Lineage Dance Celebrates the ‘Joy’

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By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor

5:24 am | October 9, 2017

Nearly two hundred friends and supporters of the Lineage Dance Company gathered Saturday evening at the Pasadena home of Wendy Kohlhase and Drake Pruitt for the company’s annual gala.

This year’s event was particularly important to the company and performing arts center, as Executive Director Brian Enderling described: ‘We’ve grown a lot, and now, we’re looking for a new space. Having all of our supporters and friends here in one space where we can celebrate with them, and plan for the future is the best way to spend a Saturday night.”

“Tonight is so special to me,” said Artistic Director Hilary Thomas, “as I look around and see so many of our friends, and what we call our ‘Lineage Family,’ and these are people from audience members, to dancers, to the participants in our ‘Dance for Joy’ program, as well as all the non-profits that we work together with in the community.”

According to Enderling, the group is hoping to lease a much larger space, or “Have an angel in the community make a space available to us. We’re also hoping to build up a little nest egg for the future to continue to do the work we do here in Pasadena.”

The dance company is unique to many, in that it provides not only free community performances in spaces of all types, but provides dance classes to both children and adults all over the city and beyond. Its affordable dance classes and workshops, through its Performing Arts Center, provide professional dancers to teach classes at all levels from beginner to advanced.

What is perhaps most rewarding and important to the company, as Enderling noted, are its free Healing Movement Classes, and “Dance for Joy” program, to allow those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to “experience the therapeutic joy of dance.”

The classes include dance classes for children with autism, as well as those with Down Syndrome. The company also features a wide range of healing classes available for cancer patients, stroke victims, Parkinson’s Disease patients, and others.

In addition, Lineage has, since its inception, been providing free dance workshops and instruction to schoolchildren all over Pasadena. In fact, the California Arts Council has awarded Lineage a grant to expand its Artists In Schools residency to a new school for the 2017-18 year.

Lineage will also be sending teaching artists to Eliot Arts Magnet and Altadena Elementary through the CAC’s AIS grant, beginning this month, quadrupling its number of school partners in one year.

On Saturday, the group performed a small handful of dance numbers, each hopeful and inspiring, including an elegant dance number with a mobility-challenged dancer, who reached and stretched along with the music, providing a tangible and beautiful glimpse at the simple power of dance.