Recorded Sept. 10, 2020 What does back to school look like when it’s an art form that requires space to move the body? In this recording from a Community Coffee Talk show we asked creative movement professionals. Guests were Ginger Haithcox, Executive Director of Modern Motion in Somerset, NJ and Paul Besaw, professor of dance at the University of Vermont. Armanii Saahd-Tann, Creative Director of Rahway Dance Theatre made a brief appearance via pre-recorded audio.
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Ginger Haithcox is the Executive Director of Modern Motion. She started Modern Motion in 2005 after her ballet instructor in college encouraged her to pursue founding a nonprofit dance company. Initially focused on liturgical dance for local churches and teaching at local dance studios, her vision for Modern Motion soon included a full scale dance school for children. Founded in 2010, Modern Motion Dance School had humble beginnings with Monday night classes all taught by Ginger while she built her career in non-profit ministries and youth serving organizations.
Her leadership of Modern Motion dance school has focused on the development, training, and implementation of the school's curriculum; building up a youth leadership and mentoring program for older dancers; widespread community outreach performances; as well as extensive staff development.
Paul Besaw who was born and raised in rural New Hampshire. He’s a dance and theatre artist with a primary interest in developing original performance works that integrate collaboration across art forms. He currently serves as Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Vermont, where he teaches courses in choreography, dance history, directing, performance, among others.
Armanii Saahd-Tann made a brief appearance by pre-recorded video is the artistic director and owner of Rahway Dance Theatre, a 20 year old local ballet school. RDT aims to share the gift of dance with the community by showcasing cultural diversity, by using dance as an educational tool, and by clearing the biases of who is "fit" to be a dancer. Armanii's life work thus far has been to lead by example in helping dancers of all ages to feel empowered in their own skin - no matter their physique or experience in dance.