A new program called JUMPSTarts, based at the city’s renovated Rosa B. Williams Center, is intended to get interested people — young and old — involved in various styles of participatory dance.
Are you the kind of person who’s always wanted to dance but hasn’t mustered the courage — or perhaps hasn’t had the opportunity — to give it a spin?
Well, now there’s a chance to make your move to the dance floor.
On Friday night, during the monthly Artwalk Gainesville, there will be an Intro to Dance event held at the Rosa B. Williams recreation center, 524 NW 1st St. Instructors will provide visitors with free basic dance lessons in Salsa, Irish set dancing and Argentinian Tango.
Participants can then decide whether they’d like to pursue one of those styles or several others offered by groups and organizations based in Gainesville.
In coming months, there will be clogging, hip hop, contradance, swing, and more during Artwalk at ‘Rosa B.’
Friday’s event takes place from 6-9 p.m. Everyone is welcome to check it out. (Most Artwalk venues are open from 7-10 p.m.)
The overall program, called JUMPSTarts, is designed to get interested people involved in one or more aspects of participatory dance.
“Participatory dance is a branch of art and culture that has a complex and multi-faceted presence in our town,” said Anne Gilroy, who is in charge of the JUMPSTarts program for the City of Gainesville’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
Gilroy said that Gainesville residents are fortunate to have access to many forms of dance, including Irish, folk, Israeli, Scottish, English Country Dance, contradance, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, line dancing, vintage waltz, Argentinian Tango, clogging, step dancing, hip hop, country, Bachata, blues, ballroom, square dance, two-step and nightclub dancing.
“They all already exist, but most people don’t know how to begin,” she said. “JUMPSTarts is just the name for the opportunity to jump into a new and exciting way to enjoy culture, recreation and music all at once.”
Gilroy said the Rosa B. Williams Center has been transformed into a participatory dance space, offering opportunities for existing dance groups and programs to practice, teach, recruit and schedule dance events. Each group has its own organization and its own schedule of classes and events. All groups invite and welcome newcomers.
“These groups have been more or less under the radar,” she said. “The Rosa B. venue exists to offer them more opportunity to be in the spotlight.”
Gilroy added that dance has proven benefits for physical, emotional and intellectual well-being and health.
“There is a type of dance for everyone, and everyone is truly welcome into these dance groups. No need or reason to be fearful or shy. JUMPSTarts provides a safe and encouraging way to explore social dance.”
Artwalk participants can park in spaces along Northwest 1st Street or in the Friends of the Library parking lot half a block away.
More than 15 venues are participating in this month’s Artwalk, a self-guided tour of downtown area galleries and other art spaces. Some of the venues feature live music. Several offer refreshments.
Following is a list of participating venues for July and what to expect at each stop:
GFAA Gallery (1314 S. Main St.): The Gainesville Fine Arts Association presents an opening reception for its latest themed exhibit “Human Image,” judged by Allysa Peyton, Harn Museum curator. The exhibit runs until Aug. 19. NOTE: Artwalk hours are 6-9 p.m.
First Magnitude Brewing Co. (1220 SE Veitch St.): Hosting a variety of artists and fun. Enjoy the atmosphere of a local craft brewery with indoor and outside displays of artwork and music. Food trucks and beverages available.
Gainesville Art Studios (618 S. Main St., Suite B): It’s a “fowl” display at the studio this month. Drop by and see completed works in the deWolfe Gallery and check out the studio and works in progress.
SoMa Art Media Hub (601 S. Main St.): Hosting Gainesville photographer Rob Pettie. He explores lighting and subjects like we have never seen them before.
Civic Media Center (433 S. Main St.): Presenting selections from the acrylic collections of Nada Meeks that include “Bright Blooms,” a floral collection; “Gallery N,” abstract designs; the ” Box Art Collection” a re-purposed material art exhibition and “The Painted Eye.” For further info, visit artistnadameeks.com
Maude’s Café (101 SE 2nd Place, Sun Center East): Featuring Elena Tepperman, known for her masterpiece mash-up paintings inspired by famous works and her fantastic dogs. Her whimsical oil and acrylic paintings often combine unexpected elements, such as puppies and luchadores, to create a humorous or ironic effect.
Artisans’ Guild Gallery (201 SE 2nd Place, Union Street Station): Annual Red Dot Sale — Endless Summer Savings.” Sterling silver and fluorite wire woven necklace by Penni Hauck. Gallery features hundreds of quality, handcrafted fine art and fine crafts created by regional artists. Music by Tierra Libre.
Sweetwater Print Cooperative (117 S. Main St.): Featuring Stewart Thomas: “Summer Sketches,” an exhibit of recent small new works in watercolor and multimedia created expressly for this show. Because his show is a celebration of summer, Thomas is offering special low pricing through the run of the show, which ends Aug. 25.
Eleanor Blair Studio (113 S. Main St.): Norman Jensen will be showing a collection of recent paintings and drawings. The exhibition continues Saturday 1-6 p.m.
The Bull (18 SW 1st St.): Featuring Christopher Brown. “I draw my lines on white paper with a Bic Round Stic black ink pen and I use a pink Westscott ruler. I love every single part of creating these drawings and I hope you enjoy looking at them.”
Hardback Café (211 W. University Ave.): Featuring a fully authorized Michael Garvin exhibit in pen and ink.
Third House Books & Coffee (113 N. Main St.): Exhibiting the work of Lexi Braun. She works in watercolor, draws comics, does performances, makes music and moonlights as a blacksmith and metal caster. Drinks and food available from Downtown Wine & Cheese.
Florida Community Design Center (101 N. Main St.): From The Infinity Line to Art Line. Art Line is a proposed pedestrian friendly corridor connecting Depot Park with downtown. See proposals for making improved pedestrian and bicycle connections in Gainesville. The Infinity Line is a proposed safe, continuous, looping, multi-use trail that would connect nine city parks, utilize three existing rails-to-trails and one new trail funded by Wild Spaces Public Places, and provide 11-miles of trail.
Rosa B. Williams Center (524 NW 1st St.): Help celebrate the community center’s grand opening! On the walls: “Room for Reflection,” photography by Jan Zamojski; “Blues Pioneers and their Progeny” by Ty the Portrait Guy and George Borum. Plus JUMPSTarts, a new program at the Rosa B. Williams Center/352artspace. Instructors and dancers will demonstrate and introduce you to Argentinian Tango, Irish Set dancing and Salsa throughout the evening. JUMPSTart your way into a dance class you’ve always wanted to try. NOTE: Event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9.
Sanctuary Yoga (530 N. Main St.): Kick off the weekend with a half-hour of easy, feel-good movement to release tension followed by a half-hour relaxation with live gong. The sounds of gong help you find a deeply relaxed and fully aware state of being, making it an amazing prop for Savasana! Cost $15.The Vine (627 N. Main St.): Hosting Mike Mann, a Gestural abstraction painter who uses recycled paint and used canvas materials from The Repurpose Project. Images using patterns to show the flow from within and express his thoughts and feelings.
The Thomas Center Galleries (302 NE 6th Ave. ): UNCONTAINABLE | Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement. See the exhibit everyone is talking about, featuring works by Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Logan Hicks, Doze Green, Michael Reeder and a number of artists whose work appears as part of the 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative. See the exhibit that’s featured in the newest issue of Hi Fructose, take home a poster, and get the brochure for the 352walls self-guided phone tour in Gainesville. NOTE: Extended gallery hours until 10 p.m.
For further info, visit the Artwalk Gainesville website.