Designed by local professional dancers and choreographers, our Kids Program offers students the tools with which to live a deeply embodied life, whether on the stage or in the world. All classes focus on developing the individual’s somatic awareness, creative voice and participation within a group to build thoughtful and present performers. Students are encouraged to take up space, find new ways to use their bodies and create original movement with peers.
For immediate questions regarding the Kids Program, please call: Janoah Bailin at 508-388-4329
modern dance (ages 4-18)
Our experienced teaching artists lead exciting and energetic classes for students of all ages. Through improvisation and set phrases, students will expand their range of motion and creative voice. Utilizing the most contemporary techniques, students will build deep somatic awareness to dance safely and dynamically. Rather than focusing on any one dance vocabulary, our modern classes draw from many lineages and choreographers to explore diverse ways of moving on the floor, in the air, in contact, and upside down.
Cookie Harrist & Delaney McDonough make, curate, and teach experimental dance in Portland and are the Directors of the Denmark Arts Center in Denmark, Maine. After attending summer camp in the woods of Maine, studying dance at Marlboro and Colby colleges respectively, and meeting at Bates Dance Festival, the two teamed up to strengthen performance in Maine.
Jessamyn Schmidt hails from Fort Wayne, IN. She earned a BA in dance and international studies from Denison University. She’s studied modern, ballet, West African, Flamenco, and contact improvisation. Jessamyn lives in South Portland, and teaches dance to many ages – teens, college students, and seniors.
Allie James Bell, originally from the Portland area, is a graduate of College Chicago, where she earned her BFA in Choreography. Since graduating, she has taught and performed dance in Chicago, St. Louis, New York and Portland. While in New York, Alexandra co-founded Swift Urban Movement Project, a non-profit dedicated to promoting healthy, active and social lifestyles through arts and recreation.
While actively teaching, Alexandra is also diving back into creating, by means of improvisation. Her work explores the self in relation to the Other - the terms by which we define ourselves in relationship to, against and in accordance with one another.
Alexandra travels back and forth from Portland to New York to continue teaching, performing and working actively with Swift Urban Movement Project. She has also joined the Bates Dance Festival as the Admissions Director, and is excited to be teaching actively around the greater Portland area.
circus (ages 8-13)
Through games and improvisational exercises, students learn the basics of several circus arts including juggling, balancing objects, spinning diabolos, and clowning. Students engage their creative voice as they build the prop work into solo or group circus acts. Character work, audience engagement and acrobatics will all be explored with silliness and curiosity.
Janoah “anygoodjokes” Bailin learned to juggle as a bored ten-year-old. He studied at the Suspenders Juggling Troupe in Falmouth, MA,then toured with Circus Smirkus. Janoah attended the College of the Atlantic in Maine. He teaches students all over Portland, ME how to juggle, perform and drop things playfully.