Dance is at the core of who I am. It’s a holistic expression of self, and I give myself totally to it. Dance isn’t prescriptive or narrow – it’s an endlessly expansive array of opportunities to engage with yourself and the world physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
When I founded Art of VIII I wanted to create a space that empowered everyone who stepped through our doors to move freely and expressively. Because the greatest dancers have more to offer than precision and timing. They’re the ones who are well-rounded, who have multiple methods and ways to draw upon when choosing how to move through space and interpret music and physicality. They have a way with movement that speaks to our souls and makes us feel something.
What’s in a Name?
The name Art of VIII came to me as I reflected on what I wanted to create, the impact I wanted to shape, and what kind of legacy I wanted to leave. Art comes from my own last name – Arthur – and is the embodiment of the creativity and expression I strive to put into the world. Just like Smiths were blacksmiths and Bakers baked, I wanted to reclaim the occupational power of my own last name – as an Arthur I am one who puts art into the world. VIII, the roman numeral for the number “8”, is representative of new beginnings, and powerfully encompasses what I feel dance can do for all of us. Because after that magical count of 5, 6, 7, 8, anything can happen. There is a grace in the number 8, and we can all do with more grace in our lives.
If you’ve experienced one of our classes, you’ll know that I take that notion of grace and self-care into every part of the Art of VIII experience – and that our students do as well. We’re not merely a studio. We’re a place for starting over, finding yourself, for reconnecting with what you love. We’re a space for dancers to embark upon their own movement journeys, to move forward on their own terms and in their own way. We’re about progress over perfection. We’re about giving ourselves permission to work on us.
Art of VIII is a radical space where self-love and purpose prevail. Read that one again. We go beyond the barre and beyond the notion of what dance can and should look like. We’re a movement collective that disrupts those personal limitations and internal voices, transcending into higher dimensions of self-actualization and embracing the balance of a purpose-driven life. And no one is going to stop us, you hear me? Here, we’re all taking center stage under the spotlight of our own lives and communities. That’s why our logo looks the way it does – because when you’re here, you’re the shining star. And when you step outside after class, that light keeps shining down on you.
All you have to do is show up, recharge that spotlight and let the music take over. Are you ready? Because a new beginning is calling – and I can see your star shining.