Virginia Commonwealth University

Tuesday, June 8
Autumn Proctor Waddell
Modern
Thursday, June 10
Scott Putman
Elemental Body Alignment System
Virginia Commonwealth University
School of the Arts

Richmond, VA

The VCUarts Dance community seeks to shape the future of the field. We are a vital, energetic department with an established reputation, diverse guest artist program and professionally active faculty dedicated to student success. Graduates of our program thrive as performers, makers, teachers, administrators, and in many other facets of the field of dance.

VCUarts Dance’s teaching and learning environment offers a high level of student/faculty interaction. Our facilities include eight dance studios with floor-to-ceiling windows and a fully-staffed theater designed for dance.

Dance is a pre-professional program that provides students with numerous opportunities for individual artistic growth in a community that values communication, collaboration, and self-motivation. The department, an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance, provides an invigorating educational environment designed to prepare students for the demands and challenges of a career as an informed and engaged artist in the field of dance.

Autumn Proctor Waddell headshot

Autumn Proctor Waddell

Autumn Proctor Waddell is an assistant professor of Dance + Choreography. She trained with the Washington Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and the Virginia School of the Arts. She also had many opportunities to study closely under the direction of Luigi in NYC. Waddell is fortunate to have the experience of working closely with Milton Myers, studying and demonstrating the Horton technique at Steps on Broadway and at the Alvin Ailey School. She was also a scholarship student for two summers at Jacob’s Pillow in the contemporary program under the direction of Milton Myers. She co-founded and directs a summer dance program, We Are Artists, in the Richmond area which works to serve young aspiring artists in their continued creative process, technical training, and exposure endeavors. Waddell has worked extensively with various artists including: Kyle Abraham, Bill Young, Cheryl Therion, Rodger Belman, Bridget L. Moore, Milton Myers and VCU’s own Christian von Howard. She received her MFA in dance performance and choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and her BFA in dance with a concentration in modern from Marymount Manhattan College.

Class Description:
Through traditional Modern/Contemporary concepts this class will focus on isolating and integrating the role of individual parts of the body with the intention of learning or re- learning the organic process of layering moving parts. Progression of movement vocabulary is a key element that will evolve as a way for dancers to really understand the connection of brain and body. Some core elements we will address are based around developing a strong sense of core and pelvic connection while also understanding the head and tail connection for full body exploration both technically and creatively. By using some fundamental elements of traditional codified techniques (such as Horton and Cunningham) combined with aesthetics inspired through release, and Gaga techniques, Dancers will develop a balance between physical strength and an organic flow in movement. In addition dancers will explore ways of activating the essence of individualism in each student by incorporating improvisational elements throughout.

Scott Putman portrait

Scott Putman

Scott Putman is an Associate Professor in dance and choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University. He teaches across the curriculum in the technical and creative tracks in all levels of contemporary modern practices as well as composition, choreography and partnering. Scott brings a unique perspective to the work he shares within the curriculum through his work as the creator of the Elemental Body Alignment System© (EBAS). This re-education and structural integration technique informs all of the technical information he presents as well as a focused exploration throughout the freshmen year. Scott also shares the EBAS work nationally and internationally with close to one hundred certified teachers sharing the work in the US, Australia, Italy and Romania.

Scott continues to teach internationally in Australia, Italy, France and was honored by the U.S. State Department and Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China where he taught master classes in EBAS and Contemporary Modern Technique at Beijing Normal University, Daqing University as well as for Beijing’s premier contemporary modern company, LDTX.

Scott is also the founder and artistic director of Amaranth Arts, a project based contemporary modern company that presents physically engaging kinetic landscapes supporting his choreographic philosophy that choreography is the art of shaping energy in space. Amaranth continues engaging audiences through the creation of theatrical and site specific works both nationally and internationally.

Scott continues to receive acclaim and recognition for his work including awards such as the distinguished Theresa Pollack Excellence in the Arts Award in Dance for his work with Amaranth and the National Choreography Plan Award for exceptional choreography from RDA, Pacific. He has danced for Mordine and Company Dance Theatre, Demetrius Klein Dance Company, Minnesota Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago, Donald McKayle, David Alan, Douglas Becker and Geri Houlihan. Scott received his B.A. from Columbia College, Chicago, and M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine, where he was a Chancellor’s Fellow and William Gillespie Scholar.

Class Description:
The Elemental Body Alignment System is a somatic based movement exploration designed to support a students sensorial connection and understanding of both traditional and contemporary practices in addition to other movement modalities and aesthetics. The work focuses on rewiring neuromuscular pathways in order to access greater efficiency and range of motion. The information embedded within the form recalibrates the body by quieting the mind while raising the awareness of the messages and information coming from the body. This reeducation process can play a profound role in deepening an individual’s relationship with their practice and their creative voice.