Our work produces dancers who develop their creativity, performance skills and studio practice as a part of understanding how the solo voice contributes to the collective voice. We will draw upon processes of physical storytelling through a rigorous course of study that includes:
- Daily technique class that explores core strength, pelvic mobility, stabilization and creative power
- Theater processes & games to build the physical storytelling capacity
- Learning award winning UBW repertory
- Deepening solo practice for choreographic inquiry
- Theme based personal artistic research & movement development
CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Entering community is a process of becoming aware of the values, leadership and history of a community; building or engaging community is putting those values into action, often questioning or even challenging existing values; exiting community is ensuring that all who participate feel recognized and can identify what they learned from the experience.
A Healthy Body is a Wealthy Body—This participatory workshop focuses on self-care, rejuvenation, and (re-) constructing healthful images of ourselves and our communities. As we move, share stories, and discuss holism practices from food choices to daily stress relief, Urban Bush Women BOLD Facilitators (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance) offer simple tools for reinhabiting our bodies and reinforcing holism from the inside out. We also bring out and affirm the wisdom that is already in the group, fostering resource exchange and building community. The goal is to bring ourselves to balance, thereby bringing our families and communities to balance as well. No dance or fitness experience is necessary...just a body and a willingness to exhale!
Dance for Every Body—This movement jam/dance class embraces the ideas that each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make, and that our bodies are a powerful source of agency. The goal is for "every body" to find their level of challenge and comfort and partake according to their abilities, and to appreciate the groups’ diversity as an attribute to their community. This is a movement class designed for the community so no prior dance experience is needed. Participants explore UBW's technique with close attention to the use of breath, weight, call and response and polyrhythm.
Collaboration Lab—Urban Bush Women (UBW) facilitates artistic creation based on themes that emerge from the group. With an emphasis on dance and song, we use various artistic genres including creative writing and visual art, to process, synthesize, and communicate. Through the Collaboration Lab, participants create an artistic product reflecting both their learning and their vision for community.
LGBTQA 101—What do all of those letters mean anyway?! Urban Bush Women, a contemporary dance company at the forefront of activating the intersections of professional and community art-making, civic engagement and group dynamics for almost three decades, offers LGBTQA 101 to unpack the answer to this question and more. In this workshop, participants will become more familiar with basic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally history and culture as they relate to Urban Bush Women's core values.
Kinetic Kids—During the session we discover the fun of creative movement and contribute to a culture of health through dance games geared towards children. Our workshop is based on movement concepts instead of on mimicking steps, with Anne Green Gilbert's Brain-Compatible Dance Education as a foundation alongside Urban Bush Women's Core Values. Children ages five to ten are invited to share the joy of moving! Younger children, in the company of adult caregivers, are also welcome. Little movers don’t need to wear leotards or dance shoes, but simply clothes they can navigate in. Bring your imagination!
Batty Raps—This unique, fun workshop developed from the acclaimed UBW repertory work, Batty Moves,which celebrates unique individuality through the tradition of bragging. Participants in this workshop are invited to develop and perform their own raps alongside UBW dancers.
Urban Bush Women Contemporary Technique class (professional & pre-professional) — UBW is a Bessie-Award winning contemporary dance company that celebrates beauty, culture and history through evocative dance performances and community engagement as well as nurtures the next generation of dance leaders. UBW’s contemporary technique class starts with a warm-up that prepares the participants for full-out dancing in the UBW style with close attention to the use of breath, weight, embodied call and response, and polyrhythm. The second half of the class focuses on our movement style and may include improvisation phrases from repertory and/or vocal work. We embrace the idea that each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make. The goal is for "every body" to find their level of rigor and comfort.
Breaks, Beats and Battles—This class is a continuation of "How We Got to the Funk," and explores African American social dances of the '80s and '90s such as hip hop and breaking. No experience is needed so come ready to get down!
Dancing From The Inside Out—Taking a non-traditional and non-linear approach to movement, this workshop takes place on the floor with a sequence of movements that encourages awareness and enhances the connection between mind, body and spirit. Rooted in kinesthetic awareness, we explore concepts of full-bodied movement with subtle dynamic qualities, integrating the breath, spatial patterning, core stability, ease of the joints and fluidity/mobility of the extremities in conjunction with the floor. Treating the floor as a partner and collaborator allows us to open our senses to a world of endless movement possibilities. Emphasis is placed on developing a foundation that supports a greater expansion through space with clarity and efficiency. You learn to work from within to cultivate deeper physical connections while discovering your individual and unique voice.
How We Got To The Funk— This social dance class & dance party is a fun, participatory examination of history through the lens of African American social dances from 1955 through the present. No experience needed. Come ready to boogie!
Contact Improvisation/Partnering: Building Trust Through Process—Movement is the essence of freedom. Contact improvisation is a movement language based on the physical principles of touch, momentum, weight sharing and following a shared point of contact. It is an honoring of every moment. Through trust building exercises, you learn to surrender and stay true to what is happening in the moment. We delve into movement conversations that require you to actively listen and speak with all of your senses. This workshop explores falling, rolling, stillness, connecting through focus, counterbalance, lifting using minimal effort, centering and integration of breath, and being attentive to our partner (s) and surroundings.
To learn more about Urban Bush Women and its community engagement programs, please email Chanon Judson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Samantha Speis at email@example.com.
Have YOU Been Bushified?
"There are not enough words to express my gratitude and appreciation of everything I've learned from UBW... I have BEEN BUSHIFIED!
- Manuela S.
Oberlin College in Ohio offers the course "Moving into Community" that studies the work of UBW founder Jawole and others including David Dorfman and Liz Lerman.