What is the Moving Company?
The Moving Company Dance Center is a school of contemporary dance located at 17 Main Street, Second Floor, in the Vastu Studio. Linda Mensch, the Director and owner of the Moving Company, has over thirty years of dance and teaching experience. The Moving Company offers a variety of dance classes to those of all ages. Students of all levels and abilities are welcomed at the Moving Company, at any age and with or without dance experience. Students have the opportunity to learn, create, choreograph, and perform in an environment that allows for students to express themselves freely and creatively. See a list of our current staff here. Check out our list of our classes here
Does Modern/Contemporary dance teach any technique?
The Moving Company offers classes in jazz and modern ballet in addition to basic and advanced modern courses. There are also courses available in power jumps and spins, hip hop, movement for theater, and one-day workshops. There are different schools and training techniques in Modern (Martha Graham, Cunningham, Limon). The emphasis in Modern is to use technique to demonstrate what is being expressed – whether it is an emotion, an attitude or an advancement of a narrative. In addition to building strength, mastering technique, and developing a vocabulary for expression, students practice creative problem solving and engage their imaginations, and ultimately approach learning new techniques with curiosity and skill building.
I heard modern dance is unstructured and undisciplined. Is that true?
Modern dancers approach their art with the same focus and discipline as dancers in any other field. Instructors at the Moving Company Modern Dance Center teach in a manner that accommodates different levels of ability while demonstrating the basics and allowing for individual expression. Each class follows a basic structure according to the needs and ages of the class. There are warm ups, attention to technique, introduction of a concept to explore, and cool downs. Classes are well organized, engage all students, and are fun and rewarding.
Are costumes for the performances expensive?
No! Parents are happy to report that they have never paid more than $20 for a costume, and usually less. The biggest expense is a leotard (for girls). This is not to say that the students don’t wear costumes for the concerts – only that the costumes are done imaginatively, using clothing that students often already have on hand (for example, a summer dress or neon shorts) or accessories that don’t cost a lot of money. Some dances may call for all-matching outfits (i.e. everyone must wear a certain color) or a certain style (leggings and a tee shirt, allowing for a beautiful array of designs and colors), which means clothes that can be worn before and long after a concert is over. The most important element is that students can dance comfortably in their costumes!
My child is interested in dance but never danced before. Is it too late to start?
Students are grouped by age, not level, with a couple of exceptions. This allows for a variety of levels in class. New students tend to learn the basics quickly and are inspired to fully participate right away, while experienced dancers continue to expand their dance vocabulary and explore. Dance fosters social interaction and cooperation, and these are the hallmarks of every class offered -- in addition to the other benefits of dance such as a greater range of motion, coordination, strength and endurance. At the end of the year performance it is never apparent who the “new” dancers are – and everyone gets to participate as much as they want to -- by joining Dance Inventions, Dance in a Day, or creating their own work -- in addition to each class’ performance.
How will dancing benefit my child?
Dance is for everyone: it keeps the body and brain active, improves strength and flexibility, helps to meet new people and friends, reduces stress, increases self-esteem and confidence through mastering new skills, and offers a creative outlet for people to express themselves in a safe environment. Dance also offers an activity for people who may not consider themselves “sporty.” The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise , but the participation in an art form, which is routed in technique, and giving the opportunity for a creative outlet. The Moving Company does have several competitive athletes among its students, who can vouch for the positive effects of dance through increased flexibility, stamina, and “thinking outside the box.”
One study claims that students who have a background in dance tend to achieve significantly higher SAT scores and do better in math and science competitions. Whatever the outcome of such a study, dance clearly has educational benefits. Dance requires practice, discipline and focus. It can spark creativity and develop an appreciation for the arts. Through dance, students of all ages develop enhanced sensory awareness, cognition, and consciousness, and all these benefits can carry through to the classroom, and life.
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