Arianna Mevs moves from the soul and teaches her students to do the sameMar 29, 2022 09:25PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris
“Modern (dance) gave me the opportunity to really breathe into who I was and what I had to say,” Arianna Mevs said. (Samantha Tatte/Holladay)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
Few artists embrace the dual nature of themselves like Arianna Mevs, the Holladay Artist of the Month. Trained first in ballet, Mevs transitioned and welcomed the more free-flowing and expressive aspects of modern dance. Today, she teaches her students the discipline and joy of both.
Born in Holladay, Mevs and her family later moved to Utah County where she trained in classical ballet at Jacqueline’s School of Ballet and Wasatch Ballet. She became adept at her craft and later received a scholarship to Brigham Young University—Idaho. There, she performed principal roles and became a member of the university’s traveling tour team, Dance Alliance.
Holladay, however, beckoned a return. “As a child, I remember telling my mother when we moved to Utah County, ‘Mom, I’m going to miss my trees!’” After attending college, Mevs and her husband moved to Holladay. “In fact, we moved back into the same townhome that my parents were in when they were first married,” Mevs said.
She began teaching dance in a colleague’s basement, and her career grew from there. In 2015, she opened The Dance Box where she teaches children. Her Summer Fairy Camp for ages 2-6 has become popular.
“We do magical things like the fairies come and then leave us a scavenger hunt, and we have an extensive collection of fairy houses,” Mevs said. “Throughout the flower beds, we’ll put the fairy houses there so that students can go and see the fairies have visited them.”
Mevs believes strongly in children’s ability to co-create. “We pull up a pinecone out of the (scavenger) basket and talk about, ‘This pinecone is sharp,’ and we relate that to movement. ‘How can we create a shape with our body that’s sharp?’”
Mevs’ enthusiasm is apparent. “Even the youngest child has some pretty profound ways that they can contribute,” she said. “I love to provide them the opportunity to engage in the creative process with me rather than coming prepared with exact choreography or steps that I want them to do or having them mimic me perfectly.”
Mevs believes she benefited immensely both from ballet and creative dance, and she tries to offer her students the benefits of both disciplines. In ballet, Mevs believes she learned both grace and strength. “It gave me the opportunity to always have goals in mind, to really have a sense of betterment,” she said.
Creative dance, however, brought out something new in her spirit. It was more of a grounding, internal kind of discipline,” she said. “Modern (dance) gave me the opportunity to really breathe into who I was and what I had to say.”
Mevs practices other forms of expression including photography and formerly writing and copyediting. “I have those tools, and I know how to connect my body and my spirit through the arts,” she said.
The good news for residents is that Mevs and her husband are planning on staying in Holladay. “I think every day that I drive through town to go teach our community’s children, I truly feel the blessing of that and the responsibility of that,” she said.
To learn more about The Dance Box, visit www.thedanceboxstudio.com.
To nominate a Holladay resident as Artist of the Month, please visit www.holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist