A Message From New Executive Director Mary Chase

 

Reflecting on her first week on the job at Joy of Motion Dance Center, Executive Director, Mary Chase shares a few words with the Joy of Motion community.

A family of four smiling in front of lush green background. Daughter sitting on father's shoulder with hand extended next to son sitting on mother's hip.
The Chase-Doll Family

Hello, and thank you for helping to make me feel welcome in my first week here in Washington, DC.  My family and I are very excited about what is in store for us here. My husband Tim, Anne (11), and Isaac (5) will join me this summer after school lets out in Tampa.

It was so powerful to move and breathe with you and to live out Joy of Motion’s mission in my first week on the job. It was imperative to me that I immediately experienced a broad cross-section of Joy of Motion’s impact. I have had the pleasure of meeting many people at all three locations and want to share some highlights.

In the Studios

At our H Street location, I loved seeing young ballerinas working hard on balance and coordination with a center combination and bright-faced tappers fitting into their new shoes getting ready to start their very first tap class.

I danced with adults in an early morning ballet class at Friendship Heights. While participating in a wonderfully packed modern drop-in class, I had to apologize more than once for getting into someone else’s way.  Later, I peeked in the window to see Tyrone Murray back in action. Teaching, smiling and rocking to the beat with his cane in one hand and his other arm in an undulation as fluid as water.

At Bethesda, I saw YDE learning choreography and doing a run-through of a new work by one of our resident choreographers. I also watched our LEAP program dancers working on their own choreography for the upcoming National Choreography Month (NACHMO) festival.

With the Staff & Board of Directors

In our staff meeting, we got on social media and made a TikTok video. Collaboratively choosing the music and the movement, sharing our rehearsal live on Facebook, before finally dancing and laughing together in our first video for the platform.

The board of directors, administrative staff, and most especially interim executive director Julie Meyer spent time helping me begin to get acquainted with all of the work that needs to be done to stabilize and continue to grow financially and in partnership with arts and education organizations across the DMV.

In the Community

I heard from regional choreographers who are eagerly anticipating the release of Dance Project: Regional Artists’ production schedule. By sitting with former Executive Director Doug Yeuell, I was able to gain some valuable insight into the long history of our organization. I met with City Councilman and arts advocate David Grosso and discussed how Joy of Motion is an institution fostering creative growth for the Washington DC community at large.

Mary Chase seated looking up at camera and smiling against a neutral background.
Mary Chase

Final Thoughts

In each moment, I witnessed the strength and beauty of the programming, people, and inspiration that weaves Joy of Motion into such a vibrant tapestry of dance making and dance supporting. I have a big job ahead of me. Your feedback is encouraged, and your support is essential.  Please come up and introduce yourself to me when you see me. I want to get to know you and your story of how you came to make Joy of Motion your dance family.

 

With Joy,

Mary

Send your comments on this article to marketing@joyofmotion.org for publication.

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On Social Media

@joyofmotiondancecenter

Joy of Motion’s First TikTok at new Executive Director, Mary Chase’s first staff mtg #myfirsttiktok #dance #dancelove #danceisforeveryone

♬ Dancing In The Streets – Martha Reeves and The Vandellas

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