Who should attend classes?
Whether you have danced in your bedroom and never took a dance class before, OR you have danced A LOT--most of our students come because they feel curious now about how they want to engage with movement. Maybe you want to make art with your body. Maybe you just want to come home to your body, on your own terms. Maybe you want to design choreography. Maybe you want to dance around to pop music. Everyone is welcome.
Will I have to learn choreography?
Some classes teach choreography while others emphasize improvisation. For those NOT interested in learning choreography, SPELL and The Dance Club are both classes that include guided movement explorations without facing the mirrors, and without any choreography or specific "moves" to learn. If you are interested in learning choreography, the guest artists in our Moving Target Portland series often teach short excerpts of choreography. However, Moving Target Portland teachers often offer a mix of improvised and choreographed exercises, so read their class descriptions in order to see what they plan to do. If you are interested attending but still unsure, please contact us so that we can put you in touch directly with the teacher. We field questions like this all the time and are happy to learn about your interests/concerns.
Will I have to do Contact Improvisation?
While Contact Improvisation is ONE kind of technique, there are ALL KINDS of approaches to dance improvisation. We value improvisation and integrate it into most of our classes. Contact Improvisation, developed by American choreographer Steve Paxton, is a form in which two or more dancers maintain a physical point of contact while maneuvering around the space. Compositional improvisation, performance improvisation, and guided movement explorations are all forms of dance improvisation that do not emphasize physical contact but instead focus on spacial design, personal movement vocabulary, and ensemble dancing. We integrate an array of improvisation into our classes and give each student the chance to opt-in or opt-out of each exercise based on their own preferences. In general, our Contact Improvisation classes emphasize physical contact while our other classes focus more on solo improvising.