An archive of Recent Achievements, newspaper articles, and events/history of the company. This page will be updated soon.
A Christmas Carol 2022
Thanks to Rachel Gibbons at the Arizona Daily Sun for these great pictures! See more here.
Did you see the pics in the paper?
Celebrating 29 years of dance in Flagstaff with Canyon Movement Company!
CONGRATULATIONS TO MISS GINA! THANK YOU FOR YOUR OUTSTANDING WORK AS A DANCER, ARTIST, AND EDUCATOR IN FLAGSTAFF!
THE ARIZONA DANCE COALITION HAS RECOGNIZED GINA WITH THE CREATING CONNECTIONS AWARD. SHE ALSO RECEIVED RECOGNITION FROM THE MAYOR OF FLAGSTAFF, AND THE FLAGSTAFF ARTS COUNCIL.
SEAN OPENSHAW CREATED A VIDEO CAPTURING THE EVENT. VIEW IT HERE.
We want to take a moment to thank all of our friends and supporters as we navigate these unprecedented times! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Award notification link here
Did you see the article in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Sun?
Thanks to MacKenzie Chase and the Arizona Daily Sun for this great article about the show.
Did you see our Review of the show at Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center in Las Vegas, July 26, 2019?
The Only Man by Gina Darlington
Dear friends of Canyon Movement Company,
It is with heartfelt love and deepest emotion that we inform you that our studio, Canyon Dance Academy will no longer be in operation as of August 7, 2021. We know this is unexpected. It has been a whirlwind of decision making and consideration during the past few weeks. To honor all of our past students and teachers, we will continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary in our Facebook group culminating with a special NUTCRACKER event. Additionally, the adult COMPANY, Canyon Movement Company will CONTINUE to operate as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization creating and presenting dance and educational opportunities. We have several projects in the works. Thank you for your support. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Some of our first films:
Read about our Dance Movement and Music for Seniors and Parkinson’s classes in the Daily Sun
See the article in the Daily Sun about our program here.
Because of the pandemic, dance has been required to stretch its limits. Boundless demonstrated how far we will go! Thank you to everyone who attended our Parking Lot performance.
Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet
Please consider making a donation (suggested $10 per person) for the show! Just click on the “Donate” button below. Thank you for your support!
SIX FEET APART – a Virtual Dance Experience
May 29-30, 2020 6:00 p.m. Will be available until May 30 at 9pm
Where: On-line on our YouTube channel (More details will be on our website and social media)
Tickets: Suggested donation $15/general. Donations are not required to view the festival, but are greatly appreciated. Donations will support the Navajo Nation Covid-19 Relief Fund.
With the current pandemic and social restrictions, we are converting our annual Spring Dance Festival to an online format! This has opened the door for entries from companies that normally wouldn’t be able to travel here to perform.
Dance videos will include dances that have been recorded live in the theater, dances made specifically for film, and new work created and recorded in isolation. Participating artists include: Canyon Movement Company, Velocity Dance Company, Movement Source Dance Company (Phoenix), Cazo Dance Company (Phoenix), David Ramos, Jennifer Knott, Perpetual Motion Dance Company (Oklahoma), Sasha Chudacoff (Colorado), and Wight Noise Dance Company (Glendale, AZ).
This program is sponsored in part by the City of Flagstaff and Flagstaff Arts Council, the Arizona Community Foundation, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“TALES FROM TOWN”
DO you know the ghosts who haunt our mountain town? Want a fun frightful night to get you in the Halloween spirit? DANCES about our unseen residents will keep you looking over your shoulder. Our teen-age ghost-hunters will take us around town to find our friendly, or not so friendly ghosts.
Canyon Movement Company’s Halloween Concert is back with Coconino High School Dance Department, Velocity Dance Company, and dancers from FALA. Fun music and costumes present a lively, fun, and sometimes creepy concert for everyone. Come see a collection of dances about the things that give you chills.
Performances are October 25-26, 2019
A Christmas Carol “Suite” in modern bare feet!
A new dance production presented by Canyon Movement Company based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol—like you’ve never imagined! December 7-8 at the Clifford E. White Theater on NAU Campus.
Read about it here in the Arizona Daily Sun!
