Dance Good 

Maybe it's the cold medicine I'm on, but Carolyn McLaughlin isn't sounding to me like your typical high-minded, movement theory-spinning dance director. "Dance good," she says. "Dance is good for you." Then she laughs.

OK, so she's just joking around with me. The associate director of Good Moves Consort knows her Ninjinsky from her Balanchine as well as anyone. But she also has a knack for radiating that simpler monosyllabic message about dance with a rare combination of enthusiasm and professionalism that seems to have people tripping over one another (arms floating out in graceful arabesques) to fund, host or otherwise lean in and push the tailgate of her bandwagon. Watch your checkbooks, folks, especially if she starts walking your way this weekend at the Inman Park Dance Festival. The festival's second largest donation came from McLaughlin's next-door neighbor. Poor thing didn't stand a chance.

Good Moves is presenting the dance festival - in conjunction with the Inman Park Festival - for its fifth year, a long enough life that I think we can officially declare it "established." Stylistically, it is Atlanta's most diverse dance festival, featuring plenty of ballet and a good range of modern, if a little light on more experimental fare. Participating troupes include Georgia Ballet, Ballethnic Dance Company, Full Radius Dance Company, Zoetic Dance Ensemble, Atlanta Dance Theatre and Good Moves Consort.

The festival is free, though thanks to McLaughlin's fundraising, the dancers still get paid, never a sure thing in the dance world. With the draw of the Inman Park Festival, the dance festival tends to bring in a big audience that includes people with little or no prior exposure to dance. Once they're in the aura of McLaughlin's subliminal "dance good," you can bet the Atlanta dance scene will have some new converts.

Good Moves Consort presents the Inman Park Dance Festival, April 23-24, 4 p.m. Free. Trolley Barn, 963 Edgewood Ave. 404-688-7900.



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