Modern Dance Classes

At Berkeley Moving Arts, we offer our students a warm, welcoming atmosphere, where they can build an awareness of their bodies. This allows us to dance with ease and grace, find flow, musicality and ease of movement in a supportive community conducive to learning. 

Our modern dance classes are based on the Erick Hawkins approach to modern dance technique, a unique approach that encourages efficient use of the body’s structure to prevent pain and injury. The Erick Hawkins technique teaches the efficient use of the body's natural structure by developing a strong center and allowing movement to flow through the limbs. It is sensitive to the needs of the body and allows the release of unnecessary tension for fluid movement that is energetic yet effortless. 

Hawkins’ approach to dance technique emerged from an intense examination of the principles of dance, which he embarked on after having been the lead male dancer in Martha Graham’s company. Hawkins felt that the quality of dance must be effortless in order to achieve a oneness of body, mind and spirit. He searched for new ways to train the body, synthesizing the values of Zen philosophy with an idea of a harmonious relationship to nature and art. 

We teach dance for beginners and advanced students from the inside out, helping them understand not only the outer shapes they are creating but also the deep underpinnings of their movement. Classes are ongoing and dancers can join anytime.

 

Advanced Beginning Modern Dance Technique

This class is appropriate for students with some movement background looking to improve their technique and deepen their practice.

Taught by Ruth Botchan, Avilee Goodwin and Betsy Strome.

Intermediate-Advanced Modern Dance Technique

This class is ideal for those with a background in dance looking to perfect and deepen their practice.

Taught by Ruth Botchan.

Classes start with a warm-up on the floor and then standing, affording the opportunity to explore basic movement principles.  Later students move across the floor with dance patterns allowing them to apply those principles, develop their dance skills, and ultimately to move with ease and freedom.

Classes are ongoing and can be joined anytime.