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Xclaim is a Contemporary Dance Ensemble that uses performance as a vehicle of expression, bringing art and vitality to the forefront of popular culture, through the creation of meaningful innovative dance and effective community outreach.

The motivation behind the creation of Xclaim is the lifelong dream of Mariah Layne French "to change the world using the art of dance as the primary tool." This is no small dream, nor is it a trite statement. Xclaim has been carefully organized through prayerful planning and advanced education over a period of two decades. The company was chartered in the fall of 2007 (receiving it's official 501(c) 3 not-for-profit status in 2010). A faith-based initiative, Xclaim shares artistic resources and physical capabilities with those in need, making excellence in the arts accessible to today's emerging culture. With the groundwork laid and the diverse and specialized team assembled, Xclaim emerged with a 2008 Debut. The Columbus Dispatch called Xclaim's work "Big ... bold ... infectiously upbeat ... spirited ... strong choreography".

Since our opening season Xclaim has performed over 50 original works in many diverse venues including Xclaim's own productions Xtra! (2008), Hands and Feet (2009), Red Light Red Letter- Dances of Redemption (2010 / 2011), Elemental (2011), Soul of the City (2012), Xclaim on Ice (2012), Ethereal (2013 / 2014), BLUE (2014), 5-6-7-8 (2015), Dancity-Doo & Storytime Too (2016), Fanciful Danciful (2016 / 2017), Spirituals(2017), Light, Sound & Brainwaves (2018). The company has also participated in the Columbus Arts Festival, Columbus Dances series, 60x60 produced by New York based Vox Novus, Wild Goose Creative's Third Thursdays, as well as performance at Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility and large scale community outreach with Mayor Coleman's initiative Neighborhood Pride and through mentorship with Franklin County Children's Services, and performances for the Northland Community. Xclaim is making a difference in the lives of an increasing number of people, through the creation and performance of meaningful innovative dance, and real community outreach and interaction. This outreach and interaction engages audiences and participants of all ages, especially at-risk young people, exposing them to professional art and allowing them to form relationships with positive role models.

Under the artistic direction of Mariah Layne French, Xclaim produces eclectic captivating Jazz Dance, fusing many dance styles to create works that are accessible to diverse audiences. Choreography emphasizes musicality and rhythm while exploring topics at the core of human existence, tapping a wide range of emotion. We aspire to create dance movement that moves people far beyond their seats.

Outreach is a fundamental element in Xclaim's purpose. Our dancers are passionate about sharing their artistic resources and physical capabilities with those in need through compassion driven service projects, artistic educational workshops, and compelling insightful choreography. We believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to experience quality professional art and a life full of vitality. We are committed to being a group of artists that gives back to communities in tangible life-sustaining ways.

Xclaim aspires to impact emerging generations by facilitating mentorship and ongoing training in the arts, to create alternatives for at-risk young people, empowering families, and strengthening society. Xclaim engages in several types of community outreach, with a vision to expand our community impact beyond our current capability.

Existing Types of Outreach:
Currently Xclaim is involved with the community by engaging in mentorship outreach with deserving students through Columbus City initiative Neighborhood Pride. Xclaim also conducts performances and self-esteem movement therapy workshops with local juvenile corrections facilities as well as participating in other uplifting programs with Charisma Centre for the Arts, where the Company is currently the artists in residence. We believe that every individual deserves opportunities to experience quality professional art and a life full of vitality. We are committed to being a group of artists that gives back to the community in tangible life-sustaining ways.

Community Arts Outreach Events are designed to introduce young people to fine art and professional artists, engaging youth in dance and arts workshops through mentor relationships. Our goal is to feed an interest in the arts among young people whose access has been limited, and through the arts enrich their quality of life. Xclaim provides positive role models and quality art education. We aim to empower students to realize their potential and accomplish their dreams.

Partnership Outreach:
Xclaim Partners with individuals, community initiatives, and other non-profit organizations to offer services and physical resources for people in need. Examples of this type of outreach have included grocery and meal provisions to hungry families, back-to-school resources, safety programs, and free holiday productions. We have infused this outreach with the arts through live performance, free dance and arts workshop, and complimentary tickets to our main stage productions. If you are interested in partnering with Xclaim please contact us.

Our Board of Directors, chosen for their wisdom and diversity, oversees all of Xclaim's major production decisions and finances, as well as serving as champions for our cause, fostering growth and development.

Officers and Members:
CEO- Mariah Layne French
Vice President/ Treasurer- Philip French
Secretary- Megan Wetzell
Henry Bateman
Abby Goldman
Beth Fairman Kinney
Linda Long
Scott Shaw
Melissa Placides
Daryse Osborne
Diane Ransom
Amy Schmidt

Frequently Asked Questions

614.561.1635 | info@xclaimdance.com | P.O. Box 163730, Columbus, OH 43216
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