Dance Is Big

Posted after the fact because of website troubles …

Laurie says:

I went to the Cabrillo College Winter Dance Concert because David King, the artistic director, is part of my family.

I see a lot of dance, and body variety in dance is really rare. Choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Liz Lerman says “Dance is big.” Her philosophy is “there’s room enough for everyone,” and it was really a treat to see that in action.

As a size activist, I was ecstatic over the student dancers. There were frequently ten or more dancers on the stage and the body diversity was terrific. The dancers were short, fat, tall, thin, stocky, large breasted, small breasted. The age range was roughly 17 to 38. I was especially delighted by one fat young woman who danced fabulously, and a stocky Asian man in his 30s who did marvelous work.

If you’re in San Francisco, check out Fellow Travelers Performance Group, who presented a fine excerpt from “Catastrophe Practice” with student dancers. “Shadowplay” featured the adaptive dance class, who appeared to be primarily special-needs students. Choreographer Sharon Took-Zozaya worked brilliantly with these dancers to create charming and powerful dance work.

The overall quality of the choreography and the use of the dancers’ varied bodies and skills was very impressive. I had no idea I would enjoy the evening as much as I did.

<br /> <a href="" rel="tag nofollow">Body Image</a><br /> <a href="" rel="tag nofollow">Body Impolitic</a><br /> Dance<br />

4 thoughts on “Dance Is Big

  1. Hooray for diversity within dance! I am lucky enough to study with another group that is very supportive of different sizes, ages, and abilities. If anyone would like to read about an evening spent in structured improvisational belly-dance with Sabah Ensemble, I have written an essay about it which you can find at

    Thanks for all the good work you’re doing! I’ve been enjoying the blog for some weeks now, and look forward to more.


  2. Karen,

    Your essay about the Circle Dance is marvelous!

    I’ve taught belly dance off and on forever. Right now I’m teaching at an alternative high school in Oakland (CA) that is provided mostly for students who have been expelled from regular public schools. It’s a really good school with dedicated people and great services for the students.

    I found out about it because a friend of mine teaches there, and this year I’ve had time for volunteer work.

    My students are picking up the dance beautifully and we’re giving a performance at the school the end of January. The girls are getting a lot of good stuff out of it and so am I.

    Your comments reminded me of how dance lifts you up and takes you out of where you are to some place fine.


  3. I’m glad you enjoyed the essay. That’s very cool that you’re teaching belly-dance dance at an alternative high school! Will the performance be open to the public, or just for school/family, etc.? Do your students know about this blog? Do they know about local belly-dance festivals? Good luck with the work!


  4. I’ll probably tell them I wrote about them. We have a costume making meeting next week. Fortunately I’m only involved in the designing.

    We’re planning a class trip to see belly dancers. I’m not sure if it will be a festival.

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