Graham dancer Xin Ying's playful take on pose #6

Courtesy Martha Graham Dance Company

Channel Your Inner Martha for the Graham Company's New Instagram Challenge

Do it for the Graham: Get ready to channel your inner Martha for a new Instagram challenge that the Martha Graham Dance Company is launching today.

The contest, 19 Poses for the 19th Amendment, is part of The Eve Project, the company's two-year-long celebration of the centennial of the amendment that gave women the right to vote. It's a way to honor not only the suffragettes, but also Graham's revolutionary approach to showcasing powerful, complex female characters onstage.


A black and white image of Martha Graham in a front attitude, copied by a dancer with a grocery bag

Graham School student Luis "LT" Martinez inspired the challenge with his Instagram post.

Courtesy Martha Graham Dance Company

The company is inviting Graham fans to riff off of one (or more!) of 19 iconic photographs of Martha Graham. The challenge: to re-create her movement while doing an everyday task in an everyday location.

Want to join the fun? Here's how:

1. Find a creative way to incorporate one of the poses into a real-world setting (i.e. not a dance studio or theater). Go for the unexpected, irreverent and offbeat. Using props and other people is encouraged!

2. Post your shot on Instagram with the hashtags #19Poses and #MarthaGraham and tag a woman who inspires you.

3. Keep an eye on the Martha Graham Dance Company Instagram account. The company will be resharing top submissions there, and will send their five faves a gift bag of Graham swag.

The contest runs through August 18, 2020—the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. So get creative, and get posting!

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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