Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center

Updates

In compliance with the County’s Order, our facilities will be closed through May 3rd.

A Message from our Director

Dear TWDCC Community, 

From my home to yours, I write this letter. I hope all are safe, finding comfort and solace in the little moments between the uncertainty and unprecedented challenge we face right now on this planet. I send love. I send strength. And most of all, I call upon our creativity and perseverance as artists, families, and communities to reimagine the world we want to live in. 

Last Wednesday, my daughter and I flew out of Jamaica, where I have been working on a TWDCC project for the past 3 months. As I returned to the United States, amidst much chaos, I was acutely aware that not only mine and my family’s life was about to change drastically, but that TWDCC and all of us as a community would face a challenge unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I spent the six hour long flight thinking long and hard about what was to lie ahead for us as the reality set in that we would have to shut our doors for many, many weeks, if not many months. I thought about all of the students, teachers, dance artists, our staff and community members who would no longer have a place to find movement and connection in the physical space that is TWDCC. I saw all of the joyous faces that greet me everytime I return from abroad and contemplated what could possibly be next for us. 

I am a dreamer, I have always been. And what I know for sure is that every catastrophe and uncertainty, leads to rebirth. It forces all of us to think creatively and take risks with even our imaginations- if only to find a way to survive. As my ancestors have taught me, resiliency and fearlessness are the cornerstone of thinking creatively for survival. Cutting a path forward in the brush and summoning the will to figure it out is what artists do every time they make their way into the studio to build a new piece of choreography, or write a new masterpiece, or paint the next canvas. As artists, we take the risk to believe in ourselves enough to make something out of nothing and we find the meaning in the unknown. We trust the process, even when our better selves are lost; Even when our imagination and drive fail us. 

TWDCC is not going anywhere. As we approach our 10 year mark in 2022, we have so much to be thankful for. Our remarkable staff: Micha Scott, Angela Chambers, and Lisa Brenner have transformed our organization. YOUR continuous and generous support has meant they were hired in the first place and allowed for their talents and skills to grow TWDCC in remarkable ways. This, in turn, has allowed for us to be adaptable quickly and they have managed over the past three weeks to transition our “brick and mortar” operations into a “click and mortar” online portal for TWDCC that will launch in the coming weeks. Our board of directors swooped in as soon as the COVID-19 crisis swelled and raised immediate capital to insure we could keep operating for the next month as we faced a 100% loss of monthly income. Our community of families have called, emailed, texted, and donated to us, despite their own financial uncertainty of the months ahead. Our teachers and dance artists have remained engaged with our students of all ages and classes and have contributed content to keep all of us dancing, connected, and touched in this time of isolation. 

Right now is our opportunity to reimagine who we are and what we want. It is our time to lead as artists and demonstrate to the world that imagination and creativity are the driving force of human potential. When I witness our young dancers on Zoom, sharing their work, sharing their thoughts, and their dreams through movement; I am sure we are headed in the right direction. If we must remain online for the next two months, we will do that. If we must offer a membership program to provide our weekly classes and maintain a working home for our teaching artists, we will do just that. 

The truth is, we need you. Even though we are all separated by the circumstances and practicing diligence for the good of our community and world, we remain connected through our shared belief in the process, and the beauty of what is to come when we gather, connect, dance, and LOVE one another. As we forge our way forward, we ask that you remain with us on this journey. Join our growing online classes via Instagram. As we launch our online class portal, become a member! Your continued commitment to our organization means we all keep connected and ensures that our teaching artists remain working; many of whom support themselves solely through the work they do through TWDCC. 

I want to thank every single person who has been a part of our amazing community over the past 8 years. Thank you for your commitment, your donations, your generosity and many kind thoughts and words for our organization. YOU are why we are here today and why I am certain we will weather this storm. Let’s dream of our next steps together. 

Cat Willis, Executive Director Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center

Dance Wilder: Story time  and dance videos online with Heather Wilder 

Mothersong:  Zoom sessions online with Joya

Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Linda Gerson:
Please contact Lisa at tanneryworlddance@gmail.com for a schedule and Zoom links to Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

Haitian Folkloric Dance with Shawn Merriman-Roberts:
April 3rd on TWDCC Instagram Live (time TBA)
Click here to follow twdcc.dance on Instagram and attend Shawn’s class remotely!

Minorsan with Clara Minor
Contact Clara directly for Minorsan programming.

More resources to keep you grounded and connected to other dancers:
Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center Instagram
Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center Facebook
Dancing Alone Together
TWDCC Master Class Teacher/ Winterdance Fest alum Nathan Hirschaut: Online Classes