Dancing to a different beat

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By Kirsten Laskey

Ronn Stewart, artistic director of Moving People Dance of Santa Fe, is returning to familiar turf.

When his nonprofit dance company performs at 2 p.m. Sunday at Duane Smith Auditorium, Stewart will be able to see his old workplace. For three years, he was the co-artistic director of Dance Arts Los Alamos (DALA). Seven years ago, he started Moving People, and although he left the local area, Stewart said he was able to apply his experiences in Los Alamos to the Santa Fe company.

Plus, students from DALA, such as Andrew Silks, travel to Moving People to take classes.

“I learned so much at Dance Arts,” he said.

Stewart called the DALA board his “surrogate parents,” and said he learned a lot about operating a nonprofit business. “I’m really grateful for that,” Stewart said.

He moved to New Mexico on his 23rd birthday, with nothing in his pocket. Stewart recently learned that the ashes of dancer and choreographer Martha Graham were spread on Bureau of Land Management land behind his old home in Chimayo, where he lived when he was a newcomer to the state. As a result, Stewart said it felt like destiny brought him to northern New Mexico.

Perhaps it did. Moving People now teaches 35 students, and Stewart has performed shows at the Santa Fe Opera.

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