Dana Yager is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance. Dana was active in various works at the Dance Center at Columbia College, including both student and faculty pieces. Dana was lucky enough to see two of her own works on Columbia’s stage as well. In May 2009, Dana had the honor of working with Jenny Way Rawe while working on a reconstructed performance of Twyla Tharp’s The Fugue. Dana is an exceptional choreographer and a joyful, talented teacher. She teaches all classes that are offered. Dana is honored to continue this dance school Ginny Martin founded 45 years ago.
Kids naturally explore space, making movement choices that please them: jumping, turning, tumbling etc. All dance has its foundation in these beginning movement choices. Carefully and very creatively expanding a child's menu of creative movement choices is what I do. I believe in preserving kids' uninhibited enjoyment of movement as I introduce them to the world of dance in an enthusiastic, warm and patient manner. My goal is to instill the joy of movement and motivate self confidence in my students. Sharing modern dance affords me a wonderful opportunity to do that. In class, students learn dances that I choreograph for them to delightful, tasteful music that I believe they will love! They also explore technique by dancing fun combinations of steps across the floor. Creative improvisation is another aspect of the modern dance form. At each class level we dance approximately twenty unique improvisations throughout the school year. An improvisation may be as simple as dancing with silk scarves or satin ribbons to motivate increased upper body movement or as sophisticated as moving within fabric stretch tubes to explore the tighter more dramatic feelings of sadness, fear or loneliness. Each of my improvisational movement activities has a purpose in developing and strengthening the dancer. My students find it endless fun to explore movement and gain self awareness through improvisation!
What is Offered
The dance program for four through eighteen year olds is creatively innovative with imaginative, age appropriate choreography and engaging improvisational exercises. I truly believe that the entry level dance program, Creative Movement for 4-6 year olds, is the most inventive, child friendly, unique and completely wonderful dance beginning for a child. The movement poems that Ginny Martin wrote for the youngest dancers are a good example of the professional, quality, creative experience I offer. Each class level experiences approximately twenty four imaginative, age appropriate, improvisational dance exercises throughout the year. Each one has a different purpose in developing and motivating the dancer.
My students learn a lot! More importantly, they have fun doing it. Every year it amazes me how much my dancers mature throughout the dance season to become very joyful, confident, focused, disciplined dancers. I work hard to appeal to all of the different styles in which children learn. Through a varied, much loved series of creative improvisational exercises developed specifically for each age level and by challenging my dancers with choreographed dances that motivate and excite, I introduce them to an ever expanding world of movement choices.
Each year we choreograph all of our dances on a theme which makes for a truly delightful, cohesive presentation in our dance shows each Spring. We choose great music that fits the theme for all of the dances that we choreograph. This year the theme is Metamorphosis.
A Very Different Dance Show Experience
I have two dance shows every Spring on the first Monday and Tuesday of June. Our shows are at The Egg in Albany in the Hart Theater. Half of my students dance in one show and half of them dance in the other. This creates a dance show experience that doesn't go on forever and ever. My dance shows are approximately two and a half hours in length and free of charge. I am very organized and the show moves along quite quickly. My dance families actually look forward to my dance shows every year because the dancers are excited but relaxed, prepared and confident, comfortable in their beautiful, tasteful costumes and joyfully anxious to share what they have been working on all year long. I repeatedly hear family and friends comment on how much they love my dance shows and how much fun the dancers appear to be having. Even dads and brothers enjoy the show. Imagine that!