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April 3, 2014

UMS Night School: Bodies in Motion – Final Session Recap

By Sarah Squillante

Editor’s note: This post is a part of a series of by U-M student Sarah Squillante, who’s covering our free UMS Night School: Bodies in Motion series. Learn along side with them.


UMS Night School celebrated the end to its semester-long series, “Bodies in Motion,” on Monday night with a wrap-up and graduation ceremony.

It started off with a twist on the usual name game – attendees were asked to embody how they viewed dance in a single gesture, after having experienced UMS Night School and dance performances. Responses ranged from falling to the ground to smaller movements borrowed from past performances. The participants were then paired off into groups to create small tableaus of movement.

Host Clare Croft asked attendees to close their eyes and reflect on the many thought-provoking experiences that they have shared: guest lecturers, videos, movement exercises, discussions, and an array of performances. Attendees were asked to share their thoughts on the value of Night School – their expectations, reflections, and memories.

Many weren’t expecting it to be such a fulfilling experience, but developed a true understanding of “how we move and how we develop movement.”

Others were thankful for the opportunity to “experience dance through someone else’s shoes,” and “to see unconventional performances.”

Participant Geoff Smereck expressed gratitude that UMS was able to unite those that have zero dance experience with those who are very knowledgeable: “It was such a privilege to have major artists sit down with us before and after performances. To connect in that way is very special,” he said.

“The presentation [itself was] very unpretentious,” said participant Harvey Pillersdorf. “I came away more invigorated and more curious. It wasn’t just a lecture.”

Attendees enjoyed light refreshments while gift cards were presented for those with “perfect attendance” and raffle tickets were drawn. Everyone was also given a sneak-peak at next season’s dance offerings.

Join us for a complete unveiling at the Season Announcement Party on Sunday, April 13 at 1:00 PM on the 4th floor of the Rackham Building!

Thank you for joining us for Night School this semester – we look forward to another season full of dance engagement next year!

Share questions, comments, or suggestions in the comments below.