Columbus Makes Art Presents CoMo Dance Director Laura Puscas
Laura Puscas is the co-founder of the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company and is artistic and executive director for CoMo’s eighth season. Laura joins board president Kelsey Morozow Burbrink to answer some questions about teaching CoMo’s Adult Modern Dance Classes.
Kelsey: When did you start teaching for CoMo?
Laura: CoMo has been offering adult modern classes for seven years now. When we first started in late 2012, the public could drop into our company rehearsals as a “class.” Now, adults join me for 4-6 week sessions of Modern Dance Technique & Choreography. We create a piece together as a class and perform at the end of the session at either a company performance or via video.
Kelsey: What is the most fulfilling part about teaching adults?
Laura: I love teaching adults of all levels! Beginners are so enthusiastic, and it’s a joy to watch people get stronger, more flexible and more coordinated as they express themselves through dancing. Adults who are returning to dance get a chance to rediscover years of technique and build skills in new areas. Overall, it’s the community that makes CoMo’s Adult Modern Dance Class so fulfilling. I see all the adults support each other, laugh together and make art that we’re all proud of.
Kelsey: When did you start dancing, and where did you get your training?
Laura: I began dancing at the age of four. I was cast as Snow White while my seven other classmates were tap-dancing dwarfs, and I’ve never looked back. From age nine, my training was by Todd Weeks and Jennifer Reilly of MADCO. Then I completed the Saint Mary’s College dance minor program while at Notre Dame.
Kelsey: What is your favorite company performance that includes your adult class?
Laura: Mother’s Day Tea started in 2013 as CoMo’s first performance. I love to meet audience members every year who come with the whole family to enjoy the beautiful park and watch the company and classes perform.
Kelsey: If someone would like to be introduced to modern dance, what should they expect?
Laura: Come take a class on Tuesday nights starting Apr. 7 (my birthday). Just four classes long, it’s a low commitment to give modern dance a try. No shoes required, and you can just wear exercise clothes. If you love it, you can come back and dance with us for years like many of my current students!
Kelsey: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Laura: CoMo! In all seriousness, I really think it’s the individuals who run other arts organizations or venues who say “yes” to collaborations. Also it’s the local businesses, arts councils and volunteers who say “yes” to supporting nonprofits. So much wonderful art happens in Columbus when we agree to work together and are open to each other’s ideas.
Kelsey: Do you have a favorite hobby that’s not related to dance? Laura: Eating is the main thing that comes to mind! I love that Columbus has such a wonderful food scene. I enjoy eating Los Guachos’ tacos, Dewey’s pizza, Schmidt’s buffet, Figlio pizza and pasta, DK Diner donuts and Aab India. Whether it’s making food with friends, feeding everyone while hosting a party or taking out-of-town guests to eat — most of my socializing revolves around good food! Baking brownies and cookies for myself and my husband is also a favorite.
Laura Puscas will be teaching a 4-Class Session of Modern Dance & Choreography for adults on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm (4/7-4/28) at the Galbreath Pavilion downtown. Register: comodance.org. Class participants will perform at CoMo’s annual Mother’s Day Tea in the Topiary Park performance on Sat, 5/9 along with CoMo’s professional company dancers and kids’ classes for ages 4-6, 7-9, and 10-14.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.