Mountain View Voice

News - August 23, 2013

A whirlwind week of dance

Six dancers, ranging in age from 20 to 60, are casually arrayed across the hardwood floor in the Mountain View Masonic Lodge on the first day of the week-long dance workshop, part of this week's second annual International Dance Festival- Silicon Valley. Instructor Leslie Friedman, who is the artistic director of festival organizer The Lively Foundation, firmly instructs dancers in contemporary technique with the intensity of a drill sergeant and the kindness of a close friend.

The dancers, led by Friedman and her protege Amity Johnson, practice skips, jumps, plies, and releves. Once the repertory class begins, they assemble themselves into complex arrangements, resembling swans as they bend and bow while practicing the "Mountain Dance," holding onto one another for posture and balance.

Workshop participants will show off their new skills at a final concert performance at the Masonic Lodge on Sunday, Aug. 25.

Julie van Gelder said she's been dancing since the age of 6, and participated in the festival last year, too. "I think it is a privilege to still be dancing," said the Cupertino resident during a break in the workshop on Aug. 19.

—Miranda Chatfield

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