Pure Joy Moving Company (PJMC)

The Pure Joy Moving Company was formed in 1978 to allow those dance students with exceptional ability, combined with dedication and motivation to experience the ‘dance workshop’ environment.  Since the inception of PJMC, over 200 dancers have enjoyed the specialized and focused training this workshop provides.  Dancers are culled from the student body at MacKinnon Dance Academy.  Those who show promise, have great attendance, and who enjoy dance as their primary activity are the only ones considered for selection.

The PJMC has performed in four of their own concerts to sold-out audiences, as well as hundreds of club dates and community based programs.  The PJMC of 1994 was invited to China as part of a cultural exchange, where they performed six weeks with Russian and Chinese Dancers.

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Highland Choreography (FLORA)

Our Highland Choreography group consists of selected senior dancers from the Highland Dance Department.  The choreography group, recently renamed ‘FLORA’ in honor of Joy’s Scottish Grandmother, performs dances which utilize their ballet, jazz, and tap techniques, but are dominated by the Highland dance vocabulary.  All dancers have or have been competitors in Scottish Highland Dance events throughout the country.  This group is by invitation only.  If your group would like to book ‘Flora’ for a performance, please call the studio at (805) 485-0115 and ask to speak with Joy MacKinnon, Director of Flora or by email at joy@mackinnondanceacademy.com.

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Pumping Metal (PM)

Pumping Metal Tappers is a dynamic group of entertainers that have been together for about six years.  They have literally “grown-up” together, both as youngsters and as developing dancers.  Three complete evening concerts have been presented by the Pumping Metal Tappers as well as dozens of club dates and special dates.  Their energy and sense of fun is what makes this group worth watching.

Pumping Metal Tappers are MacKinnon Dance Academy based.  The choreographer is Anna Reed Sanchez.  The Pumping Metal Tappers are a unique group of terpsichorean experts.  Their playful interpretations of rhythms and styles will add an exciting dimension to your next special event.  The group is available for hire.  If you would like to book the Pumping Metal Tappers, please contact the studio at (805) 485-0115 or via email to joy@mackinnondanceacademy.com.

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Pointe

Pointe techniques are part of classic ballet techniques that center around pointe work, in which a ballet dancer supports ALL body weight on the tips of fully extended feet.  A dancer is said to be en pointe when the dancer’s body is supported in this manner, and a fully extended vertical foot is said to be en pointe when touching the floor, even when not bearing weight.  Pointe work is performed while wearing pointe shoes.  Pointe shoes employ structural reinforcing to distribute the dancer’s weight load throughout the foot, thus reducing the load on the toes enough to enable the dancer to support all body weight on fully vertical feet.  Pointe technique resulted from a desire for female dancers to appear weightless and sylph like.  Although both men and women are capable of pointe work, it is most often performed by women.  Extensive training and practice are required to develop the strength and technique needed for pointe work.

Although age is not a prerequisite, many ballet students do not begin to dance en pointe earlier than approximately eleven years of age because bones in the feet are often too soft prior to that age and, in such cases, serious and permanent foot injuries could result from staring pointe work too early.  Exceptions may be made if the dancer teacher or a physician has determined that a dancer’s feet have sufficiently ossified, and it is not uncommon for dancers to begin pointe work as early as age nine.  Otherwise, ballet students are generally ready to begin pointe work after achieving competency in fundamental ballet technique.  For example, before learning pointe work, a dancer must be able to maintain turnout while performing center combinations, hold a proper ballet position with straight back and good turnout, pull on properly in the legs, and balance securely in relive.

Preparation for pointe work is a gradual process that begins with barre exercises to develop the requisite strength in ankles, feet, and legs.  These exercises may vary in accordance with a teacher’s preferences and, if applicable, the training method’s syllabus.  The firs exercises at the barre are usually relevé and échappes.  When the student is comfortable executing these steps on both feet and sufficiently strong, steps ending on one en pointe foot are introduced, such as pas de bourrée and retire.  During each class session, a student will move on to center exercises after completing the barre work.  These exercises emphasize various aspects of ballet technique, such as turnout, pointing of the toes, and the use of ballet technique while en pointe.

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