Women in Motion prepares for May performance

Dancers figure out their dance moves by using exercise balls.

Haley Brase

Similar to their flexible bodies, the 13 Women in Motion dancers’ imaginations are stretched to their limits in order to create a distinctive modern dance performance.

Valerie Williams, choreographer for Co’Motion Dance Theater, encourages the women to open themselves up to new ideas and openly share them in order to create the dances for the performance in May.

“Everyone participates in creating this since it’s a workshop,” Williams said. “It’s not like I’m the instructor and they’re the class. Everyone participates to the show.”

The theme of this year’s Women in Motion performance is water. The dances will incorporate water by having the dancers move in a tranquil way and use their positive space on stage.

Williams has the women do a few exercises in order for them to show how they think their bodies should move according to the music. In one of the exercises, each dancer uses an exercise ball to figure out how to make a dance move that matches the music.

“[They] give 100 percent when improvising because you create it instead of learning steps, where you give 50 percent,” Williams said.

From what Williams sees, she picks certain moves she thinks could be a part of the choreography for the performance and has the group practice them.

Dance moves are not the only way ideas are shared. The dancers share possible ideas for a story line in between exercises. In their own words, the dancers share how water is used and cycled in everyday life in order to think of choreography.

“We spend a lot of time as adults doing verbal communication, so we need to spend some time doing nonverbal,” Williams said. “It is physical communication.”

For example, immigration was an idea. Traveling across borders, expressing how the ocean would move and the emotions felt while leaving home could be summed up in a dance.

Self-expression is valued in modern dance and by the dancers themselves.

“I like knowing that simply expressing yourself is an art in itself,” said dancer Deb Kline of Ames.

This is Women in Motion’s 10th year, and Kline has been in every performance since it began. Focus, flexibility and imagination create a life-size puzzle when 13 dancers intermingle gracefully.

Women in Motion will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 1 and 2 at Ames City Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.