Atlanta INtown Newspaper - September Issue
Dance Company Keeps Atlanta Youth In Step
Some believe that the best way to live is to work yourself out of a job. Atlanta natives Annette Lewis and Carolyn McLaughlin, director and associate director, respectively, of the youth dance company Good Moves are following a similar notion: train their dancers to outgrow their instruction.
• Outreach: Includes dance performances, workshops and lectures for the community.
• Ed Source: Economical, high quality dance instruction for various levels of expertise.
• The Consort: A pre-professional performing ensemble.
• Moving On: A young professional performing ensemble designed to support and employ students in the off-season.
Good Moves also encourages dancers to participate in ongoing instruction within the organization, as well as to take classes with other local dance companies.
The company’s commitment to artistic excellence means plenty of hard work, but McLaughlin describes it as “joyful work” that challenges and excites its charges.
“Even our youngest students learn and work in the first class,” McLaughlin said, “Our job is to make it so they don’t need us anymore – to get them ready to away, not stay with us.”
Lewis, who has been involved with Good Moves since its inception, discovered a newfound passion for dancing at 25 years old, and studied dance with Alvin Ailey, Agnes DeMille, and Robert Joffrey, among others. Becoming a dancer, choreographer and teacher later in life, Lewis focused more in training and less on dancers who had a particular look.
“As an older dancer, the majority of the people in my classes didn’t have perfect bodies,” she said, “I wanted to work with kids like that, and make sure everybody had a chance to dance. I want to assure the modern dance world continues to improve. To me, it’s about staying connected to the past and building on the future.”
Good Moves will present two new works this season. Lewis will choreograph Buffett Buffet, a montage of Jimmy Buffett songs, all referencing food, and another work entitled The Prince and the Pauper to music by the English rock band Queen. McLaughlin will choreograph a work inspired by Sandra Boynton’s book/CD for children Rhinoceros Tap, incorporating movement and the spoken word.
Good Moves will also host the Inman Park Dance Festival in March 2009, which will feature The Consort and Moving On, along with dancers and choreographers from all over the nation.
For more: (404) 518-1646 or www.goodmoves.org