Founded in 2006 by Artistic Director, Calen Kurka, :pushing progress immersed into the dance community. The accomplished first season of :pushing progress engulfed a showcase performance in Dublin, Ireland and their premiere full length company performance in New York City that was held at the Alvin Ailey Studios Joan Weil Center for Dance. The original work B A R E, a two part emotional piece of raw movement and setting, allowed the dance community to absorb the onset of the values of :pushing progress. To solidify their mission in their second season, :pushing progress introduced more opportunities to celebrate dance education and emerging artists in New York City by producing several company workshops, "The Showcase Series," and premiering new works by Associate Director, Chris Hale. The end of their second season included several small performances, a showing at the SoNo Arts Festival in CT, and the :pushing progress Summer Intensive '08. Continuing with the integration of performance and education, season three was filled with both Winter and Summer Intensives, and the annual "Showcase Series," featuring performances by the professional company. Finally, in Season Four, inspired by the instruction of Melissa Wolfe-Rosebro who studied under Irene Dowd, an anatomist and neuro-muscular therapist at Julliard, :pushing progress experienced a pivotal turning point for the future of the company with the birth of The Contemporary Training Program, a new approach to educate dancers based on the :pushing progress mindset.
Season four evidenced :pushing progress's focus on their educational programs and celebration of the value of education in dance. Lessons taught by Chris and Calen at the Contemporary Training Program began to take shape with inspiration from Melissa Wolfe-Rosebro and the readings of Irene Dowd's book on articles of functional anatomy, "Taking Root to Fly." As the company focused on the birth of the educational programming, the professional performance company took a break in order to enable further development of the :pushing progress approach to training. With inspiration from the tools offered by the many expert instructors and body specialists our faculty has had the privilege to work with, the :pushing progress mindset is fundamentally powered by an integration of educational tools and professional mindset that enhances a dancer's technical proficiency and artistic capacity.
Now in its fifth season, :pushing progress aims to bring the New York dance community many new opportunities for dance education and performance. The Contemporary Training Program, in its second year, has doubled in size. Through the onset of the pre- professional company, :pushing progress ii, last year's CTP graduates are given the opportunity to apply their training to a rehearsal and performance setting. The 2010-2011 season provides many educational and performance experiences for :pushing progress, both new and old, including the Winter Intensive '10, open workshops at the Rover, the first One Day Workshops Series, and a new integration of education and performance in our 2011 Showcase Series. :pushing progress's unique approach to training has now been sought out by different venues, both domestic and international, giving :pushing progress more opportunities to work with, learn from, and impact the many dancers, teachers, choreographers, and viewers that define the current dance community.