In honor of Earth Day, I decided to release a video dance short. This piece, “Spring Thaw” includes all that Wisconsin Springtime has to offer. Tulips, sun setting, green grass, and that charming snowfall. Music is “Unforgettable” by Sundae + Mr. Goessl .
It’s been an odd year to be a performing artist. It’s also been an odd year to be a human. I’ve had more available time that ever this year to reflect on what my artistry is, what my personal aesthetic looks and feels like, and how I want to continue to share myself with the world. Enter this new work, created in these times, from these times, for these times.
A new camera dance work was in the making. This video dance premiered November 25th, 2020, and can be viewed here. Excited to share with you what creating has been like over the past 9 months.
The project was created by me this autumn, in true isolation fashion. No crew or other dancers, just me. My husband synthesized the music for the piece. All the video footage was self-shot using my iPhone, and the video clips edited and composed at home with iMovie. The setting, my community garden plot in Neenah, WI. The sunflowers, vegetables, plants, all grown and tended by my hands. A true, homemade project, that just is a reflection of our current realities, and that I hope speaks to you.
Creating is the part for me; the sharing is the part I hope feeds you. I hope you enjoy my new work “resisting phototropism”. Thank you for taking time to view. Consider messaging me to share any thoughts, reflections, or feelings on what comes up for you after viewing. This provides me with creative fuel.
For more insight into this work, you can read about a brief reflection I wrote and published in FSM. Magazine in the November 2020 issue .
I am so grateful to have been featured in the 920 Feature of the Appleton Monthly Magazine. This feature highlights people in the area that have unique jobs, passions, and interests. Learn more about what brought me to becoming a movement educator and Pilates instructor at the article below!
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of dancers on both technique, choreography, and conditioning. I’ve said a lot of the same corrections over the years, seen a lot of the same injuries, and witnessed the gap in traditional dance training to teach the HOW TO of many corrections. The purpose of a dance class is to keep the class moving, which means there is not always time for teachers to break down body mechanics and explain the corrections they may be giving. That is why I’ve designed the Dance Bright Workshop Series.
is a workshop series that focuses on movement education and intelligent
strength and conditioning specifically for dancers. The purpose of Dance Bright
is to help dancers improve their body awareness, better understand their anatomy
and alignment, and learn about proper muscle recruitment and release techniques. These workshops dig deeper into specific
concepts and corrections that come up often in dance classes, but that a dance
class setting doesn’t always have time to fully explain or explore. Dance Bright will help close the gap between
what dancers are told they should be doing, and how they can do it.
Workshops are 2 hours and 15 minutes in length and combine
an element of lecture, movement exploration, strengthening, and
stretching. The series is designed for
dancers ages 12-adult.
Join us for our first workshop in the Dance Bright series, “Understanding our Hips and Core”, Wednesday, August 21st, 1:15-3:30 PM, located at Waveforms Pilates, 210 S. Commercial Street, Neenah, WI.
This workshop explores pelvic placement/alignment, proper core function and use, strengthening strategies for our hip stabilizers, as well as release techniques for tightness in the hip area. Through a combination of lecture, movement exploration, strengthening, and stretching, students will leave with an understanding of how to align and stabilize their hips to support the dynamic movements required while dancing.
Cost of workshop is $59 and includes a pinky ball and Franklin air ball for dancers to take home with them to incorporate the exercises and stretching strategies they learn at the workshop.
Pre-registration and payment is required by August 12th, 2019. Seats are limited! To reserve your seat or for question, reach out to Courtney Holcomb via phone (920) 740-3085 or e-mail to email@example.com
The Dance Bright Workshop Series was designed by Courtney Anne Holcomb. She is a professional dancer, choreographer, PMA®-Certified Pilates Trainer, and owner of Waveforms Pilates in Neenah, WI. She received a BA in Dance, and brings over 15 years of dance and fitness instruction, 9+ years of Pilates training, and professional performance credentials. She’s worked with dancers ages 2.5-adult to help improve their technique, alignment, confidence, and expression through movement.
I always knew the I was designed for movement. Having been a dancer since age three, I loved the feeling of my body traveling through space. It wasn’t until I was a preteen that I realized that my body was so much tighter that I wanted it to be. Though I moved, I felt stiff, and when I tried to move more, it felt rigid. Being someone who has always dealt with chronic low back pain as well as stiffness/rigidness throughout my whole spine, I operated in the world for years thinking that this was “simply how I was created” and I would have to learn to endure through the pain my whole life, and then, I found Pilates, at age 15.
Through the consistent practice of Pilates I have been able to create more mobility in my spine than I ever though possible. With all of the movement principles of Pilates working together–breathing, core activation, neutral pelvis, abdominal strengthening, lumbo-pelvic stability, spinal strength and mobility, scapular strength and mobility, alignment and posture analysis, release work, and stretching–I have felt more length, mobility, and strength in my body and spine than ever before and I have been able release years of chronic tension from my muscles and skeleton. I now feel I have access to more space in my joints and spine and I continue to work towards opening and accessing more of my body each time I practice Pilates and dance.
