Saturday, October 22nd at 7 pm Smooth & EZ Hand Dance Institute’s Lawrence Bradford, line dance instructor Sharon Lynn Holmes and Salsa instructor Jessica Quiroz join together under Joe’s roof to teach social dance in the name of “floor-raising.” The evening will feature three studios worth of dance lessons followed by a short program in Joe’s blackbox theater, the future location of a brand new hardwood dance floor. Tickets are $25 per person. All proceeds go towards Joe’s 2016-17 Capital Campaign which includes a $60,000 fundraising goal to purchase a new floor for Joe’s Meyer Performance Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online at www.joesmovement.org and at the door at 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.
“Joe’s is our home,” says Bradford of Smooth & EZ Hand Dance’s relationship with the Mount Rainier based performing arts center. Smooth & EZ Hand Dance has been coming to Joe’s weekly for classes, rehearsals and workshops for the past five years. As the group grows in popularity and looks to expand it’s classes & social dance events within Joe’s walls, there is one major obstacle, the theater floor.
“Dancing on concrete is not good for legs and knees, especially in movers over the age of 35,” Joe’s Movement Emporium Founder & Executive Director Brooke Kidd says. “When we planned this building 12 years ago, we had the goal of converting the entire theater floor into a wooden dance floor.” Nearly a decade later this vision is attainable. “If we had a wooden floor,” Bradford tells Joe’s, gesturing towards the theater’s red doors, “we could do so many things. Workshops, dances, galas … we would be able to have all our events here.” Smooth & EZ Hand Dance currently looks to outside organizations to host their major social weekend social dance events due to Joe’s theater’s problematic floor.
Bradford isn’t alone in benefitting from a new dance floor. Joe’s current concrete floor, while a creative inspiration to some artist groups who have made use of the stripped down, industrial feel of the space, is less safe than the wooden alternative for youth groups and artistic groups that use Joe’s modular stage covered in marley, a tripping hazard. “We want to protect our artists and guests” Kidd states. “We’re looking forward to hosting big community social dances for hand dance, salsa, swing dance and more on a safer floor”, plus, “we’ve had many requests for percussive dance groups like flamenco and tap” who would be better accommodated with wooden dance floor.
Since Joe’s opened in it’s current location, the facility has developed a reputation as an affordable and accessible home for many artistic groups looking to grow their creative enterprises within the Emporium. Groups include Taratibu Youth Association, UpSpring Aerial Studio, Silk Road Dance Company, Soul in Motion African Drum & Dance, Raediant Movement, Sacred Hips in Motion, DEVIATED THEATRE, NCrease Fitness, Katherine Smith Contemporary Dance Ensemble and Kendra Marie Moves.
Dance for the Floor is a integral part of Joe’s 2016-17 Capital Improvements Campaign, The HOME Improvement Campaign. This $300,000 capital campaign looks to make much-needed repairs and upgrades to improve the overall safety and experience for everyone who calls Joe’s “home” including adding a hardwood floor to Joe’s theater. About $60,000 of the $300,000 is dedicated to the installation of the hardwood dance floor. Other capital campaign improvements include updating the theaters lighting, sound and digital media capabilities, refinishing the wooden floors in the studios, upgrading the bathrooms and cementing the adjacent parking lot.
Dance for the Floor tickets are $25 per person and include light fare as well as access to dance lessons and open dance time. Tickets can be purchased online at www.joesmovement.org/dance_for_the_floor or at the door at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, MD 20712. Additional questions can be directed towards to Neena Narayanan at 301-699-1819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Joe’s
Joe’s is the largest independent performing arts center in Prince George’s County, Maryland incorporating dance, movement and performing arts traditions from around the world into exceptional educational and artistic experiences. Its unique ability to utilize the arts as a vehicle for progressive education, workforce training and economic growth has made it a well-respected nonprofit arts organization.
Today, Joe’s is open 7 days a week, 350 days per year serving more than 70,000 individuals annually with classes for all levels of movers, programs, events, performances, rentals and other services. More than 20 resident artist groups call Joe’s home. In addition, Joe’s has become a haven for local youth and provides access to all individuals to a variety of cultural and educational experiences, for creative industries to grow, for county nonprofit organizations, and for successful regional artists to rehearse, teach and present.
More about Smooth & EZ Hand Dance Institute
The Smooth & EZ Hand Dance Institute was established in November 1992, by Lawrence Bradford, who still leads the group today. Smooth & EZ’s mission is to enhance local and national awareness of Hand Dance through instruction, promotion, and preservation.
Smooth & EZ Hand Dance hosts beginner classes at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, MD every Monday and Wednesday evening. All are welcome to drop-in and try a class for $20 for first time participants and $10 for returning drop-ins. More information about Smooth & EZ Hand Dance Institute classes, workshops and events can be found by visiting them online at www.smoothnezdance.com.
More about Hand Dance
Hand Dance is rooted in Lindy Hop, an American dance movement that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s. Hand Dance is a six beat dance that adheres to the basic structure of all swing dances with extended count variations.
Practiced primarily in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs as well as Baltimore, MD, Hand Dance’s popularity continues to grow rapidly throughout the region. National recognition of Hand Dance has been achieved by efforts of groups like Smooth & EZ Hand Dance venturing into and gaining recognition in the the national swing dancing community.
Smooth & EZ Hand Dance Founder & Instructor Lawrence Bradford expands on the history of Hand Dance online at www.smoothnezdance.com/history.