UMA has a few ways to stay warm as it only gets colder outside.
The classes we added this fall: Locking with Drew Ramsey, B'more Afro House with Sanchel Brown, and Hip Hop with Majesqitue, among others are SWEATY.
There's also a lot to warm the spirit. WORKINONIT, our next works in progress showing is Nov 29 at 9 pm. It's about seeing what different kinds of movement artists within the community are up to, as well as celebrate the progress of our adult students, with demos from different classes. Informal and friendly, BYOB if you fancy, it's cozy vibes.
But really, this blog headline is just an excuse to share this video of excerpts from this summer's Artists in Residence performance. Hot. Hot. Hot.
update: for info on their final showing, visit the Upcoming Events page HERE.
Maddie & Kayla take class at UMA nearly every single day. When they applied for our summer residency, it became clear I needed to create a longer-term program for movers to do some slow cooking of creative ideas alongside their committed training in our classes. As two young women recently out of college and settling into Philly, they also were asking questions about the technical side self producing. They were diligent and excited about helping with other productions in the space, and thinking about dance in Philly at large. Kayla helped run lights and sound for me fringe show with Metal (and had a dancing cameo). Maddie performed at our works-in-progress-cabaret workinonit this past July and has written about UMA and other aspects of dance in Philly for thinkingDance. And so, I present to you, UMA's first Choreographic Fellows: Maddie & Kayla. They will present a full evening performance on Sunday Dec 16 at 7 and 9 pm!
September was FIRE. Philly Kerplop, UMA's in house music and dance ensemble took over LOVE Park, with Chi Chi Chip (Ode to the Gnarly) a bizarre and slap happy mix of virtuosity, social commentary, and goofiness. UMA instructors Lily Kind & BBoy Metal threw down an intimate and intricate double-solo show both heart warming and hilarious. Check out some photos and reviews!
Lots of love for Indestructible Flowers from thinkingDance and The Philadelphia Dance Journal (so many great photos!)
I asked Pilar for a peak into what she's been working on at UMA. She shared, "Words I'm playing with right now: invasion, discomfort, shifts, siblings, foundation, flooding."
UMA's founding director Vince Johnson, along with many of our all star teachers, have been performing around Philadelphia more frequently this year, expanding their repertoire of engaging and entertaining performances for audience of all ages. Drawing on his years of experience creating family friendly performances for Move Makers showcases, as well his work as an independent performing artist, Vince will be continuing to create performances under the new title Philly Kerplop! Most recently, Kerplop performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On June 14th, they'll be presenting at the Performance Garage.
Check out Kerplop's new website. Kerplop is excited about touring their work to new audiences outside of Philadelphia.
Drawing on vaudeville traditions, Philly Kerplop is both big and boisterous as well as site specific and intimate. Kerplop includes a rotating cast of Philly's best dance theater performers that can expand to fill auditoriums and lecture halls. At the same time, 'i.d.' a duet between Vince and Francois Zayas (Philly Music Factory), is also a Kerplop show that can fit into any dance studio or black box theater. Last summer, Vince was the recipient of a MANCC Choreographic Lab residency. He took this opportunity to research and develop the duet material, and first presented it locally as the inaugural performance after the studio renovation during this past fall, during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Keep an eye out for more from Kerplop!
UMA is excited to announce we are offering summer residencies for dancers, choreographers, movement and/or performance artists that will take place June - Sept 2018 at the UMA studios in downtown Philadelphia. We are looking for artists eager to interact with our community and challenge the technical, aesthetic, and conceptual assumptions of their genre. This residency offers free studio space, a wide range of dance classes, artistic feedback, and a small stipend. There will be a public showing of the residents work, flexible in nature, at the end of the residency.
Who this residency is for:
Dancers, choreographers, performance and movement artists in any/multiple genres. We want to partner with artists prepared to approach this residency as a laboratory space and research process. We will consider artists in graduate school, but not undergraduates. Womxn, POC, immigrants, and all artists working in intersecting or under-represented disciplines are encouraged to apply. We have capacity for two resident solo artists in summer of 2018. However, we are open to collaborative duos or trios applying as together for one of the two residency slots.
Who we are:
Located in downtown Philadelphia, Urban Movement Arts (UMA) welcomes adults of all ages and experience levels. We guide movers and dancers to develop connection to community and style. We are dedicated to supporting strength, flexibility and overall physicality to promote creativity and adaptability in dance and life. Our classes include House, Breaking, Waacking, Hip Hop, Swing Dance, and Yoga. At UMA there is a strong social component of each-one-teach-one. Urban Movement Arts is directed by Vince Johnson. Johnson has toured internationally with Rennie Harris Pure Movement and is an accomplished martial arts coach and competitor. This residency is co-directed by Lily Kind, a producer and promoter of experimental dance making.
The residency includes:
Duos and trios may apply as unit to one of the two available residency slots. Each individual within a duo or trio will receive free membership, however the stipend and studio time does not change.
Emails with Subject: 2018 Residency Application: [First Name Last Name].
All attachments as PDFs and named [2018 First Name Last Name].
Who is your current movement community? What is your heritage as an artist? Who is currently witnessing your work and how would you like to change or expand your audience? How do you want to challenge your genre? What are you trying to shift in your own practice, process, or performance? What can you contribute to the UMA community and what do you have to gain from this experience?
