Excerpts from the New York Times about dance teacher Angela Trimbur by Melena Ryzik. Read the whole article here.

You’re going to feel silly, Angela Trimbur promised.

It was a Sunday, and Trimbur, a dancer and choreographer in a Jane Fonda-worthy ’80s leotard, was leading a class in a midtown Manhattan studio. Nearly 50 people were lured in by her pitch: an afternoon twirled away in unserious but very intentional movement. The goal, Trimbur said, was to attain the effervescence of children putting on a backyard dance show.

“We’re equal, we’re 13, and we’re just going to do some silly choreography to show our parents before dinner,” she said. “That’s the vibe.”

To loosen inhibitions, Trimbur suggested some screaming. And hugging a stranger. Dancers — clad in everything from ballet slippers with ripped tights to Converse and kneepads — were instructed to run across the room, wail in one another’s faces, then embrace. I joined in: It felt great and powerful and properly ridiculous. The energy was equal parts eighth-grade gym class and righteous affirmation.

Then came the routine, to a synthy 1986 cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” “I don’t do counts,” Trimbur said, directing us to slap our bottoms, roll on the ground, switch-kick, punch and spin. Her references were less Balanchine and more “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” — she choreographs for faces, too. “F.Y.I. flailing about wildly IS dancing,” she wrote in her newsletter.

The kind of intuitive movement Trimbur champions, low-stakes and accessible, found a new audience during the pandemic, as dancers and dance teachers migrated online. Ryan Heffington — the pop choreographer whose Los Angeles studio, the Sweat Spot, helped a “come one, come all” dance culture blossom there — had tens of thousands of followers (Trimbur among them) in his Instagram Live sessions during early lockdown. Even eminences like Debbie Allen two-stepped for the feed, finding an unexpected communion, though everyone was literally dancing on their own.