Arts connection: Dancer, instructor says active arts community is important | Unleashed

Time seems to stop as she gracefully winds her arms around herself, every simple movement a work of art. Her face isn’t flushed, and she looks perfectly at peace as she twists in complicated positions. People in the class behind her, though, are sweating as they attempt to emulate her seemingly effortless motions.

Renée Adams is the director of programs and outreach at the Mid-Columbia Ballet in the Tri-Cities, and it was the Yakima School of Ballet’s privilege to have her lead a three-day contemporary dance workshop in February.

Adams began her career at age 18, starting in the Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle. As she continued with her career, she moved to the Body Vox Dance Company in Portland, then to the Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago and finally to the Mid-Columbia Ballet, where she works now.

In addition to dancing with several companies throughout her career, Adams also tackled several freelance projects.  

As a professional dancer, Adams has experienced hundreds of different performances and classes, traveling through several cities and being exposed to many people, choreographers, dancers and aspiring dancers. Several of the cities that Adams has traveled through have a developing art scene, like Yakima’s emerging network of artists and the community.

When I interviewed Adams during the workshop, asking for words of advice for communities searching to support local artists and spark interest in local gatherings, she replied, “I think that furthering an arts community is very community-specific; it must be something where there are people who want to do the art, and people who want to see the art. And then there has to be money that supports the art … there has to be a commitment inside the community that arts are important.”

Even in a small community where artists perhaps…

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