Simple, High-Quality & Joyful Study of Dance

20th Inman Park Dance Festival

Photo by John Ramspott

Movement Arts Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Inman Park Dance Festival which she directs and is part of the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes.

The Inman Park Dance Festival is one of the many ways that the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes supports the performing arts. The two free shows present both classical ballet and modern dance in a family friendly format at The Trolley Barn on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm. For this 20th anniversary festival, IPDF will present a program which spans more than 350 years of concert dance by presenting the following Atlanta area companies; Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, The Georgia Ballet, ImmerseATL and Movement Arts Atlanta.

The first time period represented in the dance festival is mid-1600s. Atlanta Historic Dance will perform work from this period when social dance began to transition into concert dance. In fact, classical ballet marks its birth in 1661 with the opening of the first school for training dancers by France’s King Louis XIV, an accomplished dancer himself.

The Georgia Ballet will represent the Classical era of ballet with and excerpt from Paquita.  Originally dating from 1846 and a staple of ballet companies around the world, the version presented will honor the restaging of Marius Petipa in 1882. TGB’s artistic and technical prowess will make these 140-year-old dances a joy for the audience.

Next, the dance festival will pay homage to the roots of Modern Dance with experts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora. Choreographed at the end of Mr. Limón’s life in 1971, this work pays homage to Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) who is considered the Mother of Modern Dance. When curating this year’s anniversary dance festival, I was unable to find a company performing early modern work. In true Inman Park fashion (don’t have what is needed, find a way to make it happen), I have organized the reconstruction of the work on Atlanta dance artists through Movement Arts Atlanta’s first major project, A Time with Isadora.

Coming into the 21st century, ImmerceATL will showcase young contemporary artists. Founded in 2017 by Atlanta native, Sarah J. Hillmer, ImmerceATL is a training and mentorship program for immerging artists bridging the pre-professional life with the professional life of an artist.

Full Radius Dance (FRD) is Atlanta’s globally recognized leader in physical integrate dance. FRD is the only company which has appeared in every performance of the IPDF. Both a leader in the community and a supportive friend of the dance festival, this modern company’s work is both strong in its physicality and nuanced in its artistic expression.

Ballethnic’s outstanding blend of ballet and West African dance is also widely recognized. Another long-time performer (15 out of 20 festivals) and friend of the dance festival, Ballethnic’s unique movement vocabulary and frequent live music accompaniment is always a crowd pleaser. For 2022, both Ballethnic’s professional and pre-professional ensembles will perform.

It is noteworthy that the IPDF is the only free admission dance festival that presents both ballet and modern in its programs and compensates the participating companies. In its 20-year history, the Inman Park Dance Festival with the support of The Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes and Inman Park Neighbors will have presented 39 free performances to tens-of-thousands of audience members and engaged hundreds of Georgia artists. This is worth celebrating!

Welcome 2022 Winter/Spring Semester

With 2021 coming to a close, it is time to look forward to the second half of the Season with the beginning of the Winter/Spring Semester. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. The majority of classes will continue as scheduled during the last semester. New students are always welcome. In addition to beginning classes again, there are several wonderful things in the works including an original score and live music for the Annual Student Recital.

There is availability for new students in nearly every level, Kinderdance, Ballet all levels, Children’s Yoga and Multi-Age Modern. Movement Arts Atlanta is also looking for a soccer coach that works with boys ages 7-10 to develop a ballet-based class to support young athletes. Interested coaches and parents are asked to send an email to Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin at It is anticipated that the pilot program will run for six weeks and will work with four to eight young athletes.

In November of 2021, MAA’s Director began working with master of traditional Irish music, Moira Nelligan to create and original score for the Annual Student Recital, Blackberry Ball. The event will have a story ballet of the same name and a modern dance piece. Ms. Nelligan will also perform as a part of the recital continuing the Season’s focus on live music for dance. Ms. Nelligan and Ms. McLaughlin will use quadrille music of the early 1800s as an inspiration for the score. The modern piece which will be the second half of the program will use The Duke of Kent Waltz which was first published in 1802.

Quadrille is both a musical form and a dance form. The quadrille was a social dance of the 19th Century which was performed by groups of couples usually four but sometimes eight. The dance’s movements share lineage with ballet. Its terminology is also in French and movements such as plie/pliez, assemblé and balancé would be recognizable students of both dance forms. Ms. McLaughlin will use the etiquette of the 19th Century ballroom and the floor patterns of the quadrilles of the day as part of the choreography of Blackberry Ball. Interestingly, quadrilles are also the predecessor of American square dancing.

Please visit here for the current classes and schedule. Later this month look for updates on performances of the Outreach Performance Program and Summer Camp.



Traditional Tune Archive. (2021, May 18). Duke of Kent’s Waltz (1) – Traditional Tune Archive. Traditional Tune Archive; Traditional Tune Archive. – your index to 19th century dances. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2021, from

Tuned Up and Ready to Play!

The piano in the studio just got tuned awaiting the arrival of pianist Cagdas Soylar. She will accompany weekday children’s class for three weeks starting on Tuesday, September 28 as a pilot program to use live music for classes. It has been a longtime plan to have live music for classes at Movement Arts Atlanta (MAA). Live music is unusual these days but it is hoped that it will add to the learning and joy of class for the students of MAA.

Historically, all dance classes were accompanied by live music, usually piano for ballet and drums for modern. Interestingly, music for dance was once considered lower, not serious. We have have American Modern Dance Pioneer, Isadora Duncan, to thank for helping to change this attitude. Much to the establishments chagrin, she chose to dance to works from “serious” concert composers such as Beethoven and Gluck. Now it is common for dances to be made to any kind of music the choreographer chooses. Duncan also was an early proponent of using dance to explore social themes.

For MAA’s live music pilot, Soylar and MAA Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, will use three suites of music; Sergei S. Prokofiev’s Music for Children op. 65 (1935), Dmitri Shostakovich’s Dances of the Dolls (1952-62), and Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s Children’s Album op. 29 (1878).

Great Story Ballet Camps Use a Great Book

Movement Arts Atlanta will present three Great Story Ballet Camps for ages 8+. For this camp, Director Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, will use the wonderful book A Child’s Introduction to Ballet by Laura Lee and Meredith Hamilton as the supporting text. This book includes a great combination of dance history, technical notes and fun facts.

Great Story Ballet Camps are three-day virtual camps that meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Each day includes yoga, ballet technique, a dance history lesson and a simplified dance from one of the great ballets.

The ballets that will be studied during the camps rang in age from 130 to 65 years old. It says a lot that these ballets have continued to be performed. They are part of the culture of ballet like Shakespearean plays are to acting or the Magna Carta is to laws of the United States. Even with this serious position, they are fun explorations of how ballet has developed through time.

Complete information about Movement Arts Atlanta’s summer classes and camps is available here. The six week session will begin on June 16 and run through July 30, 2020.