Dance in Your Blue Jeans
Community dance is when your regular average person, living in the community, participates in a dance activity with other community members. This person may have no formal training in dance or may have taken a few recreational dance classes usually at a community centre.
Community dance is a broad term which could mean anything from a recreational square dance activity, where community members mix and mingle for some fun, or to community engaged dance, where community members participate to create dance pieces.
When I use the term, community dance, I mean community engaged dance. I think of Desiree Dunbar's Collaborative Creative Dance Class and Naomi Brand's All Bodies Dance Class.
As a participant in Desiree's classes, we collaborate to make up short dance pieces. Our process basically is to take an idea as a stimulus, discuss it briefly in a small group, then the group uses improvisation to choreograph a dance piece to share with the class. We may like our creations so much that we may even perform them in public.
The intent is simply for community participants to have a shared experience of making art through the medium of dance together.
Engaging in artistic expression with other community members bonds us to feel good about each other, to feel good about ourselves, and to feel good about what is that is all around, the gift of being born into world with all our illusions of meaning.
Art provides a context to see beauty all around. Dance engages the body as instrument to embody and express art which is everywhere to the extent that one may notice.
Professional dancers, painters, singers live with passion. But you don't have to be a working professional to steep in passion. You could be a regular Joe from the neighbourhood taking a creative dance class at Trout Lake to wake up with dance in your blue jeans and find yourself talking to that neighbour across the fence.
- GARRICK JANG, COMMUNITY DANCER IN NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Photo: David Cooper