What Moves You? @ Grant McDaniel

There are some people you meet that will change your life, whether they know it or not. Grant is one of those people for me. I took a “year off” after high-school to enroll in a dance program in Vienna, Austria called Spiral(e). Grant was my mentor that year and still is in many ways. Grant taught me to dance from the inside-out…to dance from the core of who I am and to tell stories with my body. I’m forever grateful to him. He’s an incredible teacher for movers and non-movers because he triggers your self-awaereness and helps you realize what you have to offer as a person, and THEN as an artist. Which is the whole point of art and dance, right? To tell stories about who we are, individually and as a human race. So let’s see what’s moving Grant…

2 Photo Credit - Helmut Prochart

Grant McDaniel
Teacher, Coach, and Writer

What Moves You?
“It moves me to see people come into their bodies for any reason at any age. It moves me to see people discover dance at any age for what ever reason. It moves me to inspire people to believe, be excited and aspire.”

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From Grant:

“I began dance training at the late age 22/23 in 1971. Literally everyone told me I was wasting my time and would never work professionally as a serious dancer. Fortunately that first training was in one of the top schools in the USA: The Dayton Ballet Company school Director Josephine Schwartz. Three years later I moved to Toronto, Canada to study with Toronto Dance Theatre on a full scholarship. What followed was 13 years of wonderful and exciting work with Dance Makers, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and many free lance projects.

From Canada I moved to Italy and dropped out of the dance scene for a year or two (actually I did the same in Canada a couple of times ) and dropped back in as a teacher and choreographer and director of Grant McDaniel and Dancers. A move to Trieste resulted in The Space, (in the former psychiatric hospital San Giovani – a place that revolutionized and radicalized the work with psychiatric “utenti”) and where a generation of dancers were born and grew and developed and trained. Palermo next and another new group of serious contemporary dancers.

An experience performing in Vienna gave me the contacts to make a move to Vienna possible in 1996. My first job was teaching movement in the Rhythmics department of the University of Vienna, then the Max Rheinhardt Seminar. In 1999 I founded and directed Spiral(e), a 3 year Contemporary Dance / Theatre education.

Having been told at the beginning of my dance life that I was “too old” I made it a point to never say that to anyone coming into my studios or schools. What I did was find a way to train a mature body that produced a serious professional performance technique. Gradually I found myself training people who wanted to work in a healthy and strong way with their bodies but who were not necessarily interested in dance or theatre. Out of this came my method Body Connections. I am now collaborating with Edi Gustini , one of my former students in Trieste, to formalize and publish these concepts under the title “The Neutral Frequency of Movement”.

At almost 70 I am still performing and exploring new ways of  training and working with the body.

Check out more here or reach out via email at grantmcdaniel@vienna.at.