Dance faculty presents work at Flynn


KYLE ELMS/The Vermont Cynic

Lecturer Julie Peoples-Clark performed a dance that expressed her experience as a mother at the UVM Dance Faculty Showcase Feb. 13 at the Flynn Space.

Jean Macbride, Staff Writer

The dance faculty at UVM spend their days teaching students about and how to dance.

This time, the faculty had a chance to show off their own work.

The UVM Dance Faculty Showcase was held at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Flynn Space, a performance space next to Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. 

This is the first time UVM dance faculty have been asked to show their work at the Flynn.

The performance featured UVM faculty and local dancers and was free to the public, but donations were accepted for the UVM dance department.

Lecturer Paula Higa performed “Here and Now,” an improvised duet she developed with flutist Patricia Julien. 

Although the dancing and music was improvised for the showcase, Higa said they practiced rigorously before the event. It was a learning experience for them both, she said.

“In improvisation it is important to listen to each other,” Higa said. “But it’s not just about showing up and moving. It’s work, so you have to practice.” 

Lecturer Julie Peoples-Clark performed a dance that expressed her experience as a mother. 

Her dance during the showcase explored the difficulty she had while breastfeeding.

“I had a really extreme experience with my daughter,” Peoples-Clark said. “She was born with cerebral palsy, so I’ve really drawn most of my inspiration from her.” 

She said she remembered her dance moves by repetition and that this is what she told her students.

Peoples-Clark teaches mostly beginners dance classes and loves to introduce people to the art form, she said.

She gave advice to those who wanted to pursue dancing as a career.

“Just keep dancing, and don’t take no for an answer,” she said.

Junior Annabel Diestel appreciated watching the performance.  As a dance major, she said it contributed to her understanding of the craft.

“When I get to see them perform I get to see those methods in practice,” she said.

Diestel said working with dance faculty informs her dance studies greatly.

“It gives me inspiration for different structures of movement and different ways to perform,” she said.