Artists' Class Descriptions
In an environment where a dancer can maintain who they are and what they trust yet feel the freedom to search for a deeper and personal motivation to dance, I seek to create an educational space where the dancer can confidently explore new realms of movement, identity, performance, connection and art.
Using a strong sophisticated technique that demands focus on the legs and limbs, as well as strength internally and throughout the physical body, the class usually begins by incorporating fundamentals of movement ranging from ballet, yoga, Klein, release and contact techniques. This being a tool for preparing the body both in range and motion, the class continues with exercises that then take up space, force other regions of the body to pull focus, and manifest a personal sense of creative identity. Emphasizing the weight of the body juxtaposed by natural suspension, class will focus on phrase work from repertory, improvisation, and various lineages of my dancing history. Bringing in musicality, dynamic, and theatrical precision the class will encourage the dancer to strive for a catharsis where rawness and grace can meet within the body and challenge the dancer to push beyond conventional realms of dance.
Christal Brown (Modern)
“Liquid Strength”- A technique laboratory focused on moving, intention, and analysis-
Combining the focus and intention of a meditative practice with a series of exercises designed to train the body in articulate expression and athletic execution, Brown's class focuses on developing the total artist. Exercises center on alignment, torso and spinal flexibility, clarity of focus, upper body strength, lower body extension, and abdominal control. Working to transform rigid ideas of technique into movement explorations, students discover intersections between quality and intention, yielding a rich and full-bodied mode of expression.
Felicia V. Cruz (Ballet)
When Felicia was three she started her training with Dolores Haltzman, Jennifer Haltzman-Tracy, Gloria Govrin and Maurice Brandon Curry at the Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy in Allentown PA. She later went on to study at various summer programs including the Rock School of Philadelphia, while later received a scholarship for the program at Richmond Ballet of VA. After high school Felicia took an internship to study at Steps on Broadway in NYC. She met Jay-T Jenkins joining his company Jete’ Performance Company before she graduated 2010 from University of the Arts with a BFA in ballet performance. She also Performed with Carbon Dance Theater (2010-2013) under the direction of Meredith Rainey. Now Felicia is a founding member (2008) of DanceSpora promoted to Assistant Director in 2011 since then acting as one of the resident choreographers.
Her classes include a Balanchine influenced ballet technique class. Starting at the barre creating movement sequences focusing on body alignment, developing proper extension of the legs and efficient foot work. Followed by center work creating phrases that combine the intricacies of small and large jumps, turns, while focusing on the fluidity of por de bras, use of head, and upper body.
Pointe Technique class is comprised of combinations primarily concerned with strengthening the ankles while paying particular attention to the articulation and placement of the feet in transition to and from en pointe. As the Dancer becomes stronger these combinations may travel incorporating turns, and jumps in center.
Ballet Partnering gives a chance to learn to move with your partner while in close physical contact. With the support of a partner it is easier to balance en pointe for longer stretches of time. Starting with simple weight transfer exercises ,practicing proper hand placement in various positions during promenades ,turns, and lifts.
Jessica DiMauro (Modern)
Jessica DiMauro’s modern class will focus on the technique of modern dance pioneer May O’Donnell (odonnellgreen.com). Dancers will physicalize the importance of placement and the development of muscular strength and flexibility through the dynamic movements of contraction and release. The effective use of the pelvis and torso as sources of power will be explored through floor work. Center work will increase vocabulary and refine musicality. DiMauro’s own choreographed phrasework is taught across the floor. This movement is rooted in athleticism and will challenge students to grow physically and artistically. Grounded in a strong knowledge of their technique, they are given the opportunity to explore key elements of performing emotive, physical work.www.facebook.com/dimaurodancecompany/
Beth has developed a unique ballet class syllabus based on her classical training which integrates movement principles from her experience in modern, jazz, and yoga techniques. Her emphasis on alignment, form, and musicality enables dancers to meet the increasing technical and artistic demands of dance. Her class structure and approach supports a strong focus on development and fulfillment of individual potential and talent.
