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The Mission of Oculus Danceworks

Oculus Danceworks recognizes that persons from all cultures and traditions have used dance through the ages as a creative outlet—whether it be to heighten spirituality, promote a sense of community, enhance initiation, provide release, or to serve as a statement on social or political aspects. In other words, dance has been used for thousands of years to make meaning that is personally important to those involved. Oculus Danceworks is dedicated to upholding dance as a creative art and provides students with opportunities to express creativity in every lesson.

The Oculus Danceworks approach was created as an alternative to dance classes that merely seek to have students imitate the instructor's movement. Students in Oculus Danceworks classes are offered much more than mimicry. They are given the technical tools of dance traditions and are then challenged to apply what has been learned in innovative, powerful ways.

All dancers in our school are provided an optimum learning environment with mutual support, specialized training, and opportunities for creative exploration. Below are five guiding principles of the Oculus Danceworks Mission.

To provide high-quality movement instruction for students of all ages by:
1) encouraging an atmosphere of mutual respect and support for every class member and instructor
2) celebrating each person's innate ability to move and express meaning through movement
3) developing a strong foundation in dance technique/vocabulary, while also fostering creation and innovation
4) regularly discussing aspects of dance history, dance creation, and dance criticism
5) providing opportunities to share movement accomplishments with family, friends, and the general public

"Imagine then a dancer who has attained such a degree of understanding that
his body is simply the luminous manifestation of his soul...This is the truly
creative dancer; natural but not imitative, speaking in movement out of himself
and out of something greater than all selves."

Isadora Duncan, The Philosopher's Stone of Dancing

Two's A Crowd
Pantheon Oculus: Matthew Metcalfe

The Meaning of Oculus

The name Oculus Danceworks is inspired by the circular opening, or oculus, found in the center of a dome. This oculus (literally eye) allows sunlight to stream through the roof's opening onto the ground below.

Such a pleasing image perfectly embodies the Oculus Danceworks mission - seeing the dance within and illuminating what is possible.