Dancenorth will throw the doors open at the School of Arts building this Saturday, giving people the chance to taste-test their wide selection of Open Classes before their 2020 program begins.
While many favourites such as Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop are set to make a return, Dancenorth’s Community Experience Manager, Alice Lee Holland, and Community Experience Coordinator, Andrea Dighton, said this year’s classes also include some new offerings.
“One of them is called Dance for Absolute Beginners,” said Alice. “Most of our classes are open level and that can be a bit intimidating for people who are nervous about dancing – which, actually, most people are – and so we’ve created this course and we’re pretty excited about it.
“The first exercise I came up with has the nickname of “the pub two-step”. It was based on the idea that people want to be able to move and dance comfortably when there’s music playing at a gig or at the pub. We start with this two-step and then we build it slowly to encourage people to develop their own groove. It’s not set and structured, there’s an offering and I’ll guide people through it, but then they can find their own groove inside it, so it’s really about discovering your own comfort with movement.”
Andrea will be bringing her popular Jazz classes back, which she says is more suited to people with a little bit of dance experience.
“It will include quite an aerobic-style fitness-related warm up with a bit of abs and a bit of legs and squats and then we’ll go straight into a really cheesy 70s, 80s or 90s track and we’ll learn a dance,” Andrea said.
“The dance changes regularly so people can expect something different each week and it kind of offers the participants a feeling of accomplishment.”
In all, Dancenorth will offer 13 different Open Classes or courses throughout 2020 and the programme is designed to connect the professional Dancenorth ensemble with Townsville’s general community by giving people an opportunity to dance in a welcoming, pressure-free environment.
“Being for adults, it’s a totally casual basis, you can come and go when you’re available, so it’s a no pressure, relaxed vibe,” said Andrea.
“We don’t have mirrors, so people don’t have to worry about what they look like,” Alice added. “Part of what we’re interested in is letting people feel movement and worry about enjoying themselves and finding freedom in their bodies rather than some other dance experiences that can feel a bit restrictive.
“We really want to create experiences that allow people to go back into their everyday life and feel more comfortable, confident, mobile and as though all kinds of movement is possible.”
Saturday’s Open Day begins at 10am and will conclude with an open dance party, DJed by ensemble dancer, DJ Lix.