What makes UMA feel like a dance and movement home? The top quality adult hip hop dance and yoga classes are the beating heart of UMA. (We’ll continue to roll out more blog posts about our amazing dance and yoga instructors in the coming months.) It’s also the physical space: The friendly jungle-feeling from all of Vince’s plants (He has a green thumb! Who knew?) makes it feel warm and fresh all year round. The calm coziness of the yoga studio (studio C) offers peace and tranquility amidst the business of daily comings and goings. The walls of windows in the big studio (studio A) overlook Chestnut & 21st street, making an already massive dance studio feel even more spacious and light. Our warm lobby is home to snack time and homework for the MoveMakers kids, and social catch ups and slow downs in between classes for our adult students. For a lot of us, it’s the MURALS, what and who they represent makes UMA feel extra welcoming.
When our friends Martial Posture (an award winning Karate School) moved out of 2100 Chestnut St, we renovated the studios, completely redecorating and upgrading. We invited Muralists Lynne Holland Weiss and Isaac Tin Wei Lin put their work up on our walls and it gave the place new life.
LHW Was recently interviewed for KeepRotating.com about her background as a dancer, and how dance and visual art are intertwined.
We're pleased to share an excerpt of the interview below:
Keep Rotating: You say you’ve always been extremely aware of people’s body language and movement. I think that’s something so interesting, it almost works as a secret weapon to better understand the world. I don’t think a lot of people are good at reading body language! What’s so appealing to you about detecting body movements and translating them into drawings instead of just…keep dancing?
LYNNE A:Yes! Body language is so honest and unfiltered. Which is why I think both dance and figurative painting or any visual art concerning the body has such a powerful way of making us feel so deeply. Dance has had such a big influence on my interest in figurative painting and simply the way I approach form and observation. Both practices require a deep level of awareness to detail and the ability to break down what you are seeing until it is abstract and you feel it in your body, so that then you are able to truly mirror it. For me, however, painting seems to have an incredible way of capturing movement and holding a lapse of time, while also allowing the viewer to sit with the moment, gesture, idea or feeling and actually have extended time to engage. The history is all layered within the paint and when you are in front of a painting, you feel all of it. Dance is so raw and so human, I love it…but it’s fleeting and disappears. You have to be present in the flesh for the exchange, and then it’s over. While this is incredibly beautiful, I love the way painting records time in its layers and is this crystal of information that can be observed, felt and contemplated over and over again. Also, color!! Color plays such important role in painting for me, so to be able to experiment, push, pull and heighten emotions with the complexity of color and textures is endlessly exciting.
The physical transformation of UMA was also supported by the elbow grease of volunteers from dance, yoga, and fitness communities in Philly who were eager to see us succeed. And none of it could have happened without the generous financial donations our Move Makers families. We're so grateful!