MM2 Takes A Master Ballet Class with Jessica Warchal-King

by company member Katelyn Capato, Dancer/Choreographer

While MM2’s current cross cultural, music video project is unfolding rather nicely, today our company took some time out from creating choreography to re-centering our body and minds! As artists, there is always room to grow and better ourselves regardless of the current levels we are at. MM2 was privileged to have Jessica Warchal-King, an amazing dancer, choreographer and instructor come to our studio to teach a master ballet class. Yes, a ballet class for modern dancers! As modern moving artists, it is still important for us to keep our bodies connected to our core in strong technique.

Jessica Warchal-King ia a graduate of Muhlenberg College and received her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Temple University. Her dance and choreographic credits are numerous, including being a member of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, curator for the INhale Performance Series at the Chi Movement Arts Center and a dance advocate through education.

I found Jessica’s quirky personality and use of vivid analogies perfect for engaging our company. As we moved through the bar exercises, she took time for questions and often responded with thought provoking visual examples.  In other ballet classes I have taken, my mind tends to wonder or never fully grasps each movement because the exercises are simply spoken or rushed. As a visual and kinesthetic learner, I was able to conceptualize so much more in this master class.

Her vast knowledge was evident, as Jessica worked with each of our specific body types, using anatomy terms and modeling skeletal parts with our hands, enabling us to fully understand the inner workings of our own figure. Bad habits can be hard to break, nevertheless, in this class we were reminded of the importance of being in charge of our movement directing our minds to guide our muscles and bones. Each exercise was designed to help us move more efficiently as well as to keep our bodies agile for many years to come.

Before the class had even finished, murmurs filled the room… “I want to take her class again”, “When does she teach?”, and  “She’s such a great teacher.” It was obvious that each company member had gotten a lot from this class and we were all hungry for more. While many of us have tried to keep up with movements on our own, or have simply attended whatever class was most convenient, it was obvious that Jessica’s class offered so much more.  As the time drew to an end, we felt centered in our body and minds as well as resolved to have Jessica provide more master classes to our group in the very near future.