On Tuesday evening, Lyrics in Motion Dance Studio hosted a Girl Scout troop dancing for badges. Lyrics in Motion’s Move It program gave the girls a one-hour immersion in dance that qualified the participants for merit badges.
The troop, a combination of Daisies and Brownies ages four to seven, is guided by troop leader Stacey Hardy, who learned of Lyrics in Motion from an article on the Woonsocket Patch about the city’s newest dance studio. The studio’s co-owners, Hilarie Viens and Tanya Hay, offered the Move It program for Hardy’s troop free of charge.
The full ranks of Hardy’s troop arrived Tuesday evening: more then 20 girls flooding a dance floor that is used regularly for groups as small as six dancers. Lyrics in Motion’s dance instructor Viens, called “Miss Hilarie” by her students, had to shift a row of partitions back to accommodate the girls. Most of the girls had some dance instruction before (one is taking weekly classes at Lyrics in Motion,) but a few had not.
The students were attentive and respectful, and receptive to Viens’ instruction. After brief introductions, Viens explained Lyrics in Motion’s Beyond the Movement value system. Viens and Hay believe in shaping well-rounded dancers, bringing the lessons they’ve learned beyond the movement and technique of dance. “What is movement?” asked Viens, receiving a crowd of articulate answers. “And what is more important than learning?”
The girls considered the question quietly for a moment, then one Scout responded “Learning?”
"That’s right,” replied Viens, directing the students to a chalkboard in the corner of the studio. New values are posted monthly in the studio; September’s lesson is “Respect.” Viens explained to the girls how respect can be demonstrated in a dance class. “Good respect,” she told them, “that’s the way you’re going to earn your badges today.”
After the introductions and Viens’ speech, she led the troop through a series of stretches which shifted into light aerobic exercise including jumping jacks, then started the music and introduced isolations, the movement of only one, isolated, part of the body. The girls followed shoulder and legs rolls - out of time - but enthusiastically. A few light dance moves followed: simple steps in Hip-Hop, the running-man. A freeze-dance was a highlight for the girls. Viens directed them to vigorous freestyle dance which ended with a struck pose the moment she turned off the music. The girls watched her control the studio stereo with palpable anticipation. The girls worked through the energetic instruction as a group, as individuals in an exercise with a length of rope and a hula hoop, and in partner combinations.
It was a healthy workout for the girls. “I’m all shooken up from dancing” exclaimed one of them. Nearing the end of the class, the group cooled down with a couple of easy steps: a basic jazz square and a grapevine sequence. All the participants earned their badges--on hand and distributed by Hardy once the class terminated with a round of high-fives from Viens.
The studio is located at 1 Social Street in Woonsocket.