Babs Case leads Dancers’ Workshop, one of the state’s most active artistic groups, as it conducts classes and invites emissaries to Wyoming to teach and perform.
The nonprofit’s artistic and executive director, Case propels the group’s activities beyond Teton County to Rock Springs, Pinedale, Big Piney, Lander, Laramie and other towns and cities. In 2018, the group reached 37,150 youth and adult students and audience members.
This year’s guests and performers, all of whom engaged community members at a personal level as well as on stage, hailed from around the world. The workshop hosted the Malpaso Dance Company from Havana, Tika Morgan Dance from San Francisco, tap’s top Savion Glover from Newark, New Jersey, Batsheva Dance Company of Tel Aviv, London’s Ihsaan DeBanya, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Gina Patterson of Jackson Hole and David Dorfman Dance from Connecticut.
Earlier this year at the workshop’s outdoor show, “Let’s Make a Parade,” which featured dancers from David Dorfman Dance and Contemporary Dance Wyoming, Case paused for a portrait with WyoFile. The Parade performance, which Case hopes will become an annual event, featured 14-foot-high pole puppets.
Her parade inspiration came from a Día de Muertos event in Oaxaca, Mexico.
“I have this list at home of things I want to do,” she said. “‘Let’s Make a Parade’ has been on that list for probably 20 years.”
Case is recognized internationally as a multi-disciplined artist, choreographer, teacher and performer. She is the founding executive artistic director of the Center for the Arts in Stuart, Florida, and is the founder of Contemporary Dance Wyoming, among other things.
Case has been with Dancers’ Workshop for 21 years, which marks the longest she’s lived in the same place. She’s the mother of Newfoundlands Harpo, Zeppo, now gone, and her current pet Groucho. Her given first name is Barbara, but nobody calls her that.
“One third-grade teacher called me Barbara,” she said. “I put tacks on her chair.”
She enjoys her milieu, she said. “I do think I have the best job in the world.”