For the last 115 years, a secret war fought with bodies alone has been under way. Bodies have been pushed to their limits and tossed across stages,
rigid, limp or languid, to fight for or against this rebellion. BC’s contemporary dance teacher, Eva Stone, spoke passionately of the war between ballet and modern dance explaining that, “Contemporary dance was created as a rebellion against ballet which [the founder of modern dance thought] distorted the female figure.”
“[Contemporary dance] is about connecting with the movement in music and allowing choreography to communicate.” Stone’s classes, Dance 151 and 152, rebel against the tutus and tiaras of ballet and teach students how to connect with their bodies and the music in a much more natural way, all while building strength, timing, coordination and physical awareness.
Stone encourages dancers both with and without experience to take her classes. “Every dancer understands that there’s never a class that’s too easy—even the most highly-trained professional dancers will go back to take a beginning-level class—there’s always something to learn to challenge yourself with and think about. And to all beginners, have no fear!”
At least half of the students in her classes each quarter are completely new at the beginning and at the end of the quarter, even though they are highly educated and well practiced in the art. “The challenge of teaching lies in having such a wide range of skill in one room, but that challenge is exactly what makes the studio such a fun and dynamic learning environment and by the end of the class, everyone, even the shyest people,
are flying around the room and working with each other. What I always remind them of is that the most important thing is the creative process. I always stress to them that what they learn about the creative process relates to all fields—graphic design, nursing, mathematics, science, engineering—it’s all about how to allow creativity to come through and how to apply that creativity [in order to] problem solve. So even though it’s just a dance class, it works on many different levels.”
Students have described Stone as fun, articulate, extremely helpful and charismatic. One of Eva’s students, Paige Gilly, said that “Eva’s class exceeded [her] expectations.” and that in all of her years dancing, Stone has thus far been her favorite teacher. “This class studies the history of modern dance, improves strength and flexibility, and allows for creativity,” Gilly said. “It is challenging, but doable because of the way [Stone] teaches … It is the perfect combination.”
Stone said that, “the only difference between a professional dancer and someone who hasn’t danced a step in their life is practice. The spark, the fire, it’s the same in all dancers.”
Whether a student is looking for a good workout, an intellectual challenge, or just a way to have fun, Stone’s contemporary dance classes will be a great way to start the day. Join the rebellion.