The Friday, April 5, spring program for Xclaim Dance, a troupe that's nearly a dozen years old with members from throughout central Ohio, will involve a couple of significant firsts.

It will be the first show performed in the intimate setting of Flux+Flow Dance and Movement Center, 200 Crestview Road -- the former Clintonville Community Market -- since the company was founded by Mariah Layne French in fall 2007.

"This white space provides a new canvas for expressions from each choreographer," French said.

It also will be a first for French herself.

"I've actually never performed in a show this pregnant," she said.

The North Linden resident's due date is Aug. 11.

Xclaim Dance, which holds rehearsals in the Charisma Centre for the Arts on Karl Road in Northland, will perform what its founder called a "pop-up show" in Flux+Flow.

Showtimes are at 6 and 8 p.m. April 5.

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children. Tickets are available at

Between the shows, there will be a cocktail hour and review of "archival photos" from the troupe's past performances.

The cost for that is an additional $10.

"It's kind of like a gala," French said.

Rachel Hunter of Reynoldsburg, a dancer and choreographer with Xclaim since 2016 and rehearsal assistant for the show, said the proximity of performers to the audience in the small studio represents a challenge -- but a welcome one.

"I've told my dancers to find a member of the audience, look them in the eye and pull them in," Hunter said.

"It is a really intimate space," French said.

"The showcase will feature styles ranging from modern to classic jazz to hip-hop and Xclaim's signature fusion style.

Each piece is inspired by a notable quote from historical dance figures, while tapping a wide range of emotion."

Hunter, who studied ballet at Ohio Northern University, said the piece she choreographed for the show is "more earthy than airy."

"I'm doing movement that doesn't necessarily have a name," she added. "I'm having to feel it as opposed to think it."

"The show is about the unique quality within the dancers, whether it's emotion or empowerment or destiny," French said. "It's different from some of our other shows. This show, the theme emerges for each choreographer independently."

French's solo dance, naturally enough, is about motherhood.