Read this article about our 2017 Spring Dance Festival here.
Check out this video from 4Flagtv.com. Thanks Nick! http://4flagtv.com/episode/nutcracker-suite-in-modern-bare-feet
Read about our Dance Movement and Music for Seniors and Parkinson’s classes in the Daily Sun
See the article in the Daily Sun about our program here.
***********Collaboration with visual/fiber artist Angel Brynner – Fall 2017
See the article in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Sun about 2012’s Nutcracker!
See the fabulous article on Nutcracker 2014 in the Daily Sun
Canyon Movement Company received the Viola Award for Performing Arts! We are so honored!
Read the article on the Fringe Festival in 2010 in the Arizona Daily Sun!
Read about it in the Arizona Daily Sun
We are celebrating 23 years of dance in Flagstaff with Canyon Movement Company! Repertory from the past 20 years was shown at the FPAFF festival in 2013!
Many past company members returned to see and/or be in the show! We had a fabulous reunion luncheon where we relieved many memories from the past 20 years! Thanks to so many who made it happen.
Dance & Rise: Film & Dance Event
Friday, February 22, 2013 One Billion Rising!
An official V-Day event: increase awareness about domestic violence against women, celebrate the rise of those who escape it. *Films and dances exploring this as well as other perspectives on women.
Here are some links to various publications that have mentioned CMC:
See the article in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Sun about 2012 Nutcracker!
The twelfth annual
in Modern Bare Feet
We just finished our fourth annual Halloween show! It was awesome!
CMC recently performed with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in their July 3rd concert at the Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill.
“Summertime” by Gina Darlington with the FSO, photo by Wade Thorson
And just returned from the Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas, July 2013.
Dusk to Dawn
featuring choreography by Gina Darlington, Amanda Moore, Kristi Long, Amanda Kapp, Cori Wall, Erin Glockner, and Velocity Dance Company.
The bride is hanging from the ceiling…yearnings for blood…a flock of young vampires establishing their territory…the single soul damned to eternal torment…
A concert of new dance works by Canyon Movement Company.
Dancers using silk hanging from the ceiling and other unique props to expand their choreography, will present a lively fun concert for everyone.
Performed at the Boulder Fringe Festival, and in Flagstaff,
August and October, 2010
Flagstaff Performance Arts Fringe Festival, 2010-2014
Go to the festival website for all the details about all the companies and events:
Photos from the Flagstaff Performance Arts Fringe Festival, 2010
2009 Completed First Stop, First Friday events:
February: Open rehearsal with Canyon Movement Company. Come see how we create new dances!
March: fouth annual PLANETARY DANCE! Come participate in this community event that is a dance for peace! Live drummers and directions make it one of the most moving events you can be a part of!
April: Dance, music, poetry, dramatic readings, performance art.
May: Dancers from NAU and Coconino High School.
June: CMC’s Masterpiece performance with Shonto Begay
July/August – summer break
September: Open rehearsal with the company!
October: Joint event with Jenn Jones of Red Thread Sewing Company. Fashion Show at the Green Room.
Thank you Flagstaff Communty Foundation for funding this event and supporting dance in our community!
- Completed our 6th annual Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet with performances for over 2500 people. December 2009
- Lake Powell Concert Association presented Canyon Movement Company in concert on October 16th. We had a great performance and lecturedemonstration at Lake View elementary school!
- Arizona Contemporary Dance Festival October 10, 2009 at the Tempe Performing Arts Center.
- We were part of the Flagstaff Cultural Partners’ and Coconino Center for the Arts Summer of Dance! We performed two concerts and made sure the rest of them happened.
- We performed a joint concert with Conder/dance from Tempe on July 18, 2009
- Visions and Voices Dance Concert was presented on June 5 & 6 with Shonto Begay as our American Masterpiece artist. He made instant etch-a-sketch drawings while the dancers performed. Witness creativity in progress! Improvisational dance and music in the back of a pick-up truck, etch-a-sketch creations by artist Shonto Begay while you watch, dancers painting each other, rocks flinging through the air! Working with and inspired by the artwork and style of Diné artist Shonto Begay, Canyon Movement Company performed an evening of new dances.
