BOLD Community Engagement
BOLD Community Engagement
UBW facilitates BOLD (Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance) workshops for a variety of different groups and contexts from university classroom to dance studio to board retreat. Using a unique blend of dialogue and movement, UBW facilitators tailor each experience to suit the goals of participants, gathered through a relationship-building process prior to the workshop.
Each BOLD workshop is built on the following principles:
Movement as metaphor—relating an organization’s core values or important themes to physical experiences to foster deeper internalizing
Acknowledging the Intelligence of the Body—creating a physical experience as the entry point for discussing topics which can be difficult to approach
Multiple Truths—honoring and valuing multiple experiences and varied modes of expression
Harnessing Performance Skills—utilizing the assertive, decisive, poised, and charismatic presence that performers cultivate in order to bring groups together, shift energy, and manage groups
Deliberate use of Language—utilizing imagery and inspiring, accessible language in order to expand thought processes and shift from operational to visionary thinking
UBW has been at the forefront of activating the intersections of professional/community art-making, civic engagement, leadership, and group dynamics for over two decades. To learn more about how to bring a BOLD workshop to your organization, please email UBW Co-Associate Artistic Directors/BOLD Directors Chanon Judson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Samantha Speis at email@example.com.
“My first contemporary class ever & the energy of the room kept me uplifted. Maria is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever taken class with... I’ll definitely be back.”
—UBW Contemporary Dance Class Participant
EBX is based on experiential learning. We embody effective leadership practices that strengthen and develop our understanding of community engagement. Participants gain tools and methodologies for entering, building and exiting community, including navigating a variety of assumptions regarding community-based practices. This workshop is not a presentational how-to guide about community relations. It is a dialogic mapping of experience using tools that may include theater games, writing, and movement exercises.
*Please note that this workshop is a BOLD offering and needs specialized facilitation. This workshop is not part of the tour residency offerings. If you are interested in these BOLD workshops as a part of a tour residency, additional fees will apply.
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.
“I really just want to thank you for such an amazing, inspiring and empowering experience. I truly grew so much from those two intense weeks and enjoyed getting to spend more time and get to know you and the UBW better.”
— Anna Headen,
The Road to Extraordinary Technique & Repertory Workshop
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.
Hair Parties are informal gatherings where small, performative elements of Hair & Other Stories are used to ignite dialogue. These can be held in small theaters and alternative spaces from conference and meetings rooms to hair salons and homes. Using the deceptively simple topic of HAIR as the organizing principle – how hair color, length, and varying degrees of curl affect our definitions of ‘good hair’ and ‘bad hair’ both within and outside of the African American community – Hair Parties encourage participants to re-examine closely-held beliefs about themselves, society, class, race, gender, age and individual beauty. Political, fun and sometimes raucous, Hair Parties combine conversation, guided movement explorations and performance highlights from UBW’s dance/theater piece Hair and Other Stories.
A Community Sing is a coming together of people to engage in song, spiritually and emotionally, and to discover community connecting points that increase our understanding of the power of song. As an activity, The Community Sing was inspired by a workshop run by Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock and her historian partner George Brandon, and was called African American Congregational Singing. Since that time, UBW has developed its own unique approach to its Community Sing event. Participants explore African-American traditions and vocalization styles, as well as excerpts from Hair and Other Stories, a UBW dance-theatre work. All ages and abilities welcome. An excellent opportunity to engage multi-generational audiences as well as differently abled bodies.
This program integrates performance excerpts from Hair & Other Stories and other select repertory with a discussion about the company, its legacy, and its creative process. The Embodied Version (great for young audiences) is interactive and participatory: for example, the dancers take the audience through a warm-up in their seats, introduce the company and talk about their process, perform an excerpt from show or other repertory, and engage the kids with sound and vocalization, and/or a movement “pass the word” game. The 30th Anniversary Mash-Up version presents excerpts of Hair & Other Stories and other rep from prior years, followed by discussion with the company about UBW and its philosophy, aesthetic, and legacy, followed by audience Q&A. The Lec/Dem can be a variation of these two forms and will depend on the audience and its needs and expectations.