Dance Performances

Florence Night Out loves dance — that’s why on June 1, we’ll be featuring participatory dance with Art_Words_Movement, performances by Amherst Contra Dance, dance instruction with Emily Foxtrot, and dancing by the Black Rose Academy of Irish Dance!

6:30-7:00, Florence Civic Center: Art_Words_Movement is an interactive dance! You are invited to participate in an experiment weaving our senses and words into moments of dance. Visitors will write words that describe what they see and feel, while dancers use these words to create dances. With live music by Tony Silva, you will sense dancers’ in-the-moment decisions, and witness serendipitous moments as images, words and movement collide in real time. Michelle Marroquin is an independent dancer/ choreographer based in the Pioneer Valley. She collaborates with visual and performing artists to create original work; most recently performing solos that explore how cultural languages are inscribed in the body. Michelle is also a Physical Therapist Assistant and teaches GYROTONIC & GYROKINESIS at Lani Nahele’s Studio rEvolution in the Arts & Industry Building. Visit her website or look for her on Facebook! Michelle is excited to be a part of FNO because she enjoys “bringing dance into unusual spaces to offer raw, live and thought-provoking encounters between performers and an audience.” She shared: “Whenever there is ‘interactivity’ between performers and an audience anything may happen; that is what I look forward to the most. I like being surprised by how others respond to proposals.”

5:30-7:30, Florence Bank: Contra Dance is a folk dance formed of lines of people. It evolved as a modernized form of traditional English and French court dances and now exists as an informal and inter-generational community/social dance that is quick to teach and easy to learn by new dancers of all ages without a previous dance background. The sense of community while dancing unfolds on multiple levels of numerous dance connections when each dancer functions as a partner in a pair, a corner in a set of four, or a link in long lines that stretches down the dance floor. Contra Dance is done with live music (a band of instrument players), and the dance is led by a caller who teaches a sequence of dance figures before the music starts. The caller then keeps calling the moves to prompt dancers through the dance after having walked them through it at the beginning. Contra Dance is very popular in New England and could be recognized as the New England signature Folk Dance, sometimes also known as the Appalachian Folk Dance. For many years now, the Amherst Downtown Contra Dance has been bringing bands, callers, and a big following of dancers together into a lively and joyful weekly event (most Wednesday nights) and we are very happy to take part in the Florence Arts Night Out event. The Downtown Amherst Contra Dance was founded in 2010 in Amherst, MA, with the intention of having a dance that was easily accessible to students at the various local colleges. This midweek dance also filled a void for bands that were coming through the area, looking for tours, as there are no other regional Wednesday night dances. We welcome all people of all dancing abilities to join us for this fun, energetic social activity, which includes a caller and live music. Check out their website or find them on Facebook! On participating in FNO: “The Downtown Amherst Contra Dance is a community-based organization that is driven by the joyful and creative community activity of folk dancing. There is no better venue for such community engagement, sharing activity, as well as supporting the local community than an event like Florence Night Out. Florence is home and work place to several members and friends of the Downtown Amherst Contra Dance community which extends to include – but is not limited to – the Pioneer Valley and Western Massachusetts in whole.”

7:00-8:00, Florence Civic Center: You can get dance instruction in East Coast Swing (7:00-7:30) or Salsa (7:30-8:00) with Emily Foxtrot! Emily Fox has been teaching social dance throughout the Pioneer Valley since 2005. She specializes in helping people prepare for dancing at weddings, special events, or just a fun night out. If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to partner dance, come check it out! Emily specializes in teaching beginners and her students love her clear, patient, and fun instruction. Find her on her website or Facebook! She is thrilled to teach at FNO: “I love sharing dance with as many people as possible. My studio has been in Florence for 14 years.”

6:00-6:30, Florence Paint: The Black Rose Academy is a certified Irish Dance school based in Springfield. They have students from throughout the Greater Springfield area. Their students have performed across Massachusetts and competed across New England. Black Rose is proud to share their heritage with everyone they meet! They offer classes for beginners, champions, and adults in a community that promotes fun, dance, and culture. Their teacher, Bridget Barcomb, is TCRG certified by exam through Ireland. Follow them on Facebook! They can’t wait for FNO, simply because they “love performing and sharing [their] talents with everyone.”