The seventeenth annual Dance Concerto was presented as part of FlagstaffCultural Partners “Monsoon – a flood of dance” this summer.
- Company members were guest artists at the annual Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas in July 2009.
- We just returned from the MAD BAD Festival in the San Francisco area. We taught a master class at the Merced Academy of Dance, where our former dancer Carol Hart teaches. We then went to the Bay Area where we performed in the festival on April 25, 2009. It was a great experience!
- We were invited to dance in Carley Condor’s Spring Concert in Tempe, AZ. She is a renown choreographer and we were honored to be invited. She will be bringing her company up here to perform in July as part of the Monsoon of Dance.
- Canyon Movement Company performed at Heritage Square with the Bravura! company from Canyon Dance Academy on August 16th. We also recently returned from Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas! We performed on August 1-2, 2008.
- CMC traveled to Tempe Performing Arts Center (Oct. 11) where we performed in the Arizona Dance Festival. We performed our humerous dance, “Say What?” We had a sold-out crowd who were very responsive. They laughed and laughed and told us afterward they liked our “Sarah Palin dance.” Hmmmmmmmm…….We traveled and performed in Tempe in Oct.
- CMC created and produced “dances about the women and quilts of Gee’s Bend.” This program featured quilt displays, narration, live music, and original dances to share the story of Gee’s Bend, Alabama with Flagstaff, quilters from Quilt Camp in the Pines, and in Las Vegas.
- CMC has choreographed and produced The Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet for 6 consecutive years.
- CMC choreographed and performed “Trapped” for the documentary film, “HIStory of Women’s Prisons” in 2008. It is based on domestic violence.
- Recipients of a Partners in Arts Learning grant to fund work with Bothands Organization and Sharon Manor, a transitional home for families.
- CMC has completed a trans-national project, “Ruins” with Myriad Dance from Ireland. the company traveled to Ireland in April 2006 to teach, choreograph, and perform, and Myriad Dance came to Flagstaff in June. A film of the project is finished and was shown at DanCelebration 2007!
- CMC traveled to Italy to perform in a festival in June 2004.
- CMC received a “Phase I Understanding Participation” Grant and a “Phase II UP” grant through the Arizona Commission on the Arts funded by the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation.
- Memberships continue to build and increase
This beautiful quilt was raffled off on July 14th, 2008! Faun Nichols won the quilt!
Thanks for your support!
Quilt by Barbara Schreiner 2003. Courtesy of Kristi Long.
ARCHIVES OF PAST EVENTS
Canyon Movement Company presented the fifth annual Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet – a 21st This production has become a Holiday Tradition with tickets sales starting as early as October. Every year, there are new dynamic changes that keep this production at the top of the “MUST-SEE” holiday shows!
In 2008, an African dance and drum troupe has been added to the authentic ethnic dances. Fantastical costumes by Jen Jones of the Red Thread Sewing Company, new casting, updated choreography, musical surprises, and beautiful sets will send you home with the holiday spirit
New this year are tap dancing soldiers, new characters in the party scene including party servers and a cat and mouse, enhanced contemporary costumes, additional choreographers with new choreography, a cast of over 80 dancers, and a street performing scene with dibolos (large Chinese yo-yo’s thrown with a string), lock and pop dancing, free-hand stilts, tap dancing, and gymnastics. This annual Flagstaff tradition uses music by Peter Tchaikovsky with new choreographic interpretations lending a fresh look to this classical favorite. Beautiful backdrops of the San Francisco Peaks bring this holiday favorite home to Flagstaff.
Members of Canyon Movement Company and the cast also presented five lecture/demonstrations at local schools and community centers as part of their outreach and educational programs. This program is sponsored by Target Stores.
Flag Live said, “The Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet successfully blended … two expectations. The end result was a distinctive combination that gave this performance a personality that could only be seen in a small town like Flagstaff. It was an extremely well-orchestrated family show.”
This performance is supported in part by funds from the City of Flagstaff and Flagstaff Cultural Partners, the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, Target Stores, and private donors.
Dances inspired by the Quilts of Gee’s Bend
including music by Tony Norris and Bill Burke.