Laurel Card's 9 am Dance Fitness classes were recently featured on TheMomEdit, a super popular blog for moms run by Shana D. the parent of two MoveMakers students. (MoveMakers is our kids after school hip hop dance program, if you don't already know.) Shana's team came in and filmed Laurel's morning class (our studios look so goooooood) and talked to Laurel about why Solo Salsa is important. Shana also gets the scoop on Laurel's beauty secrets (you'll never guess what makes her skin so bright!) and highlights her sexy-athletic style.
Laurel teaches a bunch of adult dance classes here at UMA. See her full teaching schedule here. Over at MoveMakers, Laurel helped launch Mini Movers, an after school program for 3 - 5 year olds. All of Laurel's adult classes will get you sweating. They will also all leave you feeling sexy as hell no matter how man left feet you have. Laurel is all about the combination of athletic, fun, and sensual. Laurel's classes are motivated to help moms and women stay in touch with the power of their feminine side, despite the demands of raising kids or running a business.
As Shana points out from her experience as Laurel's student "Not only am I in much better shape, but I swear dancing this often (and constantly trying to learn new choreography) is changing my brain for the better. If you ask me, dance classes are the perfect antidote to mom-brain." There's plenty of science to back up Shaina's claim that dancing is good not only for getting fit, but for mental clarity and brain health.
"A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can decidedly improve brain health. The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. The researchers looked at the effects of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found that only one of the activities studied—dance—lowered participants’ risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction and that this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia."
- Scott Edwards, "On the Brain" Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute at Harvard University
Informed by her experience dancing for Montage, an all female hip hop crew active in Philadelphia in the 2000's, combined with years of professional ballroom dancing, Laurel created her Solo Salsa dance class. It is ladies' (but open to all) salsa styling class that doesn't require a partner.
In addition to the full time job of being a single mom, teaching a million classes, and working with wellness clients, Laurel hosts a BYOB Salsa Party at UMA every month. It is welcoming social environment for solo and partner dancing.
The next Salsa Party is this weekend! March 24! See you there.
Edwards, Scott. “Dancing and the Brain.” Dancing and the Brain | Department of Neurobiology, "On the Brain Newsletter" Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute, 2018, neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/dancing-and-brain.
Ron Wood, otherwise known as Zen One aka Monitor Pardal holds the rank of Monitor in ASCAB Capoeira lead by Mestre Doutor. Ron also holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt under a system that has evolved into mixed martial arts karate incorporating ju jitsu and the Joe Lewis Fighting System. Ron Wood is a unbelievable blend of soft grace and lethal power. Always a student, teaching allows him to share his journey while being challenged to identify the best path for each individual's growth.
Ron Wood’s class is a body weight class using drills from martial arts, Capoiera, Ju Jitsu, and kickboxing to develop overall fitness. Ron explains:
“It’s not just body weight drills, but movement drills. I want to get the brain working, get people outside of their normal routine. Get them upside down, get them moving on the floor. There’s something for everybody, I try to give at least three versions of every drills. If you’re scared of doing a handstand, there’s a version you can do with your leg closer to the floor until you get comfortable. The idea is to increase your range of motion, to learn control and trust in yourself. With each drill, you get a little more confident, like ‘Oh, I can trust myself to do this… Over time your body will take care of you because you’re taking care of your body.”
Ron has also worked professionally as a hip hop dancer and performer. Ron’s movement, in any discipline, is sensual, without lacking for power. Ron can be heard telling his students to make it “smooth, silky, and sexy.” For Ron, dance and martial arts are almost the same thing, “I feel like when I’m doing martial arts I’m expressing myself. I'm trying to be as fluid as possible. When I’m dancing, if I'm dancing in a battle, I’m fighting that person. They are interchangeable. They have different outcomes but for me they have the same thought process.”
We won't reveal how old he is, but Wood has been teaching since 1991. Ron will tell you “the aging body is NO JOKE. If you don’t move it, you lose it.” Teaching has changed for Ron as he gets older. When he was younger, teaching was a little more like showing off, showing what he could do. Now when he teaches, he is looking for how to get everybody in class to a specific goal. “If you have one person [in class] who is not as familiar with their body, how can I help them catch up? And how can everybody else be an example for that person? I think everybody in the class should feel responsible to everybody else in the class.”
Ron’s class is hard to classify. It’s got something for everybody eager to move in new ways. With his depth and range of experience, Ron's expertise is relevant to lots of genres: yoga, martial, dance studios, gymnastics, and the more recently popular #movementculture. But Ron is resistant to jumping on the latest movement trends. “I feel like we, has humans, have always moved. These new fangled branding systems? It’s the same thing in a different package. Parkour, martial arts, yoga, this stuff has always been around. My whole life, through dance, breaking, house, I had to use my body. I like to share that experience versus giving it a specific name for branding and marketing. When I’m at my best, I’m sharing things I’ve gone through, not something I read the book or saw the video. I don’t need a particular label for it, it’s my experience.”
Be sure to check out Ron's class "Capo-Flow" Tuesday and Friday nights at 8 pm. Our full schedule is available here.