Our History

Back Pocket Dancers was born as an outreach arm of Back Porch Dance Company, with the purpose of bringing high quality dance performance to seniors in their homes and places where they gather. With founder and first Artistic Director Joan Green, we performed our program, a look at improvisation, in many elder housing projects (through the TAP program of Mass Housing) and other venues. The company disbanded when Back Porch Dance Company closed its doors in 2001. Back Pocket re-convened in 2010. Since then we have performed for elders in many elderly housing facilities in Eastern MA, for children in schools, at the Children’s Museum, Wheelock College and at Dance for World Community. In 2015, we received support from the Cambridge Arts Council for two performances at the Multicultural Arts Center, a matinee to which we invited 100 seniors from 8 senior venues around the city as our guests, followed by a public performance. This was followed one week later by a free performance of the same program at the Cambridge Senior Center.

Joan Green, founder and recently retired Artistic Director is a dancer, teacher, choreographer. and visual artist. In 1985, Joan founded the Cambridge Performance Project, which closed its doors in June 2018 after 31 years. The project taught dance, theater, circus arts and drumming to Cambridge children in Cambridge after school programs. From 1990 – 2001, Joan and Vicki Solomon co-directed Back Porch Dance Company, an inter-generational company of women who created evening-length works on subjects of special interest to women. The Company were roster artists for the Massachusetts and New England Touring Rosters. Back Pocket began as an outreach arm of that company, bringing performances and dance workshops to elders and inter-generational audiences throughout New England. Joan has received many choreography commissions including Across the Ages Dance (2011), Dance in the Fells (2010) and Cambridge Rindge and Latin Dance Company (2008). In June 2007, Joan presented DANCE ON PAPER, DANCE ON THE FLOOR, an exhibition of her painted images of dancers and a concert of her choreography at the Multicultural Arts Center. Since 1993, she has taught an ever-evolving class in improvisation, Dancing Outside the Lines. For many years, Joan has been involved in the national movement for creative aging, teaching dance to elders in many elder venues in Eastern MA.

She is a roster artist of the national organization Lifetime Arts Creative Aging Project (lifetimearts.org) and is an accomplished visual artist (www.greenbrownart.com). In winter, Joan teaches dance and paints on the South coast of Jamaica.