This performance is based on the women and quilts of Gee’s Bend Alabama. There are slides of the actual quilts, live music with Tony Norris and Bill Burke, all new choreography by CMC, and narration to tell the story. It’s a wonderful show, and touches on all aspects of the lives of those women including abuse, sisterhood, community, and art-making.
Inspired by the beautiful artistic quilts of Geeâ€™s Bend, Alabama, Canyon Movement Company has created dances reflecting the time and place represented in those quilts. Live music by Tony Norris and Bill Burke accompany many of the dances created by CMC members. Experience the story of the women who live there, and how they survived the oppression, poverty, and difficulties of the time. In cooperation with Tinwood Media, pictures of the quilts will be on display along with other quilts in the dancersâ€™ possession. All ages will be welcome to help create a â€œcommunity quiltâ€� in the lobby before and after the show. Funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece program.
The fifteenth annual Dance Concerto was orginally presented in the Studio Theater at NAU on May 8 – 10.
Live music, film projection, narration, and beautiful costumes and quilts ensure a fantastic evening of dance for everyone! Director Gina Darlington, and company members Cynthia Ahlers, Carol Hart, Barbara Klimowski, and Jayne Lee choreographed all new work for the program. This concert will be full of exciting dances infused with maturity and experience. Tickets are $10 at the door. Seating is limited. Donâ€™t miss this unique program from the local modern dance company that brought you “The Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet.”
In conjunction with the American Masterpiece funding, excerpts of this program has been presented to schools and in the community throughout the spring of 2008 including Cromer School, Thomas School, Northern Arizona Yoga Center, and as part of the First Stop First Friday series at Canyon Dance Academy. Furthermore, a portion of the program was used in an independent film documentary about women in abusive and oppressed situations and will be shown in film festivals across the country.
This concert is funded in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Flagstaff and the Flagstaff Cultural Partners, and Flagstaff Community Foundation.
Each February, we perform the “Planetary Dance.” Gina attended a “Planetary Dance” event with the founder, Anna Halprin- noted modern dance figure in the late 20th century. Based on that experience, we had our own performance/participation of a planetary dance that brought prayers of peace and hope and healing to each of us. We had live drummers and about 35 participants! It was great.
The concert on July 3rd, 2007 at the new Pine Mountain Amphitheater with Canyon Movement Company and the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra was a huge success!Over 3000 audience members attended. It was a beautiful evening with fantastic music and brilliant dancing. For more information about the Flagstaff Symphony, contacthttp://flagstaffsymphony.org/
Canyon Movement Company choreographed two new dances for this show. The first one is “Outdoor Overture,” by Aaron Copland. Choreographer Cynthia Dewell Ahlers has taken the idea of outdoor activities in and around Flagstaff, and incorporated them into dance – climbing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and kayaking. Come see this exciting, humorous look at Flagstaff’s outdoor activities through modern dance!
Director Gina Darlington choreographed the second dance to a selection by Michael Kamen for the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers.” The choreography explores ideas generated by the music including depending on each other for survival, support, and solidarity. It is a solemn reminder of the experience of the 101st Airborne in France over 60 years ago.
Finally, Bravura!, Canyon Dance Academy’s youth company joined Canyon Movement Company for a fun rendition of “Cotton-Eyed Joe!” staged by Carol Hart.
Canyon Movement Company’s portion of the performance is sponsored in part by Wells Fargo Investments, Wells Fargo Bank, First State Bank, Scott A. Darlington DDS, Arizona Music Pro, Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Flagstaff and Flagstaff Cultural Partners, the Brenner Foundation and individual donations.
DanCelebration and Dance Concerto XIV were combined this year!
Supported in part with funds from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Flagstaff, the Brenner Foundation, and membership support.Guest Artist Breanna Rogers taught, performed and set a new work on Canyon Movement Company. Other guest performers include CCC’s Encore Dance company, CDA’s Bravura! company, and community guest artists.We hope you took part in Flagstaff’s Ninth annual DanCelebration with guest artist Breanna Rogers from Colorado along with Flagstaff’s own Canyon Movement Company and Human Nature Dance Theatre. There were numerous FREE events happening during the festival, including lunchtime performances at 12:30 at Heritage Square, an opening reception, film festival, and choreographer’s showcase. A fantastic GalaConcert rounded out the events on Saturday evening. Master classes and workshops will be taking place daily. Classes included improvisation and technique.
