Tag Archives: modern dance

The Weekly Spotlight: Joy of Motion Dance Center

Joy of Motion Dance Center‘s motto is “Dance is for Everyone” and for 35 years, Joy of Motion has been making dance available to all ages and abilities. Every year, Joy of Motion Dance Center (JOMDC) reaches thousands of children and adults through dance classes, workshops, performances, and festivals.

Joy of Motion’s DC locations are at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H Street, NE) and in Friendship Heights (5207 Wisconsin Ave, NW). There is also a studio in Bethesda (7315 Wisconsin Ave).

Youth dance classes are offered year-round for students from preschool to twelfth grade in ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap, modern, and world dance. Students can register now for the summer camps and programs.

Groove Elements

Students interested in performing with a youth dance company can audition during the next few weeks to join the Youth Dance Ensemble, an elite dance company offering core classes in ballet, jazz and modern dance or one of the dance companies in hip hop, jazz, tap, or Middle Eastern dance.

Joy of Motion students have performed in many high-profile places. Last July, 15 students performed at the White House along with Broadway performers for A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, which was broadcast on PBS. In February, youth hip hop dance companies Urban Impact and Groove Elements performed at a Washington Wizards pre-game show. The same month, the Step Ahead Dance Ensemble performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Joy of Motion also offers a variety of adult classes and is home to several resident arts partners.

On Saturday, May 7  at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 8 at 7:00 pm at JOMDC Friendship Heights, Joy of Motion youth dance companies Raqs Jameel (a teen world dance company of Middle Eastern, Turkish, Iranian, and Indian dances) and Jazz Factor (a high-energy youth jazz company) will perform (get ticket information here).

On Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 pm the Youth Dance Ensemble, JOMDC’s elite youth dance company, performs at American University (get ticket information here). This performance will feature choreography by Youth Dance Ensemble faculty, with input from students in some works.

Do you know young people interested in joining these dance companies or others at Joy of Motion?  Youth dance company auditions for the 2011-2012 season are taking place in May and June. See the audition schedule here.

In the summer, Joy of Motion offers one- and two-week dance camps and dance intensives in hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance for first through twelfth grade from June 6 to August 19. Get details on the programs offered, dates, costs, and how to register here.

There are also Saturday classes from June 25 to August 13 for 2 to 5 year olds in creative movement and pre-ballet, as well as ballet, hip hop, and tap classes for first through eighth graders. Get details on the Saturday classes, costs, and how to register here.

You can also read about all the summer dance camps, intensives, and classes offered in the Summer 2011 Youth Schedule (PDF) here.

There is also a Young Modern Dance Workshop Series in ballet, jazz and modern dance for sixth through twelfth grade on Saturdays from August 6 to 27. Get information and register here.

In addition to youth dance classes and ensembles, Joy of Motions’s Project Motion Community Outreach offers several free programs to kids and teens, including Motion Express, Step Ahead, and  D.A.R.E. Dance America.

Motion Express brings free dance classes to schools and the students see interactive dance performances at the Atlas. The goals of Motion Express are not only to teach dance, but also to create life-long dance enthusiasts and well-rounded citizens. In March, 300 elementary school students came to the Atlas to experience a “trip around the world” through dance.

Step Ahead Dance Ensemble

The Step Ahead Dance Ensemble is a free teen after-school training and performing company with a focus on dances of the African Diaspora.

Joy of Motion is a regional center for D.A.R.E. Dance America and through that partnership, JOMDC instructors teach free dance classes to fourth through sixth grade students at DC and Virgina public schools. On April 2nd, Joy of Motion hosted National D.A.R.E. Dance Day at the Atlas studio.

You can support such programs at Joy of Motion Dance Center while having fun at its License to Dance — a dance party gala — on Saturday, May 14 at 8:00 pm at JOMDC Friendship Heights. Spend the evening enjoying hors d’oeuvres, wine, desserts, a dance party with DJ RBI, a silent auction, a special performance by Joy of Motion’s DCypher Dance, and more. Buy tickets on-line here.

For more information about Joy of Motion Dance Center, visit joyofmotion.org, call (202) 399-6764 or e-mail info@joyofmotion.org. For information about Project Motion Community Outreach, contact Quynn Johnson at outreach@joyofmotion.org. Joy of Motion is on Facebook and Twitter and has a blog Dance is for Everyone.

photo credits: Joy of Motion Dance Center
Every week The Weekly Spotlight highlights the great work an arts nonprofit organization or an individual does for the arts for DC youth.