LAURA JUNE DANCE
Release Technique, Floorwork, and Structured Improvisation for adult dancers.
This program is ideal for adult* dancers looking for an introduction to western contemporary dance in a fun, welcoming, safe environment. The course is also well suited to professionally trained dancers seeking facilitated movement research within a context of body affirmation and radical consent.
The LJD program offers an integrated study of the somato-body-politic, using movement as the primary vehicle, and curiosity and pleasure as guiding principles in the investigative process. Conversation and reading supports the dancing. The pedagogy emphasizes improvisation, anatomical function, release-based phrasework, witnessing, and above all prioritizes the sovereignty and individualism of each body. We honour the knowledge and patterning of the body as it is, rather than trying to change it/make it the same as others in the space. The work is body-affirming, consent-based, and inquiry-oriented.
The intention behind these classes is to work with your body exactly where it’s at, to develop your personal dance voice. We learn release technique and functional movement, and we apply this technique to dance phrases and short choreographies. But technique is not all we do; the classes are premised on an ongoing commitment to physical autonomy and creative expression; explored through experiential anatomy, embodiment exercises, and structured improvisation.
At the core of these classes is a commitment to body love. For me, body positivity includes intersections of body shape, size, age, shade, mobility, gender, and sexuality. My pedagogy strives to deconstruct capitalist beauty narratives, creating space for dance as an expression of joy, self-sovereignty, and self-trust.
Level 1: This class moves slowly, introducing core learning principles: curiosity and pleasure, listening to gravity, and momentum. We break down movements in detail with as much time as desired for questions. Improvisation exercises are explained step by step, building gently from one consideration to the next. There is an emphasis on safety, consent, and alignment, with little to no memorization between classes.
Level 2: This class introduces combinations and phrases, with some memory week-to-week between classes. In L2 we incorporate witnessing, seeing and being seen by each other, and begin to lengthen the improvisational movement research. This class also introduces dance theory readings, with in-class discussions.
Level 3: This class introduces composition, by way of longer improvisational scores, and initial stages of creating and setting phrases and open scores. This class assumes familiarity with the material in L1 and L2, so we don’t break down the basics learned in those levels. Theoretical readings expand in L3 to include a broader range of topics.
Eight scholarships for social justice organizers are available for the upcoming series of Dance Fundamentals classes (four class times, offering two spots in each class). These scholarships are available to organizers in Indigenous, anti-oppression, disability, and QTBIPOC communities. These spots will be filled on a first come-first served basis. Applicants need not clarify or position themselves, just get in touch to register.
“Laura is an amazing teacher who has made a profound impact on my life. I have had the privilege of studying with her for several years now, and during that time I have learnt an incredible deal about myself, my body, movement, creativity, and being in the world. Her way of guiding students through the study of dance is respectful, thoughtful, understanding, gentle, playful and supportive. I also greatly appreciate the fact that she brings the social justice perspective into her teaching. It has been a truly transformative experience working with her, and I’m immensely grateful for this opportunity.”
— Anastasia Gaisenok
“My movement journey started with Laura over 6 years ago as one of the first dance influencers in my adult life. I wanted to gain a deeper connection with my mind and body after coming out of a particularly low period at the time. Laura’s guidance, thoughtfulness, patience and positivity has allowed me to learn so much about functional body movement, dancing outside of the box and moving with more expression. I feel much more confident as a dancer, and most importantly connected with my physical body. Laura fosters a safe space and encourages body positive principles to all levels of dancers. She has created a strong community of students in a supportive environment. I am thankful for Laura’s teachings and invaluable depth of knowledge. Her ideas, willingness to continually learn and openly share these experiences with her students is infections and ever so inspiring.”
— Cynthia Cruz Anton
“I had been dancing for many years when I had a serious work accident. It took me a few years to come back to dance, but when I did, I was fortunate enough to be directed to Laura June’s previous Company. Through her classes in that dance form, as well as her Fundamentals classes, I have regained a lot of strength and am working on flexibility. My posture and confidence in both dance forms has improved and I continue to grow as a dancer. Her classes were something very foreign to me, not having ever taken any classical dance training before, but the classes are warm, inviting and totally inclusive! I do not have a “dancer’s” body, by industry standards, but that does not matter. She has been a true support, and an amazing teacher in my dance journey, and I highly recommend her classes for ALL levels of dancers.”
— Rhonda Walsh
“I have been studying dance with Laura June for the past six years. As a teacher myself, and as someone with a PhD in Arts Education, I can honestly say that Laura is among the teachers whose teaching style and presence have most impressed and influenced me. There can be no question that she is an absolute expert in her areas of practice and yet she remains humble, open to learning, and remarkably dedicated to meeting her students where they each individually are. Her passion, joy, and willingness to work hard are all infectious in her dance classes, and she facilitates an environment where students are inspired to learn more and also to establish communities with one another. She is generous with her time, her insights, and her praise (which never feels forced) and she is committed to ensuring that the competitiveness and negative self-consciousness that can pervade dance spaces are openly addressed and actively dispelled from her classroom spaces. I have learned so much from Laura. Of course, there are the particular dance styles and movement vocabularies that I have learned, but I have also learned about myself as a human, a woman, an activist, and a feminist.”
— Julia Lane
“I don’t know how, no matter how sick, exhausted or unmotivated I feel, Laura June’s Dance Fundamentals Class brings out the best in me…I started this session not really knowing what to expect, as most of my previous classes had followed a specific genre. For someone who leans towards structured choreography, it was challenging, but in a very good way, to allow myself to explore movement without being confined by a repertoire. All of this in an environment that encouraged self-discovery rather than achievement, which made it a pleasure to go to class even on the coldest and rainiest days. One aspect I felt I improved on was a growing awareness of my core and my leg muscles when moving on only one leg. This has been very useful in other dance forms I practice, like salsa, bachata and cabaret. Super grateful for this chance to “comfortably get out of my comfort zone” and looking forward to further exploring these kick, jumps, floor rolls and equilibria!”
— Sarah – Voirelia Core Consultant