Dance: Teaching

Teaching forms a foundational part of my practice as a dance artist; though I often work with highly trained professionals (in dance and in other disciplines) in my choreographic and performance creation-work, in my teaching practice, I am committed to serving children and so-called non-dancers. I see this work as co-terminous with my performance and creation activities, a way of sharing with a broad public, including those for whom “dance” remains a strange, potentially frightening foreign territory, the deep insights that come from a life committed to rigorous training and exploration at the edge of performance and embodiment. Teaching “non-dancers” and children forces my dance practice to remain close-to-the-ground, committed to articulating esoteric ideas in accessible languages. As people learn the language of dance, their appetite for seeing more of it grows–in the long haul, this teaching work seeks to nourish the dance ecology as a whole, building future audiences with sufficient kinaesthetic intelligence to watch dance well, and to put dance concepts into motion in their own lives and thinking in ways that strengthen the web of life. The dance is in all of us.

Dance-Theory Lab. Thinker edition. Embodiment and Theory for “Non-Dancers.” Online, Sundays from 5-6pm, February 28 to April 4. Drop in or come for the whole session. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=141570197271

This class is open to so-called “non-dancers” who are interested in exploring the juncture between theory and embodiment through a practice of dance improvisation. (I think all bodies are dancing bodies, so the term non-dancer is a bit of a mis-nomer–and “dancers” are welcome too!) The ‘dance class’ introduces some of the conceptual and kinesthetic approaches to improvised movement I have developed over many years of practice/research in experimental dance; this includes an introduction to developmental movement patterns and embodied anatomy, rooted, in part, the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. I invite participants to build on (or reject!) these approaches to discover their own ever-evolving improvised movement languages. This class is a chance to explore how our ‘movement languages’ (established and emergent) connect to ‘theoretical concerns ’ (also established and emergent)—and vice versa. In the spring of 2021, this class will focus on exploring dance improvisation as a form of “counter-training” (Bourdieu’s term) that helps thinking process to embody the notion of our “socionatural entanglements,” as articulated in the work of new materialism, with a focus on the work of Elizabeth Grosz.

Dance-Theory Lab. Dancer Edition. Dancing theory–exploring social theory through dance. Coming soon. Send me an email to express interest: klewisperformance@gmail.com.

This class is for anyone with a devoted practice of dance, which I construe very broadly as meaning anyone whose art-practice involves thinking-and-moving-and-training-with the kinaesthetic apparatus as primary. This session will work with two older but vital texts: Elizabeth Grosz’s Volatile Bodies and Luce Irigaray’s Speculum of the Other Woman. Excerpts will be provided; I like to work deeply with a few pages rather than force-feed ourselves tons of text. We will put these in dialogue with insights from embodied anatomy to explore ways of thinking/talking/dancing as an entangled, socio-natural continuum. Scores will be proposed and we will move with these, together. For those interested in working with me on future creation projects, this is a good chance to see how I work and how the work works with you.


Embodying the socio-natural entanglement during the forest fires of 2020.

Dance for Children. 10 years experience. Innovative, child centered approach. Creative, contemporary dance; fundamental movement education to facilitate skillful embodiment. I am taking a hiatus from teaching regular children’s classes and workshops during covid, except for work in public schools. In select cases, I will be available to offer private and small-group classes starting May 1st, 2021, in Victoria, B.C. and on Salt Spring Island, B.C. Public classes, workshops, and summer camp will resume as soon as all bodies can gather safely without masks and without confinement tape. Watch for public classes coming as soon as safe in Victoria, B.C. and on Salt Spring Island, B.C., plus a summer residency on Bowen Island, B.C., safety protocols permitting.

I remain available for residencies in the public school system in B.C., through ArtStarts. I am taking bookings for the 2021-2022 school year for work in schools in Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and the Gulf Islands. Please be in touch early to book! https://artstarts.com/artist-profile/kristen-lewis

I also do in-school residencies through the Salt Spring Arts Council’s Artist-in-the-Class programme, here. I am mostly booked for this year, but may have a few openings for May/June 2021. https://ssartscouncil.com/aic/

Children deserve a chance to dance their freedom. 10 years teaching dance to children: not a day wasted. Their freedom helps me earn and remember mine.
Dance student at work and at play.
Salt Spring Island workshop.
Rainwood Dance Studio.
May 2018.
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