Alex teaches Dance Acrobatics & Floorwork classes at UMA 812 Chestnut location. He offers a beginner level class on Mondays from 8-9pm. You can get into all levels 'Dance Acrobatics & Floorwork' classes with Alex from 7:30-8:30pm on Thursdays and 2:00-3:30pm on Saturdays. All at 812 Chestnut.
I asked Alex to share more about his dance journey and his classes at 812 Chestnut. Hear more from him below!
Tell us about your entrance into dance as an adult- what sparked your interest? What hurdles have you had to overcome?
This has been and still is a difficult question for me to articulate into words. I’ve always been one to “dive in” to the physicality of my active pursuits as well as the mental states they bring about. Physicality has always been something I've expressed as a way of creating art more than as a way of pursuing fitness regardless of the sport/activity. What I can say is that ‘dance’ and more specifically acrobatics and the culmination of movement vocabulary that contemporary dance provides, had a certain “-ness” to it that just felt “right” to me. It’s more of a gut feeling of this is where I wanted to be and need to be at this time in my life. Along the way, I have been inspired by many folks from many vernaculars of dance that shape how I move today.
In terms of hurdles, some of the biggest were body awareness (didn’t have a good sense of moving backward or inverting/cartwheeling), inflexibility (couldn’t touch my toes), and lack of dance vocabulary.
How does dance relate to other athletic pursuits in your past?
I had specialized all my efforts into being a distance runner for 10 years prior to pursuing dance as an adult. This caused most of the hurdles I had to overcome as I stated above. However, it laid the foundations of what I find are my strengths in my dance as a practice and as an art of self-expression. Namely, persistence in my goals and a positive mindset. Whether it's dance, running, or some other physical or artistic pursuit, I seek and find solace in being able to dive into the ‘flow’ state where time stops, stresses release, and creativity can flourish.
What is unique about your approach to teaching dance as opposed to what one might find in standard dance classes?
I think what makes my class different is in the atmosphere/vibe of the class and the details I try to provide to my students. The atmosphere is one that is de-pressurized, supportive, and welcoming to all folks regardless of their experience. For those who are looking to dive deep, there is plenty of wormholes we can dive into. For those who are just testing the waters of acrobatics, there is space to wade.
I try to share as much detail as I can to each individual and their specific troubleshoots. My personal goal is to provide at least one cue to each student in each class that makes them feel seen or even helps them accomplish their goal.
What are your goals for your students?
My goals are to provide students with a supportive space where they can discover and pursue the world of acrobatics and floor work on a scaleable level. I want students to feel that the class provides the fertile ground that inspires confidence, challenges fears, and encourages flight. If they want to learn specific moves, I am all for helping them pursue those goals.
What is your favorite part about teaching Dance Acro and Floorwork classes at UMA?
There are so many favorites! But one of them is seeing student actualizing their acrobatic goal. The joy on a student’s face after getting their first cartwheel, or flipping their first macaco, or grooving through a sequence they are proud of is priceless! I love it!
Dance Acrobatics & Floorwork Class Times:
Beginner Dance Acrobatics: Mondays 8-9pm @ 812 Chestnut
Dance Acrobatics & Floorwork: Thursdays 7:30-8:30pm and Saturdays 2-3:30pm @ 812 Chestnut