Helen Hayes Modern at Joy of Motion/Bethesda

source: http://www.joyofmotion.org

I decided to switch it up and take an intermediate/advanced modern dance class at Joy of Motion in Bethesda.  Plus I wanted to make good use of the Tippr deal I bought last week ($25 for $51 worth of classes at any Joy of Motion studio).

If you haven’t been to the Joy of Motion in Bethesda, it may be hard to find.  Take the Red Line to Bethesda and the studio is just a couple blocks south on Wisconsin Avenue NW.  If you take the elevator up to street level, you’re only about a block away.  Joy of Motion is in the Air Rights Building – same building as Cardinal Bank and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.    I recommend entering near Cardinal Bank, which is on a side street off of Wisconsin across from the Marriott Residence Inn.  Once you enter the building, go left to the elevators and take it one level down to LL.
I came straight from a happy hour in Dupont before coming to class so I had to change.  Luckily, there is a small changing area in the ladies’ bathroom.  I wore black leggings and a tank top, which most girls were wearing.  Some wore black tights or booty shorts and leotards.  Most people danced barefoot, but others like myself opted to wear socks.
It was obvious from the start that a lot of the students are regulars of Helen’s class.  She knew the majority of dancers by name and frequently complimented students for a job well done.  She even pointed out individual mistakes so others could benefit from correcting next time around.
Despite being a huge fan of hip hop dance, I actually have a background in ballet.  I studied for about 11 years so an intermediate/advanced modern class seemed fine to sign up for.  I have to admit.  I had a hard time keeping up with the choreography.  Her teaching style for the combinations was show, show and go.  She would ask if people had specific questions before breaking up into groups, but most people were able to pick it up rather quickly.  In some instances, she would ask us to figure out the combination to the opposite side by ourselves.
The class was scheduled to end at 930pm, but one of the students told me that she’ll probably go until 11pm.  I had to meet up with my boyfriend at 11pm so left around 10pm but she was still going strong.  On my way out, I briefly spoke with the girl that works at the front desk.  She said that she tried one of Helen’s beginner classes and even that was challenging.
If you’re just looking to dance around and learn one combination, this isn’t the class for you.  If you’re looking to work hard and improve your overall dancing ability, please give it a try.  It is a great class and you definitely get your money’s worth.

The Deets

  • Helen Hayes
  • Intermediate/Advanced Modern
  • Joy of Motion – Air Rights Building 7315 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Bethesda, MD 20814
  • Wednesdays 8pm-930pm or until Helen feels like it
  • $17 drop ins

About Cecile
Cecile Oreste is an arts marketing and public relations professional living in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @cecileoreste.

5 Responses to Helen Hayes Modern at Joy of Motion/Bethesda

  1. emmajoan says:

    Helen is one of my favorite JOM teachers because she challenges your mind almost as much as your body! I’ve mostly only taken her jazz classes but I’ll have to check out modern!

  2. Pingback: Derek Brown Advanced Beginner Jazz at Joy of Motion/Atlas « danceDC

  3. Helen Hayes is pretty fantastic!!! I think she is both an extraordinary person and dancer. She does challenge both the body and mind, and that is part of what makes her classes so unique and special.. She integrates so much of life into dancing. She is a very skilled professional, and the best teacher that I have ever taken from (and I have taken from quite a number of professional’s). I really respect her work, and both her time and energy. One of my favorite things about Helen (when watching her perform), is that she shows her soul. She makes dancing a very soulful process, and that is what I like most about dancing. Not many dancer’s can tap so easily to this. Sharing your soul means taking a risk to put yourself out there; to let other’s in to what you are experiencing. Dance is a language. It is about communicating and sharing a story; one that should be created within oneself.This in mind, Helen gives dancer’s the opportunities to take risks with this very process and allow their own creativity to shine through. Helen is just AMAZING!!!!!!!

  4. Kelly L. says:

    We got out of class last night at 11:30 pm…Class was supposed to be done at 10. (-: We should have stuck it out and lasted till midnight. lol..

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