PERMISSION TO DANCE: a proposition to dance fully whilst working on all the things you are working on.

 

At its core, PERMISSION TO DANCE/REAL DANCE CLASS FOR FAKE DANCERS AND VICE VERSA/QUEER TECHNIQUE/FAST SOMATICS is just a dance class--with a warm up, some exercises and sometimes even a little bit of choreography. It celebrates the ritual of coming together to be in our bodies learning things. It takes inspiration from queer theory and feminism to make sense of the practices we do or can do. It’s meant to challenge you physically and engage you intellectually, to warm up your body and also your attention, to bring you into the room fully, with yourself, with others, and with proposals that can feed into and nourish your own practice.

 

PTD classes entail combining fundamental and familiar technical exercises (floor work, standing exercises in center, and phrase work) with other physical practices (improvisation, breath and energy work, etc) that support the development of performance presence, a fuller range of movement, and the ability to fluidly move through dynamic qualities. I have trained in various contemporary practices in the US, Canada and Europe from ballet to break dancing to Gaga and Gyrokinesis®.   

 

BACKGROUND: I’ve been teaching physical practice for contemporary dancers and performers for about 10 years.  In this time, I’ve taught beginners to professionals, people with mixed abilities and neurodegenerative illness, actors, musicians, and anyone with an interest in movement.  In New Orleans, I offer weekly classes in contemporary forms, improvisation and dance research in a city where contemporary dance doesn’t have much weight or relevance.  Doing so keeps me focused, humble and aware of who I am and what impact I have. On any given day my classes are populated with dancers who are single moms, squatters, sex workers, actors, professionally trained musicians, ballet dancers, parade organizers, dance krewe members and a myriad of other folks. I have been working to cultivate a balance of accessibility and rigor that can engage people across backgrounds.  Because my own performances often fall outside of what people would consider “concert” dance, sometimes dance classes feel unrelated to what I do creatively.  My work as a teacher has been to create containers for many kinds of approaches to co-exist while offering clear alignment cues. some fundamental skills, and a way to deepen our own sense of presence and connection.

 

2018 ROAR Workshop Log 

© 2018 Shannon Stewart