Canyon Movement Company’s 8th annual DanCelebration 2006 was a huge success! Our Irish visitors, Human Nature, and our own company dancers provided daily free performances, open master classes a reception, presentation/lecture, and Gala concert on Friday night at the new Canyon Dance Academy Black Box Theater The world premier of “behindtheeyesliesbone” performed by Myriad Dance, and the preview of Ruins – a trans-national project were seen at the Gala concert.
DanCelebration 2000-2005 featured: Guest Artist Nina Watt joined the Limon Dance Company in 1972. Quickly becoming a soloist with the Limon Company, her stature as a performer has been recognized over the years in major roles from the works of outstanding choreographers including Limon, Humphrey, Daniel Nagrin, and many others, as well as a work especially choreographed for her by Alwin Nikolais. She is featured on the cover of the March 1996 issue of Dance Magazine. Currently on leave-of-absence, Ms. Watt appeared as a guest artist with Doug Varone and Dancers in the 2002 production The Bottomlands at New York City’s Ohio Theater. Ms. Watt is the recipient of a 2002 Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Dancing. She taught classes daily as well as performing. Joining Ms. Watt from the Limon Company was RAPHAEL BOUMAILA.
Major funding is provided in part the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Flagstaff, private donors, and Canyon Movement Company. It is produced by Canyon Movement Company. For questions, registration, tickets or other information call (928) 774-3937 or 526-9403.
Dance Grand Prix in Italy June 18-23, 2004.
Here we are in Italy! Sarah, Carrie and I performed twice in Cesena last week. It was a beautiful old stage that was raked – that means it was slanted towards the audience. It makes it a bit more difficult to dance on. We were honored in the contemporary dance division. All the Italian people are wonderful and helpful. So we will update more later-on to Rome!
Previous Educational activities/workshops/performances:
In August 2007, we conducted a workshop for the Flynn Foundation Scholars in Williams, AZ.
Canyon Movement Company has performed for the Peak School in conjunction with the winter performances. In 2004, we performed “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from the Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet. In 2005 and 2006, we performed the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and the Dancing Dolls from the Party Scene, 2007 is the Pas de Deux.
Lecture/demonstration for Flagstaff elementary schools — The Quilting performances in 2000, were very successful within the schools. The company was commissioned by the Arizona Community Foundation to create a lecture/demonstration that incorporated the Arizona Arts Standards. We took the show the ” The Quiltings ” and added overhead projections of the quilt photos, and included explanations about the quilts histories. This lecture/demonstration was performed for 10 schools in Northern Arizona. We would be happy to provide names of the schools if you would like to contact them.
Other Workshops, Residencies, and performances:
Ireland residency — In April of 2006, we worked again with dancers and students in Wexford Ireland and Myriad Dance. We taught numerous workshops in conjunction with a Choreographic Collaboration
Tuba City – in 2004, we traveled to Tuba City and performed for the schools and community. This project involved a collaboration with Grand Canyon Ballet.
Canyon Movement Company has been a guest artist for the Flagstaff Leadership Program for five years.
CMC Director, Gina Darlington conducted a movement workshop for Flynn Foundation Scholars in August 2007.
Workshops for NAU
— These two hour workshops included improvisational ideas led into choreographic ideas. The company took the students movement and created a short performance piece for them.
Grand Canyon Schools (1999)– This two week residency focused on a theme of Peace in the New Millennium facilitated through teaching an inspiring story about hope in the post W.W.II era. Classes included improvisational exercises in which the children choreographed their own dances. Special guest, Scott McBride taught drumming and Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art form. The residency was concluded with a community show including the children’s creations and the Company’s performance.
1996-This residency taught children from K-12 grades in both private and public schools in Wexford County, Ireland. Residency work included dance performances, lecture/demonstrations on choreography and movement, and creative movement participation. Highlights included working with children of “travelers”, families that have a gypsy lifestyle, and introducing American modern dance to the small communities in the Southeast Region of Ireland.
