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Clark looks to help bridge mind, body

By Staff | May 27, 2011

Local dance instructor Kitty Clark has returned to Shepherdstown with a new class designed to help students bridge mind and body.

Clark has been working in and around Shepherdstown since 1996 and moved here in 1999. She began the Goose Route Dance Festival in 2001 and ran it until last July when she and her family decided to leave the area and try living and working in Vancouver, Canada.

Clark described her move up north as an “interesting adventure.” Though Clark and her musician husband, Cam Millar, decided to return to the area for the time being, Clark said she was glad to have to have the opportunity to get away and assess some of her goals.

While in Vancouver, Clark, a trained modern dancer and yoga instructor, decided she was interested in starting workshops with a larger focus than just dance.

She said in her experience, dance could be used as a “transformative practice,” much like yoga.

Clark said she wanted to create something that can be therapeutic and healing.

It was in her process of reflection and personal discovery that Clark created her new “Mindful Moving” class.

“Mindful Moving” is a hybrid class that incorporates yoga, dance and movement improvisation.

The 90-minute class will be broken up into three parts. Clark said it will begin with yoga, followed by 30 minutes of dance and finally, 30 minutes of movement. Each class will likely end with a brief period of reflection where participants will have the opportunity to consider their personal “mindful moving” experience.

The traditional yoga instruction will act as a warm up. Next students will be pushed beyond their mats and transition into dance and movement through space in choreographed traveling patterns that may incorporate yogic postures. Students will then be asked to explore movement in a more improvised and organic way, both individually and in concert with their fellow students.

While developing the course, Clark said she wondered how one could take yoga’s mindfulness and meditative or spiritual aspects and incorporate dance and movement.

Clark said that doing creative expressive movement with other people forces individuals to be more vulnerable.

“It can be a really powerful experience for people,” she said.

Clark described the group that has registered for the class as “an interesting mix of people,” ranging from Shepherd University students to the middle-aged experienced dancers to those who are newer to the art. “I’m excited to be back here to try this class out,” Clark said.

Registration for the course is still open. Those interested can register by contacting Clark by phone at 301-693-5303. The cost of the course is $84 ($72 for students) for six weeks and $58 ($50 for students) for four weeks.

More information about Clark and the class can be found at www.kittyclarkmoves.com.