By Guest Blogger Anne Morris, Co-Director of Dance Project
“Dance Project has been a nurturing, creative, and disciplined environment for my daughter. There is a sense of family here that makes one understand immediately that this is something you want to be a part of.” -Karen Scott, Dance Project adult student and parent
It sounds like a punchline to say that a dance studio strives for Balance, but it’s not a joke when we say we aim to provide a balance between fun and discipline, between individual achievement and collaborative learning.
This is what provides such a distinctive atmosphere at the Dance Project: The School at City Arts, with studios in the Greensboro Cultural Center, where dance is serious fun. Founded by Jan Van Dyke and now directed by Lauren Joyner and Anne Morris, the Dance Project is educating 200 students year-round with ages ranging from 18 months to adults. We offer high-quality training for beginners to advanced students in a non-competitive environment. Our classes are developmentally appropriate, taught by teachers with advanced dance training; all of our teachers have degrees in dance, as well as professional performance experience.
We love being in the heart of downtown, in the artistic hub that is the Greensboro Cultural Center. The creative energy that flows through this building is inspiring; new ideas, classes, and performances can be found around every corner!
On any given afternoon, you might peek into our studios and find three year olds exploring high, medium, and low levels through movement stories in a Creative Movement class; girls and boys practicing their plies and their knee rolls in a Ballet/Modern combination class; teenagers getting a taste of Horton Technique in Advanced Modern class; and adults of all ages bouncing and popping in Hip Hop.
Our school is only one of three branches of the Dance Project, which also presents the NC Dance Festival, a statewide showcase of NC professional modern and contemporary choreographers, and the Van Dyke Dance Group, a local dance company that performs the repertory of nationally-renowned Jan Van Dyke. For more than 25 years, the Dance Project has been inspiring, educating, and entertaining Greensboro and the state through these programs, and we are the only organization with all three components. The Festival and the Company represent invaluable resources to our students, who are able to experience professional-quality dance close-up and in-depth, and stay connected to statewide and national standards in dance.
We believe that dance training helps to create smart, creative, empathetic, and involved citizens and community members, so we strive to share it as widely as we can. We offer drop-in classes for adults, to provide flexibility for busy schedules. We try to keep our prices below market value and offer scholarships each semester to give as many children the opportunity to dance as we can.
“Initially the price attracted us, but now we really believe in the vision of Dance Project, and the low-pressure atmosphere for our girls to learn about their bodies, movement, art & beauty”–Francie Dorich, parent of 2 students at our studio.
Although we offer many different styles, our perspective on dance and education is framed by our focus on modern dance and its values of exploration, innovation, creativity, and individuality. Modern dance has historically been a field that welcomes many voices, ideas, and different kinds of dancing bodies to the studio and the stage.
Our primary focus is on nurturing a love of dance, an understanding of one’s body, and a mastery of the technique, rather than preparing for elaborate recitals or participating in organized competitions. However, all of our students get regular informal and semi-formal performance opportunities to share their learning with friends and family. We also offer student Performance Companies for dancers who want additional performance opportunities within the community. For serious teen and adult dancers, we offer master classes in a variety of styles taught by professional dancers and teachers from all over the state.
We believe that dance offers more than just an aesthetic experience; it can be a means to health, creative thinking and self-expression, inspiration, cultural understanding, and just plain fun. Whether you have a young child who can’t stop dancing around the house or a teen who is getting serious about dance or choreography, if you’ve always wanted to try out a class yourself, or you’ve been meaning to put on your jazz shoes again after all these years, we welcome you to the Dance Project family!
Sponsored by the Dance Project