This blog follows Dance Wire’s Founder/Director Emily Running in her adventures taking new dance classes all over Portland.
In the New York Times bestseller GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the author, Angela Duckworth, argues that the "secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence." Grit is word I personally love because it has the duality of being hard-hitting, yet with an undeniably positive connotation. I bring up this word because I think the WolfBird class definitely requires some grit.
The class is currently being held at Trip the Dark centrally located near NE Broadway and 7th. It's a rather contained space for this class, but a temporary space until Raven and Selina (the mastermind/bodies of WolfBird) build up their following. There is both free residential as well as metered street parking in the block surrounding the building. The door is a little tricky to find - try not to end up in the seedy bar next door - but has the address 707 above the door. The studio is up the stairs and to the left.
A shirt to cover your shoulders, socks and knee pads are highly recommended for this class. We started out with a floor warm up, and the easier you can make it to slide around the better. After warm-up we moved across the floor also remaining primarily on the ground. There are very few classes in Portland that spend this much time breaking down and exploring floor work, so it's an excellent technique class for anyone wanting to become more comfortable moving around on the floor as well as pathways of getting in and out of the floor.
Both directors have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance from the University of South Florida, and their teaching is rooted in a thorough grasp of both the physical and academic elements of their movement style. They encourage all levels of movers to attend, the only requirement for class is a openness to learn and grow!
Our final combination - shown in the video - was slow, by WolfBird standards, but plenty intricate which is common for their movement style. Getting back to the concept of grit, their movement has passion, power and requires perserverance to master. I tend to find that the more difficult something is to master, the more satisfying each achievement along the way feels!
Find more Portland-area dance classes on Dance Wire's Find A Class Directory.
Also see more of their movement from their class at Dance Wire's 2017 Citywide Dance Audition - video below.