As founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit organization SIDEWAYS, Charlotte Foster never ceases to facilitate performances that express the need for social and political change.

“The creative process for SIDEWAYS begins with extensive research on the topic to be addressed,” said Foster. “The annual repertory concert usually revolves around one central theme.”

In July, SIDEWAYS performed POP! a pop culture themed dance concert. For the concert the group researched ways in which the media and advertisement industries have shaped our lives, addressing social problems including body image issues, gender stereotypes, sexual exploitation, and lack of originality.

“We never present a piece of choreography without performing this research and the research heavily influences the movement produced,” said Foster.

SIDEWAYS’ thoughtful choreography has not gone unnoticed. Nationally acclaimed dance choreographers have complimented Foster’s method, including Alvin Ailey’s Steve Rooks and Mia Michaels from So You Think You Can Dance.

“The concerts, unlike traditional dance concerts, do not include any black-outs,” said Foster. “The concert includes transitions that make one piece flow to the next and thus presents a cohesive idea.” The cohesive idea of this summer’s performance of POP! brings attention to society’s obsession with fame, power, and greed.

The company of SIDEWAYS does not work solely toward performance to bring about social change. They donate their time and talent to organizations in the community to back up their no-apology message of social change.

SIDEWAYS partners with the Foster-Schmidt Dance Academy to present weekly dance classes to the Down Syndrome community. “The classes include motor coordination exercises, balance exercises, and dance technique,” said Foster.
“The dancers learn a piece and perform it in the Annual recital of Atlanta Dance Central.”

This year, SIDEWAYS also partnered with Wholistic Stress Control Institute and helped inner-city children choreograph two pieces for an abstinence skit to present to peers within the community.

You can donate time or money to help SIDEWAYS in the media and marketing department, as well as fundraising and development. Additionally, you can support SIDEWAYS by becoming a sponsor of a dancer or a sponsor of a program or concert.

We wish SIDEWAYS much luck and applaud them for continuing to SHUT IT DOWN.

Written by
Chrissy Begemann
A.A.C. Staff Writer

Edited by
Paul Ayo