthen newspaper coverage in communities on the south and west sides.


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“Jiva! »Does all the right things to intensify the appeal of the dance genre.

Over the past weekend I decided to take a break to watch anything.

You see, while it’s a happy experience for the most part, for me, as a reviewer, it’s often work for me. Do not mistake yourself. I’m not complaining at all. But sometimes I just need to switch off.

As such, I didn’t catch “Jiva!” like most streamers did over the weekend.

But, after some colleagues discussed the five-part series at our meeting on Monday, I was intrigued.

Of course, they made a few valid points about the need for creatives to ensure that places allow the public to suspend their beliefs.

Overall, they were impressed. And, honestly, me too.

I hung from the first frame. This series is an atmosphere, contagious to that.

And Busisiwe Ntintili (“4Play: Sex Tips for Girls” and “Happiness is a Four Letter Word”), who wears the cap of writer, director and executive producer, deserves a lot of praise for a top-notch script.

It is engaging, powerful and therefore in tune with the socio-economic realities of our country. I love the way she took artistic liberties by interweaving political issues that make the headlines into the narrative.

She also ensures that her storytelling is in tune with the culture and aspirations of young people.

The series follows the journey of Ntombi (Noxolo Dlamini), a gifted street dancer from Umlazi. Her life and dreams were turned upside down when her father committed suicide.

At the time, she was about to land her big break – an opportunity to tour as a dancer.

But that fell apart when his uncle Bra Zo (Tony Kgoroge) arrived and gave him the devastating news that changed his life. Since then, she has been the breadwinner, taking care of her wheelchair-bound mother and teenage brother Samu (Given Stuurman).

She is stuck in a dead end job at uShaka Marine World and longs to change her monotonous routine.

And this fire in her belly never ceases to attract her to her first love, in more than one way. And Bra Zo also defends his dreams.

The fifth Jiva Loxion street dance competition is back in town, as is Ntombi’s now famous ex, Bheki (Zamani Mbatha).

Things between the two of them ended badly, especially when he took her dancing niche, which she had to give up, and in doing so became a reality TV star.

Aside from that he broke his promise, she is upset that he stole her life.

Candice Modiselle as Vuyiswa in a scene with Dlamini. Image: Supplied

Fortunately, her sassy and protective ride or death, Vuyiswa (Candice Modiselle), takes her away from the past and pushes her to focus on the future by participating in the competition.

She eventually gives in and enrolls in The Trollies. Then, she goes on a recruiting mission and disembarks Zinhle (Sne Mbatha), Lady E (Stella Dlangalala) and Nolwazi (Zazi Kunene).

Although they have their party of five, there are internal feuds within the group.

But there is no dispute about the wealth of talent among them.

These guys are hot, passionate, and are taking those pop street dance moves right up to an art form. And they’re dripping with booty.

There are several layers in the storytelling and Ntintili handles it like the maven that she is.

We have the romantic aspect with Samu chasing her high school crush, now in her sister’s dance troupe.

Meanwhile, Ntombi, who has been too distracted by life to realize that she has a secret admirer, is fighting several battles, one of the most difficult of which is trying to convince her mother to support her dreams.

Although Vuyiswa is life goals with her designer wardrobe and lavish apartment, she has her own struggles with a controlling sugar daddy.

On the other hand, DJ Sika (Anga Makubalo) puts out a fire that could destroy everything he has built with the help of Jiva Loxion.

As much as I was delighted with the stellar cast and brilliant script, the fashion, music and dance choreography of the series is a wonderful ode to African culture and talent.

Watch “Jiva!” fills you with unmistakable pride.

The performances are authentic and engaging. The drama is offset by brilliant dance choreography and dances.

Don’t even get me started on the perfect choice of beats and the homage to icons like Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa and more.

This series makes all the right moves and intensifies the appeal of the dance genre. He has heart, soul and a contagious atmosphere!

“Jiva! »Is currently streaming on Netflix.


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Imagine: you and your favorite people are exploring a gentle, shady little mountain town while being immersed in arts and culture.

You only have a short 15 mile drive to make this vision a reality.

The Green Box Arts Festival is back in Green Mountain Falls, after the pandemic wiped out most of its annual events last summer. And this year’s event takes place over three weeks, far longer than its 10-day schedule. There are dozens of activities to choose from, including arts camps for kids, concerts by The Reminders and Collective Groove, Sunday carols with the Colorado Springs Conservatory, ArtDesk conversations, nature hikes and movie nights. of Friday. Many events are free and most require registration.

For the first time in the history of the festival, the professional company of the American Ballet Theater will present three paid shows. These performances are sold out.

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“Being able to participate in artistic experiences in an outdoor environment is very exciting,” said Deputy Festival Director Scott Levy. “Green Mountain Falls is a special place. It’s an easy day trip – 20 minutes from downtown and you feel like you’re in a mountain paradise.






The Green Box Arts Festival is a three-week celebration of the arts in Green Mountain Falls. Activities include dance performances, movies, songs, arts camps, artistic conversations, and a July 4th block party. This year, Collective Groove will perform.




One of the highlights of the festival is often an installation by a world-famous artist. This year’s highly anticipated work, a Skyspace by light and space artist James Turrell, has been delayed until October due to a snowy spring and building materials delayed by a pandemic. However, on July 10, festival organizers will walk with attendees to the Skyspace site from the Green Box Farm booth, 6990 Lake St., and dedicate the space from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Skyspace visitors will be seated inside the 8-by-8-foot room, with a ceiling that opens to the sky, and witness a 40-minute light show at sunrise and sunset. As the colors of the sky change, so do the LED lights inside the space. Levy calls this a “meditative spiritual experience”. And because the roof is retractable, the show will also be offered during the day.