Re-patterning the body does not happen overnight, but there is a great reward associated with creating new muscle memory that facilitates optimal anatomical efficiency throughout the body, producing a pathway to operate with a sense of ease and availability to movement. Whether it be in a dance class, performance, or just walking around, or standing for a long period of time, Pilates grants me the ability to move properly from the body’s natural design. Joseph Pilates, who created the system in the early 1920’s stated, “It’s not about what you do, but how you do it.” Or as my dad always says, “Train smarter, not harder.” Yes, we have to work with what we have, but this should not be limiting. We DO have the capacity to change and transform our bodies, with time, patience, and proper practice.
myself personally, now have been practicing Pilates for over 11 years and
remain as engaged in the practice as when I began. I continue to see and feel
changes within my body and make new discoveries with every class I take. Now,
as a fully Certified Pilates Instructor, I get to share my passion for movement
with the world. It’s so exciting to share Pilates with others through
teaching and sharing in the joy that others experience when they make new
discoveries in their own bodies. Transformation is something wonderful to
information on Pilates practice, or to schedule a free consulation, please
e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with show choirs always brings me back to the days! I was a Neenah High School Act II, and Vintage member, and my fond memories of competing all of the Midwest for show choir was a highlight of my high school time. This Fall I got to work with New London Middle School’s show choir Vocal Motion, and choreographed their competition show for this coming season–student empowerment with songs like “Brave”, “Cool Kids”, “Roar!”, and “The World is Ours”.
opener, one boys number, one girls number, one ballad, one closer, and
ONE extra song later, we had a whole show of choreography! I had so much
fun coming up with the movement and working with them over two-weekends, and it
brought me back to my “glory days”. For the record, I was a
dancer who could carry a tune, not a singer who could get by on the dancing.
We called ourselves dancer-singers, not singer-dancers. I wish them the
best luck for their competition season this year!
Middle School Vocal Motion is under the direction of Ms. Katie Levendusky.
I had a
great day yesterday working with the Badger State Girl Choir. They had
their annual summer choir camp, and in honor of their upcoming “…a
little bit Country!” music Fall concert, I taught Line dancing to the
middle and high schoolers, and square dancing to the little 2nd-4th
graders. Playlist included: “Mountain Music” by Alabama,
“I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline, “Mountain Rag” by Al
Brundage, and “Arkansas Traveler” by American Square Dance Group to
name a few.
will be Saturday, October 17th, 2015, at First Presbyterian Church, Neenah,
WI. There may even be some dancing!
It was the first week back at school for Appleton West high school students and that Friday, I came in and met with the marching band for the first time. Working with marching band director Michael Ross, we informed the students that this year they would be DANCING during their homecoming half-time show (some were more excited that others). Third song in their set, Thriller, a classic, would be their chance to set down their instruments, and move.
Choreographing this segment was a new adventure and challenge, as all of the movement would have to work in marching row formations, and move back and forth in a way that would not cause the musicians to step on their instruments or their neighbors. Another challenge, working with 97+ band students, freshman-seniors. I got my first look at marching formations drafting sheets and learned that in band you always start with your left-foot stepping first. Pictured below is our dress rehearsal.
Their performance at the homecoming game Sept 26th, at the Banta Bowl in Appleton was great, the crowd went wild, and they received a standing ovation, with fireworks at the end and all! So proud of my band students, some of whom now even call themselves dancers to their director.
I just got back from Point Tap Festival 2014, a large tap-dancing Festival in non-other than Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Famous tap dancers from all over the United States attend and teach master classes for the 3-day festival. This year, we took classes from: Sara Reich, Mark Goodman, Ryan Casey, and Jeannie Hill. Above is a picture from the master class with Ryan Casey.
do not know me well, would not understand what a feat attending this festival
was for me. I had two semester of tap in college, and cried for the
beginning few weeks of each semester. For me, as a dancer who loves to
loft out of gravity, and be very upright, getting down and in
gravity to perform tap weight-shifts, and tap movements always proved
incredibly challenging for me. I have always loved watching tap dancing,
the musicality and percussive elements, and the groove of it
all, but never had classified myself as a tap dancer. This weekend I
learned a lot of new techniques to help me along the way, and began to refine a
lot of the rudimentary skills associated with tap dancing.
I will be teaching beginning tap at the Renaissance School for the Arts High
School, and am excited to transcend my new-found knowledge, and excitement
about tap dancing. Below is a video taken at the festival of Jeannie
Hill, my former professor and tap dancer extraordinaire, and I doing the end of
class combination. A few errors from me, but oh so much fun!