Jennifer Hazen and Paula Webster (ballet and physical therapy)
The DANSE approach is a program that identifies movement dysfunction in dancers that can lead to injury. As with any intense activity the body develops muscle patterns to acommodate the dance movement. If the pattern becomes so strong that you start to compensate and use the less effective muscles to achieve the movement, injury can result. Once your body compensates, dancers need help to bring the musculoskeletal system back to its default status. Individual intervention is needed that is not associated with dance movements. If dance creates the problem, just dancing harder will not correct the problem.
Our program uses testing and specific exercises to define the pattern of muscles and the sequence in which the muscles are used in dance. Some muscles are over used and others are under used or inhibited. The program helps to identify and strenghten those inhibited muscles within a complex movement pattern. It takes the corrections that you hear from your instructors and corrects them in a pactical way. Our Functional DANSE class uses the science behind the movement to reboot or bring you back to your default movement system.
Contemporary - A focus of this class would be to understand the floor and how bodies can use the floor well and SAFELY within movement. Ideologies of this class would include: Anchor point, Supunation and Pronation of the foot, head - tail connection, TRULY feeling weight into the floor rather than away/the use of gravity, initiation points, using your upper body as much as your legs, and others. The more that someone is used to the floor and understanding how to really use every muscle to the assist their dancing is ideal.
Alexander Technique - Through the concepts cultivated by Alexander after losing his ability in his body, the Alexander Technique uses anatomy to aid with posture in any art (dancing, acting, singing and others). Concepts like "Monkey" "Your head as a dome" and others like opposing directions, releasing to let your bones hang, will be touched upon. Lengthening is key in Alexander Technique to find length with your "magic joint openers" which are at ALL joints. I also have an anatomy application on my computer, called Essential Anatomy 5, which I would bring to have dancers see the body and muscles and their functionality.
Juan Carlos Peñuela (ballet)
Mr. Penuela’s classes have a strong emphasis on classical technique but also have a wide range of dance vocabulary with focus on the center of alignment & placement of the body, but also allow artistic expression. This allows the dancers to focus on strengthening both their technical ability whilst enjoying their need and passion to dance. Having trained extensively during his earlier years under the Cuban & Russian techniques, this foundation along with his experience of dancing professionally in the United States, contributes to his classes resulting in a versatile mix of combinations, keeping his dancers both fresh with new concepts on movement whilst maintaining the technical level required by todays dance industry. Juan Carlos is also a certified Romanas Pilates Instructor which he has incorporated into his methods of teaching creating a stronger core, helping to prevent long term injuries in dancers of all levels and ages.
Randall Riley (Contemporary)
Randall Riley is a former member of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence a Dance Company, and currently is a performing artist of TU Dance in Minnesota. Randall is inspired by diverse musical rhythms and textures, allowing both to inform to therefor physicalize. The goal in class is to experience the fluidity through contemporary movement, connectivity from warm up to the combination, and community in dance. Those who've mentored him have proven, these are key to investigating an individuals artistry. Randall simply wants to help share!
Edwin Rodriguez's style and classes are very much an "open class" concept. You will see in Edwin's classes some old school moves and more new age material, all combined with precise movements and intricate timing. "My goal is to encourage my students to strive for the their best growth and discipline in a positive environment through the form of Hip Hop dance no matter the level of experience."
Greg Sinacori (Modern)
This class will focus on the fundamentals of the Dance Technique of Lester Horton. Each class will consist of a warm-up designed to stretch and strengthen different areas of the body. All classes will the include the study of flatbacks, primitive squats, lateral stretches, release swings, leg swings, deep lunges and lateral “T” positions. Movement combinations, both in center and across the floor, will challenge the dancer’s musicality, physicality and sense of dynamics. Classes will culminate in a jumping sequence where the dancers will work on elevation and suspension.