There are only a hundred Skyspaces in the world. The Green Mountain Falls site will be Turrell’s first permanent facility in Colorado, and also the first to be built on a mountainside.

“Because these Skyspaces are so renowned around the world, we believe it will change the artistic and cultural landscape of Pikes Peak,” said Levy. “We will find visitors who will come specifically to visit the Skyspace and experience the rest of what we have to offer. “

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270


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The Artists in Motion dance studio will organize a variety of dance classes and camps for young people of all ages this summer to raise awareness and instill in them a passion for the arts.

Bethany Hansen, artistic director of the studio, said the studio had been open since late 2017 and had just started to pick up business. The Artists in Motion dance studio was created to provide a safe space for young people to dance.

“The owners of the studio are actually parents who just started this studio (like) a passion project for them. They wanted to create a studio that was a safe place for their children, they didn’t want to be involved in the competitions and the drama, ”said Hansen. “They just wanted their kids to dance and have fun.”

After being hired as an artistic director, Hansen said she developed a passion for providing a theater-free place for young people to explore the arts.

“When they brought me in, it was exactly what I wanted. I am a mom too, and today’s world is difficult for children, it is full of competition and pettiness. (The) fact that these parents wanted to have this safe space for the kids to dance for fun, I became very passionate about this being a great place for kids, ”Hansen said. “I am so passionate about the arts in general, dance and music, drama and singing. I think kids should be given the opportunity to do these kinds of things without judgment, so that’s kind of our goal.

To foster a love of the arts and get kids moving, the studio has created a wide variety of camps and classes, for all ages, available throughout the summer.

There will be three dance camps available for ages 3-7 in June, July and August. The studio will host a Princess in Training dance camp in June, an Animal Safari Adventure dance camp in July, and an Adventure Under the Sea dance camp in August.

Hansen said each camp will feature fun dance moves, choreographed dance to present to parents, themed crafts, snacks and special surprises for guests. Each camp will cost $ 85 and is open to children of all skill levels.

The Princess in Training dance camp will take place on Tuesday June 22 and Thursday June 24; the Animal Safari Adventure dance camp will be held on Tuesday July 27 and Thursday July 29; and the Adventure Under the Sea Dance Camp will be held on Tuesday August 10 and Thursday August 12.

Each camp will be from 10 a.m. to noon, located at 5571 Gretna Road, Suite D, in Branson.

The studio will host a special musical theater workshop for children ages 6 and up on Monday July 5. The workshop for ages 6 to 11 will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. for ages 12 and over.

Registration will be $ 40 per child and will be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities or experience.

The studio will bring in two professional artists, Jeremy Brown and Kaitlin Nelson, actors from New York City, to teach musical theater, singing, musical theater-style dance and more.

“These two are amazing; they are delighted to share their knowledge with young people because it is their passion, ”said Hansen. “Young people are the future, and they don’t want it all to be about being the best and being competitive. Let’s show a conscience for the arts and a love and a passion for it.

Hansen said attendees will learn music and choreography from several popular Broadway musicals, such as SpongeBob Square Pants, The Greatest Showman and Hamilton.

There will also be summer sampling courses available at the studio this summer for ages 7 and up.

There will be two sessions for dancers to experience different genres of dance including styles and choreography. One session will cost $ 150 per dancer or $ 250 for both sessions. Family discounts will be offered for families with more than one dancer.

The first session will take place July 13-15 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the second session will take place July 20-22 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For more information on the Artists in Motion dance studio or to see a full list of all events this summer, visit aimbranson.com or follow the Facebook page ‘Artists in Motion Dance Studio.’


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HANFORD – The staff, dancers and volunteers of PATY’Studio are delighted to present the annual June recital production titled “TIME! “

“After nearly a year and a half without being able to be on stage or have an actual audience due to COVID-19, we are more than excited! More than words can express, our dance recital production will be on. a real stage, with real lighting, with passionate dancers and performers, beautiful backdrops, and above all … a real live audience, “said studio founder and choreographer Patricia Diaz.

This production is all about “In His Timing” and the idea that all things are made beautiful in God’s timing, according to a statement.

“Time does not stand still for nothing or for anyone, but God gives us all the time of life to bless us with moments! we need to remember that God has a plan and a time for everything in our life. If we live our lives remembering that this is God’s plan, maybe we could just breathe and fully enjoy every moment, ”Diaz said of the themes for this year’s performance.

The recital is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday June 19 at the Hanford Civic Auditorium. Doors open at 4:45 p.m.

“This production is going to be very special. Our dancers have worked so hard to be able to express what ‘TIME’ means to them in their dance performances,” said Diaz.

Several types of dance genres will be featured including ballet, breakin ‘hip-hop, jazz, salsa, Mexican folklorico, lyric and others.

“Our choreographic teachers are so thrilled to finally see their creations come to life on stage and hear the applause and cheers from the audience,” said Diaz.

“With all the hard work our entire production team has put into producing this dance recital; we really hope the community can come together and support our dance studio by purchasing a ticket and being the ‘real live audience’ what we have been waiting for Our young dancers need to feel again the applause, the cheers and all the love through a “real live audience.” We thank you in advance, and see you on the show! ”says Patricia! Diaz, owner and director of PATY’Studio.


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