• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

The Spin

Who's who and what's what in dance this month
Nick Davis and Nika Jin of track town swing club. Photo by Todd Cooper.
Nick Davis and Nika Jin of track town swing club. Photo by Todd Cooper.

The fall dance season kicks off when MEDGE (Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene) presents The Hafla Players. “The all-ages show features a new performance group — the Hafla Players, 10 MEDGE musicians and dancers under the direction of John Zeké,” MEDGE’s Denise Gilbertson says. Catch the action, and a pizza, 8:30 pm, Sept. 16, at Cozmic downtown, 199 W. 8th Avenue. See medge.org.

We hear entries for the 2016 Northwest Screendance Exposition closed Aug. 15 with more than 70 short films and documentaries submitted. “We have works from 11 countries and from all over the United States,” producer John Watson says. Adds co-producer Dorene Carroll: “We were thrilled that the entries included films from the top artists in the screendance community. It’s wonderful to bring such world-class work to Eugene and the Pacific Northwest!” Mark your calendars now for the Oct. 11 Expo program; see nwscreendanceexpo.com.

If the waning summer sun has you in a funk, take heart: Community square dance classes start Sept. 13. Modern square dance, like traditional square dance, is directed by a square-dance caller. In modern square dance, the caller strings together a sequence of individual square-dance calls to make a figure or sequence. These calls are the building blocks of the choreography that is danced by the individuals in the squares. 

So how do you sashay in?  “Once basic level is complete, there are monthly dances,” says class instructor Christine Beneda. “Once mainstream level lessons are complete, dancers can attend regularly held weekly local dances, dance at festivals, go on square-dance cruises and dance anywhere in the world to calls in English.” 

Everybody do-si-do! Fall classes of varying levels begin Sept. 13 at the Emerald Square Dance Center, 2095 Yolanda Avenue, Springfield; casual clothing, no partner needed, families welcome, $3 per class, free under 18. For more information, visit dare-to-dance-square.com. Yee-haw! 

In Ballet Fantastique news, fall classes for ages 18 months to pre-professional and adults begin Sept. 10 for the Academy of Ballet Fantastique, featuring a new “Barre Baby” class for children ages 18 months to 3 years, with a caregiver. See balletfantastique.org.

Besides the Track Town Swing Club’s live music swing dance 7 pm Sept. 17, and its four-year anniversary event on Oct. 7 (featuring a 20-piece band), the club offers tons of chances to cut a rug: Classes in Lindy hop and East Coast swing start Sept. 6 at the Salseros Dance Studio in the Vet’s Club.  

The group also hosts a casual weekly Lindy hop and East Coast swing social dance with beginner lessons — no partner required — Wednesday nights, Sept. 7, 21 and 28. Intro lesson at 8 pm, followed by dancing. More info at tracktownswing.com.  

DanceAbility’s fall classes will include “EVERYbody has DanceAbility” in Eugene and Cottage Grove: “This creative dance class is for people across the full spectrum of abilities and disabilities that are interested in dance or recreation, and is taught by Jana Meszaros, certified DanceAbility teacher,” the group’s Kathryn Gaines says.

Attendees who cannot see or hear are welcome, as are people in power wheelchairs, people with mental disabilities and experienced dancers without disabilities, as classes are always designed for full inclusion. 

“People without disabilities who are interested in the magic of connecting through creative movement and the study of improvisation are also encouraged and welcome to attend, alongside those with disabilities,” Gaines says. More info at danceability.com

And Sara Zolbrod of Joint Forces Dance Company has been running a weekly contact improvisation jam at the Hilyard Center since May 2015. No experience is required.

“Contact Improvisation is a dance of communicating, experiencing and relating through physical contact between two or more people,” Zolbrod explains. “People of all physical abilities can explore the movement possibilities that exist between them, whether staying with small and slow movements or optionally ranging into fast, large movement.” See jointforces.com.