What's In Your Dancebag?

Anh Nguyen

Cookies, chocolate or another kind of snack
If it’s not cookies, Nguyen can also be seen munching on nuts or granola bars. It’s not yet possible to bring ice cream to the studio, he points out, but “the funner the snack, the better the dancing.”

Towel and change of clothes
Nguyen routinely goes through one shirt per class – a testament to how hard he works alongside his students.

Exercise band
Handy for the stretching component of every class.

Ballet shoes
Although HNM is primarily a modern dance studio and company, ballet classes are offered so students can build up their classical technique and understand the connection between ballet and contemporary dance.

Laptop and cables
Nguyen’s collection of 5,000 music tracks gets plugged into the studio’s sound system so students can dance to a whole range of accompaniments, from classical to Broadway to pop tunes.

Masking tape, pens, pencils – indispensable teaching aides!
Tape helps mark points of reference on the dance floor, pens and pencils are for getting contact improv students to scribble words onto slips of paper, pull them out of a hat, and then dance the written emotion.

Studio key
HNM Dance retains its nomadic roots. Its current home is in the University of Windsor’s movement studio where it shares the space with the university’s theatre faculty.

Anh Nguyen is the founder and artistic director of the HNM Dance Company. He started training in 1990, first in Windsor, Ontario, and then all over North America including Detroit, New York, Chicago, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and Guelph, Ontario. Nguyen, who is also a musician and composer, makes regular guest appearances with dance companies including Dancetheatre David Earle, Danny Grossman Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, Detroit Dance Collective and the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, as well as with numerous orchestras. Nguyen is also the recipient of the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for Outstanding Artist for his contribution to Windsor’s artistic and cultural life.


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