Music For All Leadership Weekend Experience, Muncie, IN (2017) Vincent Thomas

Vincent Thomas, professor of dance at Towson University, founder of VT Dance, and Music for All Summer Symposium faculty member, presented a talk at the Leadership Weekend Experience.

What’s Going On Workshop:

An embodiment of life, love, and social justice. Vincent takes inspiration from and looks through the lens of Marvin Gaye’s transcendent music and finds a reflection of the world today. This workshop turns verbal dialogue into physical dialogue and will include a brief physical warm-up, composition structures, and repertory phrases from the exciting new evening length dance work What’s Going On by VTDance and produced by Dance Place (Washington, DC). The workshop focuses on celebrations and concerns of a community as participants brainstorm and discover action steps towards solutions for the concerns.

What’s Going On – ‘A Social Movement’ Community Dance Celebration:

Inspired by the music of Marvin Gaye, choreographer Vincent will lead a fun and interactive social dance workshop around the themes of celebrations and concerns in our community. All are welcome.

Fathers, Sons, & Other Guys (Masculinity Workshop):

This is a fun and rich bonding experience for men, teens, and boys to explore their values and negotiate consciousness around masculinity. In this physically engaging workshop, fathers and sons, extended family, and individuals will explore verbal conversations and physical conversations around the topic of Masculinity. What is it? What is it not? How did you learn about it or come to know it? What do you/will you pass on about masculinity? Using movement games and structures to enhance and further the discussions, participants will unearth assumptions, truths, and myths about their personal and societal views of masculinity. This workshop gives you a unique opportunity to spend time together with other men and boys.

Participants: Men, teens, and boys of all backgrounds (no prior movement or dance skills required). Fathers (and/or male guardians) may come with one or more sons, as well as individual guys interested in exploring this topic.

Dance For Everybody (Every Body):

Dance for Everybody is a fun movement class for ‘every body’, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, social status, religion, etc…The class recognizes each individual and honors the physical offerings each brings to the space. The framework for the class is the Brain Dance, developed by Anne Green Gilbert, which explores the eight fundamental movement patterns a healthy human moves through during the first year of life. Vincent recognizes the many layers of the Brain Dance and how it is connected to body health/organization, social and community health, and community organizing. (Vincent is a Urban Bush Women BOLD facilitator and UBW Summer Leadership Institute faculty member)

Table Talk (Community Building):

In this workshop, participants bring to the table “hot topics” that encourage verbal dialogue and explore into physical dialogue. Participants discuss, listen, and speak truths about topics facing their community through movement. Refreshments are encouraged!

Movement Lab (Contemporary/ Modern):

In this class, participants will find an organic freedom in movement while expanding their physical, expressive, and technical ranges. Gestural, athletic, and organic movement will be explored while challenging the vertical axis. Techniques used include partner work (co-working), improvisation, traveling passages, and creating moments of supported, uncontrolled movement.

Ready—Set—Move! For Band directors and their students:

How does your band members warm-up their bodies in preparation for the physical demands of their exciting marching show? It is important to prepare the physical body just as your wind players warm up to play music and the percussion players warm up on rudimental passages to play their music. The body is their physical instrument. In this active participation program, band directors and their students will explore a stretch and technical program that best fit their band.  The workshops include basic movement and dance technique that progresses into moving across the floor with a variety of loco-motor and phrase building movements.

Composers & Choreographers Composition (C3):

This workshop series gives composers and choreographers a guided lab to explore alternative ways to write musical compositions and dance works. Learning the language of each discipline is important to discover commonalities and differences. Everyone is physical. Everyone is musical.

Body Notes (Rhythmic Analysis):

In this fun workshop, movers will increase their knowledge of basic music rhythms, and how rhythm structures can be applied to movement. Standard components of the class include improvisational rhythmic movement structures, rhythm dictation, rhythm sight-reading, basic rhythmic compositions, voice, and physical rhythm composition studies.


In this choreographic workshop, participants will explore text and movement by focusing on the relationship between words and physical language through various structures and games. Participants will write as a tool and/or use an assortment of text/literature as the springboard for explorations.

Physical Voice (Composition):

In this class, participants will use improvisation and movement structures as tools for exploring and generating movement and empowering their artistic voice. Participants will work in formats that include singing/sound producing, collaborative, interdisciplinary, site/specific, and/or installation.

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