By Quynn Johnson, Program Manager, Education and Outreach
Motion Express, one of Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Project Motion Community Outreach Programs, brings our award-winning brand of dance education for free to DC children and teens at their schools. In addition to free dance classes, Motion Express also offers a performance component: The Motion Expressions Dance Concerts, an interactive program where JOMDC resident companies, arts partners, and faculty perform for Motion Express students.
This season’s Motion Expressions Concert, Dance Around the World, was outstanding! The concert showcased dance styles from a variety of countries including the United States, Spain, Venezuela, Ireland, Mali and El Salavador. More than 200 students from three of our partner schools were in attendance last Tuesday at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Students from Wheatley Education Campus, Maury Elementary, and J.O. Wilson Elementary tried out steps in various dance styles and had the opportunity to showcase their skills on stage. To further reinforce the concert’s Dance Around the World theme, students demonstrated their “airplane arms” in their seats and were given special boarding passes which displayed the show order. This year’s concert topped previous productions with increased audience participation and even a Spanish language lesson from our Venezuelan dance performers. I’m already buzzing with ideas for next year’s show.
After the show, Joy of Motion Dance Center staff along with DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Arts Education Manager, Carlyn Madden, visited Miner Elementary School, another Motion Express partner. The 3rd grade students from Miner Elementary School showcased Jazz dance as well as a recap of the school’s Black History presentation titled “Black Images.”
These students presented a piece called “Wade in the Water” choreographed by Motion Express and JOMDC faculty member Vincent Williams. It was a big hit at the school and we were all extremely proud of the students!