The Greeks named it dance writing. Martha Graham called it discovery, discovery, discovery, and Bob Foss said it was writing on your feet.
It is that astonishingly, complex thing teachers do to understand what is required of them in every scene; what the dance, the material and the audience requires of the choreographer at every point in the creation.
I find that I use the same steps in the dance as in the process of creating a productive team, a wide variety of class programming, new relationships with producing partners and meeting the requirements of a good community member.
There are challenging days when it is like asking a shadow to dance or to grab the breeze and request it focus on the issue. But the end results are rich and exciting as we weave it all together, continue to raise the bar, seek balance and never settle for second best.
The newest member of our teaching faculty and the epitome of the complexity of choreography and the dance is Emily Fifer, who teaches advanced company and advanced modern dance.
Emily is all about movement. Home was the mountains of Colorado where she first discovered and fell in love with yoga and dance. She has danced her way across the United States from Philadelphia to Seattle. Emily has a master of fine arts in modern dance from the University of Utah (‘10), is a certified movement analyst and is a registered yoga teacher in the Lila Yoga tradition (‘04). Emily has danced professionally with Samba Fogo, Headwaters Dance Company, Jess Humphrey, PIMA Group and Headlong Dance Theater. She is currently working with choreographer Alya Howe, who is dance artist-in-residence at The Launchpad in Carbondale. Emily has studied Capoeira, Contact Improvisation, Afro-Brazilian dance, Samba and Aerial Hoop among many other movement styles. She is a yoga and dance teacher and a dance artist.
“I grew up in Glenwood Springs and started dancing at age 3 with Maurine Taufer,” Emily said. “My dance education thrived not only with the Glenwood Center for the Arts’ comprehensive dance program but with exposure to national and international dance artists in the youth intensives at the Glenwood Springs Dance Festival, Dance and the Child International in Salt Lake City, and a student exchange in Salt Lake City with Tanner Dance.
“My teaching philosophy is student-oriented. I love asking my students questions, giving them movement tasks to solve, having them improvise with movement ideas and concepts and encouraging their collaboration in choreography. I believe it’s not only important to be a skilled performer and technician, but also to dance from an inner impulse, from a place of inner feeling and spontaneity, and to examine and understand movement connections at a deep kinesthetic level. I encourage my students to work from the inside out, first developing their unique movement styles and voices and then expressing them outward.
“I’m mom to my 2-and-a-half-year-old son. I love hiking, biking, taking my dog to the river, snowshoeing, writing and being with my family.”
Kids At The Wheel
No, it’s not what you think. Our Monday wheelthrowing pottery class filled up so fast, we’ve got kids knocking on the door to add another class. Every Tuesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Judy Davis will show kids from 6 and up just how much fun they can have creating wonderful class objects as the pottery wheel spins around. Go to our website at glenwoodarts.org and register now. There are wheels enough for six students, so hurry up and register!
Biggest Fundraiser of the Year
I’m talking about one of the most popular community events in town, and it’s right around the corner and not to be missed. On Saturday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., we invite you to our 16th annual Culinary Arts Wine and Brewfest at the historic Hotel Colorado. Be there for great food, great beverages and our best silent auction yet. Proceeds from this exciting evening help our organization serve more than 12,000 people annually as we deliver cultural, artistic and educational programming at the Center for the Arts and at five area schools.
It adds up to eight, and as my numerology friend is quick to point out, it means balance. It also means that this is our 53rd Art Scene column and the beginning of our second year and the continuation of our conversation. I thank you for your generous feedback, and I am delighted to continue sending you the news of the Art Center as we listen to the voice of the community and continue choreographing our success.
Christina Brusig is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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