THE QUILTINGS 2001
(photo by Norm Shrewsbury) Canyon Movement Company, Inc., a Flagstaff based modern dance company, presents THE QUILTINGS lecture/demonstration A 45-60 minute series of dances based on the quilts and stories of 19th century pioneering women. The presentation includes a brief spoken history about each section and quilt pattern. Additionally, the children will be included by “creating” their own quilt dance with their hands. During the lecture-demonstration, the students will be exposed to all three Art Standards included in Dance: Creating Arts-we will discuss how we create the dances performed and the students will have a chance to create their own short phrase while in the audience (with their hands) Art in Context-the dances will demonstrate how interrelated conditions of the women pioneers can be reflected in the movement. Art as Inquiry-universal themes will be explored and discussed in the program, as well as our process in developing the ideas. If you are interested in booking this wonderful program for your school, or if you have questions, please contact CMC’s director, Gina Darlington, by phone at 928-526-9403 or by email at email@example.com
Canyon Movement Company is on the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA) Artists Roster for 1996-2004, and is available for residencies in schools and communities. This project is funded in part by The Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the City of Flagstaff.
Bravura Dance Company dancing the “Cotton Eyed Joe” with
Canyon Movement Company and Flagstaff Symphony
Orchestra, July 3, 2007
Miss Gina D. improvising with dancer, True, while waiting for the FSO rehearsal. July 2007
Students from Canyon Dance Academy traveled to The Hague, Netherlands in July to participate in the Dance and the Child International conference. They performed excerpts of WaterDance, participated in a world record breaking clog dance, took class, and one of our teachers taught class! See pictures at the CDA website,
Canyon Dance Academy’s Spring show,”Mountain Dance” was performed in June at the CHS auditorium. Audience members were moved to tears as dancers demonstrated their technical, creative, and performing skills.
What makes Canyon Dance Academy different? We focus on the development of the whole person by presenting dance as an art form, thus spawning creative and independent thinking, leadership skills, self-control both physically and emotionally, working cooperatively in groups, and confidence building in activities such as choreography and performances. We advocate the philosophy of Virginia Tanner, a pioneer in the field of creative movement for children: “The motivating force behind my work is not only developing excellent dancers, but more importantly, developing young people who are useful, imaginative, worthwhile human beings.”
* We offer performance opportunities, not competitions.* We offer excellent technical training by college graduates with professional experience.
* We offer a variety of classes while staying true to our mission of teaching dance as an art form.
* We offer specialized workshops, AZ Jazz Dance Festival attendance, travel opportunities, and company training for our teens.
* We also offer scholarships, reduced prices on costumes, discounts on dancewear for our students, and many other family-friendly resources for our students.
* Our Bravura! teen company performs monthly at various community events.
Call for times and days. 774-3937 Studio is located at 2812 N. Izabel across the street from Coconino High School.
Check the CDA website for the current schedule
From the director, Miss Gina: I was observing some classes last week and was amazed and thrilled with what I saw. Each of the dancers was creating their OWN dance! One class in particular, a 7-8 year old class, was fascinating to watch. Their teacher had them working on their dances individually. She and I both observed them from the lobby. The span of creativity that was demonstrated was exciting to behold. My college kids did not come up with such interesting phrases as these little ones. Then to top it off, they showed their dances to each other as a solo. To them, I’m sure it seemed natural, but for me who was terrified at 15 to show solo work, I was impressed! And their classmates were so supportive. It is times like this that reinforce my concepts and beliefs about art and dance, and the individual and collective contributions it makes in people’s lives. Sometimes I wish we had a measurable system like karate or gymnastics, but I have concluded that if anyone wants to know if our dancers are learning and growing and advancing in their skills, all they need to do is watch the class. Sometimes the technical skills are developed at different speeds, so everyone in the class might not be able to skip on both feet, for instance, or keep perfect rhythm. But the ability to think on their own, control their bodies, express their thoughts and feelings through movement, and become more aware and sensitive to the community around them is aptly demonstrated in class and performance. Thank you, teachers, for taking the time to prepare and execute such fabulous lessons! Thank you, parents, for trusting us to teach your children to be great dancers and human beings! Thank you, dancers, for coming to class, taking the material seriously, and sharing your spirit with each of us!
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