Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Movement for body and soul

Dirty Feet Dance Company to debut in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

In this photo by Kathleen Cameron, the Dirty Feet Dance Company rehearse for a performance at the Hailey Yoga Center. Photo by

In the beginning of the year, Alysha Oclassen, owner of Pure Pilates Studio in Hailey, decided to bring people together through dance. A professional dancer, Oclassen was missing dance from her life and through watching people move at Pure Pilates decided to create a dance performance.

"I grew up here and was a professional dancer in many places," Oclassen said. "I thought it would be an experience to put people together in a performance group based on the love of movement."

The Dirty Feet Dance Company will present its inaugural performance with two evenings of community dance titled "Coming Home" on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hailey Yoga Center.

"There are 12 different performers and many have no training," Oclassen said. "Everyone is having a really good time."

Oclassen said she is a type of gypsy who likes to travel and live in different places, but at times she does miss her roots, which she thinks is a beautiful thing. The choreography for the "Coming Home" performance incorporates the idea of home and what it means to each of the dancers performing.

"It turned out to be more about everyone feeling comfortable with being themselves," Oclassen said. "Several choreographed pieces are about where the performer's heart may be."

Performances pieces include martial arts combined with dance movements as well as acrobatics and a young woman's new-found freedom of being an adult. Music used for the dance routines incorporates everything from Dave Matthews to belly-dancing music to a violinist accompaniment.

"Dirty Feet Dance Company got its name because in the summertime my feet are never clean," Oclassen said with a laugh. "It is about the organic and natural side of what movement is to me."

Oclassen said she would love to have a performance in August as well, but that depends on who is around and who will take time from mountain biking to join her.

"It's a wonderful experience," she said. "I am very grateful to be able to do this."

Tickets are $10 pre-purchased at Pure Body Pilates in Hailey and $12 at the door. Tickets for students and seniors are $5. For details, call 720-3238.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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