Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble Dance and Music


Name

Marsha Searle
Millersville, MD 21108
410-897-9299
office@footworks.org

Website: www.footworks.org/

Biography

Celebrating 42 years as a performing arts ensemble, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble is an internationally recognized, roots-based music and dance company showcasing the cultural diversity of percussive dance. Since 1979, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble has delighted audiences of all ages and cultures around the world thrilling audiences as guest artists in the London run of Riverdance and representing American culture in Japan with the Smithsonian Institution. Footworks, recognized as pioneers in bringing traditional Americana music and percussive dance to the concert stage, has performed in numerous venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Recently Footworks created and performed the opening production number, to a standing ovation, for the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Show, televised nationally.

The ensemble always performs with its own highly accomplished award-winning musicians and Music Director Mark Schatz is a Grammy Award winning celebrated artist in Americana music and has performed and recorded with Grammy Award winning artists Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, and Nickel Creek. He has also received numerous awards.

Footworks is recognized for over 40 years in Arts-In-Education and is dedicated to teaching and working with youth and adults of all ages. Footworks’ Director Marsha Searle has a BA in World Dance and over 20 years of teaching experience. From the Heritage Award winning traditional arts camps like Common Ground on the Hill to Young Audiences of Maryland and Baltimore City Schools’ Arts and Learning Academy, with many schools, colleges, and lessons in between Footworks’ prides itself in making learning fun and accessible for all ages and skill levels.

Footworks offers a wide range of services including theater productions, festival performances, workshops, artsintegrated school assemblies and residencies, and youth and community outreach programming. All of Footworks programming is a celebration of the cultural diversity found in the United States.

The Washington Post declares, "The eruptive joy of Footworks dancers is as contagious as laughter!"

Fees

  • Theater Productions: $4,000-$7,000 (depending on the production)
  • Assemblies: $900-$1200 (travel included, discounts given for back-to-back assemblies)
  • Workshops: $70-150 (depending on amount of artists, travel not included)
  • Residencies: $350-400 per day, $1600-2000 (travel not included)

Educational Background/Training:

Marsha Searle (Director) holds a BA in World Dance and History from Brigham Young University and has been a professional performing artist with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble for over 17 years. Starting as a principal dancer she have served as School Show Director, Rehearsal Captain, Company Manager, CoDirector, and now as Director. Marsha has 17 years of experience as a Certified teaching artist with Young Audiences of Maryland, performing in Arts-In-Education performances, teaching residencies, afterschool programs, and classes and is a Certified Wolf Trap Early Learning Teaching Artist.

Footworks’ Performing Artists include the Grammy Award Winning musician Mark Schatz and stellar musicians Jon Glik and Danny Knicely. Footworks Dancers include traditional dance experts Emily Crews, Agi Kovacs, and Marsha Searle.

The company has a reputation for exceptional performances, bringing the joy and energy of percussive dance and music to audiences worldwide and always performs with its own highly accomplished award-winning musicians. Footworks is recognized for over 40 years in Arts-In-Education and is dedicated to teaching and working with youth and adults of all ages. Footworks’ prides itself in making learning fun and accessible for all ages and skill levels and offers a wide range of services including theater productions, community concerts, festival performances, workshops, arts-integrated school assemblies and residencies, and youth and community outreach programming. Responding to the need for more culturally and ethnically diverse arts experiences and to serve a broader range of the population, Footworks presents multi-cultural music and dance in all performances, the company's artists includes males and females, and is multi-generational and multi-ethnic.

Audience

Prek-12, Adults, Seniors, All Ages.

Availability

Year Round.

Educational Programs

Assembly/Workshop
“Keeping the Beat: Multicultural Influences in American Music and Dance”
Content Areas: Music, Dance, History, Social Studies
Footworks conveys the power and joy of percussive dance while illuminating the multicultural roots of American music and dance, including African, European, and Native American traditions. Live music and an exciting array of percussive dances are performed, including step dance, gumboot dance, tap, clogging, and hamboning, along with inspiring audience participation.

Assembly/Workshop
“Irish Roots and American Branches”
Content Areas: Music, Dance, History, Social Studies
Performing live Irish music and dance with their descendant American styles, Footworks illuminates the American story of traditions coming from the Old World and meeting others here, resulting in new traditions. Students learn the powerful role the Irish played in the shaping of the United States, and American culture.

Residency/Workshop:
“Roots and Rhythm: Exploring Cultural Diversity Through Traditional Dance”
Content Areas: Music, Dance and Movement, American History, Social Studies
This arts-integrated residency explores the diversity and commonality of the people of the United States. Dances and their histories from different cultures are taught in a fun and inviting way, bringing students together in rhythms and songs that build community and connect participants to one another. Teachers can choose dances from Ireland, Africa, America, Mexico, Honduras, Scotland, China and more. Singing, hamboning, and improvisational exercises are included in learning sequences that develop communication, motor skills, focus, and cooperation. Students will learn the vital role that music and dance play in history and the human experience.

Additional Information