This past February, we hosted the registration for the Aeriosa Dance Society's 4-Day Intro to Vertical Dance Workshop. In this posting, you'll learn who they are, The Purple Stapler's connection to them and why what they're doing is worth supporting.
SO.... who are they?
Aeriosa Dance Society
Aeriosa is an incorporated, non profit society with a mission to create unexpected experiences of dance. They achieve this by dancing in non-traditional environments - such as the side of a mountain, a tall building or in the trees - and proposing unusual performance scenarios to artists and audiences alike. Their mandate is to produce dance and movement-based performance events for the general public and to offer workshops and other educational activities in dance and other performing arts to the community.
Take a look at the finale of their show Being which took place on Vancouver's Scotiabank Dance Centre:
So how did we become connected with this jaw dropping, social do-gooding dance company? Well, you know what they say.... it's all about the connections.
In 2014 my husband Jacob Holt was suggested to Julia Taffe - Aeriosa's Artistic Director and super woman - as a potential lighting designer for their residency in Banff and Revelstoke. Before we knew it, he was off on an Aeriosa adventure! Turns out, not only did they need a lighting designer but also someone to take over some social media management for them and since then, I have become Julia's assistant. My experience with Aeriosa has been absolutely inspirational. I have learned so much already about the workings of a non profit organization, grant writing, administration, marketing and dance photography, as well. I have felt welcomed, respected, and listened to.
As part of my involvement with Aeriosa, I have been working on redoing their website, which - at the moment - is incapable of hosting registration or allowing people to pay their small fee for an annual membership. Our website here at The Purple Stapler, however, has the luxury of offering such services so.... when Julia asked if it were possible to utilize that tool, I of course said yes!
Why Aeriosa is Worth Supporting
We've already talked about what they do - produce dance and movement-based performance events for the general public, offer workshops and other educational activities. But how much of an impact do they have on the community?
The answer is a HUGE impact. Their public performances often have thousands of audience members. Thousands of people who don't go to dance performances in their regular lives because they can't afford to, dance isn't a regular part of their lives or for any number of personal reasons. Not only does Aeriosa expose the general public to incredible works of art that start conversations, but they often include First Nations dancers and culture into their work. It is unbelievably important to increase visibility, understanding and compassion for their way of life when we have almost completely destroyed their beautiful culture.
In addition to public performances, a huge part of Aeriosa's mandate is to offer dance workshops and other educational activities to people who don't regularly experience dance. This builds community and body awareness. It increases health and creativity. The work that Aeriosa does is truly spectacular and I hope to be involved for as long as I possibly can.
In the end, the four day intensive vertical dance workshop that we posted may not entirely fit within their normal workshop mandate but with three of their five dancers pregnant this year, it is essential that they train new dancers to continue the phenomenal work that they do for communities across British Columbia.
And with their mandates so close to our own, we are thrilled to be able to help.