So, You Think Can Dance? If Not, Learn

Montgomery County Community College offers professional jazz dance
instruction led by nationally known teaching artist Marcie Mamura

Dec. 5, 2013, Blue Bell, Pa.―Anyone intrigued by the jazz dance performances showcased on such popular shows as “America’s Got Talent” and “So You Think You Can Dance?” can learn how to dance by signing up for spring classes at Montgomery County Community College taught by nationally known teaching artist Marcie Mamura. No previous dance experience is required. Visit mc3.edu, to register for “Fundamentals of Jazz Dance I” (DAN 131) scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:35-11 a.m. The first day of class is Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Not offered in recent semesters, these classes are being brought back and infused with new energy. Mamura, a founding member of the cross-country dance collaboration TRANSForm Dance Collective, takes a fresh approach to her instruction by combining the history, culture and musicality of jazz dance with various movement styles found within the form, including classical, musical theater, lyrical, Latin and hip-hop.

Influenced by her Chicago-based studies with Billy Siegenfeld, artistic director of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, and Joel Hall, Mamura introduces students to the aesthetics through simple turns and jumps, traveling movements and more complex combinations. Students in the second course refine their skills as they continue to study and practice jazz dance at the elementary level.

“Movement is considered language in dance,” said Mamura. “I believe people learn about themselves and about each other when they work together, move together and communicate together.”

Mamura earned her master’s degree in dance from the University of Oregon, where she held a graduate teaching fellowship. Her local experience as a teaching artist includes stints with the Girard College Dream Camp, Asian Arts Initiative, CHI Movement Arts Center and Drexel University.  She has facilitated workshops and dance residencies and has had her work presented throughout the country, including at the Philly Fringe Festival.

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