Helping dancers find ‘InnerRhythm’ | SierraSun.com

Helping dancers find ‘InnerRhythm’

Guest Column Kimberly Pinkson

When Risha was 11, she auditioned for a dance company. She made it through the grueling audition process and became a member of the troupe. On that day, dance became the guiding force in her life.

Dance took her out of an oppressive home life and helped her forget the fights. It gave her the discipline to work hard and bring her grades up. It gave her the confidence to look in the mirror and smile. It gave her the willpower to do something with her life.

Now on scholarship at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Risha plans to apply for graduate school in performing arts and hopes to one day direct a company much like the one that changed the course of her life.

Those who have spent their lives involved in the performing arts know well their power to change one’s life. In July of 2002, a still growing board of Tahoe and Truckee artists, businesspersons and philanthropists founded InnerRhythms, in homage to the power of music, drama and dance to help local artists find their own “inner rhythm.”

The organization was established as a way to give back, and share the gifts that the performing arts have given its founders.

“Dance has been an inspiring gift in my life,” says Founding Director Elizabeth Archer. “‘InnerRhythms’ is a manifestation of what dance has given me and a way for me to share that gift with others.”

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It is the goal of InnerRhythms to promote cultural enrichment in the community by creating more awareness of, support for, and involvement in, the performing arts. As a non-profit, 501c3, the organization can work to support cultural advancement through the performing arts on many different levels.

Because many of the board members have a background in dance, it has been the medium of choice to get InnerRhythms off the ground.

But this is just the first step. It is our goal to use the power of music, dance and drama as tools to make a difference – as tools to instill self-worth, dignity, discipline and respect in community members, from infants to adults.

To that end, InnerRhythms is an incubator to cultivate talent, as well a promoter of arts involvement and exposure, as keys to healthy mind, body and spirit. The Truckee Tahoe community is growing rapidly and with that, the need for cultural evolution also grows.

“InnerRhythms is a way to offer our community, and our children, something enduring,” shares Vice President of the Board, Polly Ryan.

“We are working to create an enriching legacy.”

“There is a real hunger for more training, performance and theatre here, and we are working to help meet that need,” states President of the Board (and owner of business consulting firm Minds-i International, Inc.), Sheri WoodsGreen. “InnerRhythms is a centering force for young people and adults alike, teaching life skills through the arts.”

“After a certain level of training, people tend to leave the area and pursue higher level opportunity in Reno or Sacramento,” adds Archer, who has been dreaming of forming such a company since she first started teaching in Truckee years ago.

“InnerRhythms is hoping to raise the standards and take the performing arts to the next level.”

“InnerRhythms is opening up the next level of dance for local dancers,” says Sierra Nevada Dance owner Sherrie Peterson. “It gives artists more options and new challenges.”

As a first step, the Organization is working to support InnerRhythms Dance Theatre, a by-audition-only, regional dance company. After two rounds of auditions, there are over 14 founding members currently in rehearsal for an Inaugural Gala Performance scheduled for April 5 next year. In addition to annual concerts, the company is available to perform at community events, extravaganzas, annual corporate events, promotions and more.

Having been a professional dancer for many years, touring and teaching throughout the world, I am very excited to be sharing my knowledge and experience here at home. In my own life, and in my work with various companies and outreach programs, I have seen the positive effects of the arts and our region is ready for it.

Inclusive through philanthropic scholarships, youth outreach mentor programs, and master classes in the community, InnerRhythms is exclusive with board-approved programming, standards of conduct, and protocols that help maintain a world-class level of quality in all endeavors.

“Unique to InnerRhythms is the solid business foundation that many arts endeavors are lacking,” WoodsGreen explains. “Our business model is ‘community success’ based, and supported by an accomplished Board of Directors, making the InnerRhythms organization a rarity in the arts world – accountable, sustainable and viable.”

InnerRhythms will host quarterly “Friday Night Footlights” events to offer artists (drama/music/dance) an opportunity to showcase works in progress and continue to work as a liaison and network for artists to share information, offer support, encourage creativity and workshop ideas.

With each new day, each new phone call, and each new program, it becomes ever more clear that the Truckee Tahoe community wants, and needs, more in the area of performing arts.

InnerRhythms is stepping up to fill that need, but as the saying goes, it takes a village.

There are still spaces available on the board, committees to join, and classes to take. Whatever one’s passion, time, or talent, now is the time for art patrons and interested community members to come forward and share.

For additional information on InnerRhythms Circle of Friends, Board Membership, or Dance Theatre performances please call 530.584.1210

Kimberly Danek Pinkson is Executive Director of the InnerRhythms Performing Arts organization.