An Artist in Residency

Something I’m very proud of starts next week! My muggle self  (Kyrst Hogan) will be the Artist In Residence this summer at the Leigh Square Community Arts Village in Port Coquitlam. My project is called Dance Deconstructed and aims to de-mystify the structure and language of dance and empower people with the joy of dancing.

The idea stemmed from my work in burlesque as an educator. On the first day of my progressive course Elements Of Tease, I ask people to introduce themselves and share why they’re taking the class or what they hope to get out of it. So often I have heard women introduce themselves saying “well, I can’t dance, so..” or “I’m not a dancer” or that they’re awkward – uncoordinated, etc etc. These are not truths, but negative ideas that they’ve been told, either by someone else or by themselves, somewhere along the line. And as a result, many of them have simply stopped themselves from dancing, even though they have a desire to dance.

Children dance. Babies “dance”. The desire to move one’s body to music is an inherent human trait, and a right all humans should share. But teachers, peers, family, media and other influences create ideas of unworthiness in our minds that become obstacles that are more and more difficult to surmount the older we get. And western culture tends to separate dance from the spiritual place where it originates in most ancient cultures, making it seem somehow elitist or frivolous. We need to re-think our culture and re-connect with dance.

I will have weekly residency time when I will be working on the choreography for some of my upcoming projects and will be available for people to stop by and chat about dance. I will also be offering a 6 week course with a goal to work with the members of the class in order to create a new vocabulary that might enable others to teach dance in a more accessible form. I’ll also be offering some free community workshops as part of my residency.

So if you live out in the tri-cities area or have friends who do, please spread the word and I hope to see you this summer!

For more info on my residency and classes, please visit the Leigh Square  Artist In Residency  page.


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