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Kim Popa (left), founder of Pones Inc. At right, dancers perform during a Second Sunday on Main in Over-the-Rhine. (Photos courtesy of K. Popa)
COVINGTON, Ky. - Our Tuesday feature shines the spotlight on those unsung heroes among us: people who do good things for others every day, whether as a volunteer or as part of their job.
Ever feel like busting a move on a city street? Popa's Pones Inc. actually encourages spontaneous dancing in public, and uses performance to bring dance to places where it might not always find a home.
Become a WCPO Insider to read more about Popa's artful contributions to the Tri-State and learn how you can make a difference.
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Who: Kim Popa What she does: Co-founded Pones Inc. to make the art of dance accessible Where she does it: Covington, Ky.
Kim Popa co-founded Pones Inc. in 2008 to share dance instruction and performances in everyday settings. While pursuing a theater and dance degree, Popa hoped to become a professional dancer.
However, her passion for volunteerism and social activism inspired her to share the arts with “people who maybe don’t think dance is for them or don’t have much experience with it.” (Below: Dancers perform during a Second Sunday on Main in Over-the-Rhine. Photo courtesy of K. Popa)
Pones Inc. offers dance opportunities primarily through two programs:
Pones in Public dancers and musicians offer site-specific performances in libraries, grocery stores, parks and other public spaces. The performances enable pedestrians to participate by wearing headphones and following simple instructions, like, “Pretend like you are a ballet dancer.”
Laboratory of Movement is geared toward educational programming for students, particularly in low-income areas, where arts might not be available in school. Laboratory of Movement includes four workshops designed to encourage communication, team building, physical fitness and confidence building. Three of the workshops are geared toward students, while one focuses on work environments.
Popa’s hope is to impact the community as a whole through Pones Inc. The company’s services help students, teachers, employers and workers through workshops.
Pedestrians can benefit from the “nice distraction” afforded by Pones in Public. Those who partner with Pones Inc. can take something away from the experience as well.
Pones Inc. helps give a voice and bring awareness to partners like ArtsWave, Cincinnati Fringe Festival and local musicians, Popa said.
While co-founding Pones Inc. was a gamble, Popa is grateful for the opportunity to support community growth through dance.
“They’re two things I would be doing anyway, even if it wasn’t my job,” she said.
How you can make a difference
People who want to get involved with Pones Inc. are welcome to join the Pones in Public program, which is open to people of all ages and abilities. Individuals also are needed to share their thoughts on wealth and poverty to help inform a new show Pones Inc. staff are working on.
Those who wish to volunteer offer input for the forthcoming show should contact Popa via email. Financial contributions also are accepted via the Pones Inc. website.
Connect with Kim Popa: