Third Coast Dance Company (TCDC) is a mid-Michigan based dance company that is committed to creating local, quality, accessible modern dance. The goal of TCDC is to make dances about the people, place, and community that they inhabit while taking an experiential and collaborative approach to dance creation, education and performance.
Mid-Michigan is our home and dance is our passion — we’re bringing them together with Third Coast Dance Company.
About the Company
Third Coast Dance Company began in 2016 as a conversation between two dance artists: Kristen Bennett and Lynn Bowman, who were both on faculty at Alma College in Michigan. Both artists have traveled far and wide teaching and choreographing and both agreed that mid-Michigan was an ideal place to live and work. Hence, they wanted a platform for making dance, teaching and sharing in the middle of the mitten. They chose the name "Third Coast” because of the colloquial reference to the fact that Michigan has the greatest length of coast outside the east and west coasts of the US.
Lynn and Kristen envisioned a company that took a collaborative and democratic approach to dance making. Refusing to embrace a single idea of what a dance company should be, Lynn and Kristen are a constantly evolving and sharing in the teaching, choreographing, problem solving, and leadership of the dance company.
The TCDC is interested in keeping a local focus (“locavores”) and aims to connect artists and art consumers in the same geographic region so as to develop a more self-reliant and resilient dance community. Third Coast Dance Company is a Michigan non-profit organization and is working toward becoming a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization under federal law.
Collaboration & Creation
Lynn grew up in Iowa and started her dance training at Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance. She graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with a B.A. in Theater/Dance and studied in London at Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance receiving a (DDS) Diploma in Dance Studies. She attended the University of Iowa as an Iowa Arts Fellow and completed her MFA in Dance with a specialization in Choreography. Lynn danced professionally for several years in the Washington DC area and taught dance at The Catholic University of America, Dance Place and for a variety of outreach dance programs for DC public schools. Lynn headed a dance program at Shelton State Community College and was a University of Alabama Blount Teaching Fellow while also choreographing and developing new projects in Alabama and other parts South. While living in Minnesota Lynn was on the dance faculty at Minnesota State University, Zenon Dance Company and School and Young Dance. Upon relocating to Michigan Lynn was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, at Alma College from 2014-2016. Lynn is also a 200 hour certified Yoga Teacher.
Kristen has been teaching dance in Michigan for over 11 years, she grew up in central Michigan and started dancing when she was in the fifth grade and hasn't stopped; her early training was in jazz and rhythm-based dance forms. Kristen continuities to practice and teach many different styles of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip-hop, musical theatre and social dance. Kristen earned her B.A. in Dance and English from Grand Valley State University after which she spent time teaching at various dance studios in Grand Rapids, Marquette, Mt. Pleasant and Alma. Currently entering her eighth year teaching dance at Alma College, she is also the Recruitment Coordinator for the Theatre and Dance Department. Kristen frequently collaborates with percussive dancers and live musicians, researching what happens when different styles of dance find common ground in the rhythms they create together. Most recently, she taught a master class and presented her work at the American College Dance Association Festival. She has had the opportunity to teach across the U.S and internationally and looks forward to continuing her work in mid-Michigan.
Want to schedule us?
Interested in booking us? We'd love to perform at your event. Simply send us an email with your event details and we'll get back with you shortly. We're excited to begin this journey with you and can't wait for the possibilities it will bring for dance in Mid-Michigan and beyond. Thanks for taking the journey with us!
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