The Young Dancers Workshop offers five courses each day, with study in Modern, Ballet, Afro-Modern, Improvisation, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pointe, Dance history/theory and various somatic practices.

To ensure rigor and safety in all classes, students must have a minimum of three years of current and continuous dance training. Download an example of the schedule:

Sample Schedule

Courses

Modern – Tristan Koepke

This class will explore the balance of clarity, versatility, and individuality necessary for a grounded dancer and performer. We will integrate various modern dance and release-based techniques, yoga, and partnering in order to investigate movement principles, such as weight, opposition, fall and rebound, and breath.  We will explore a full range of movement with focused attention and awareness of sensation, form, and function.  Each class will be a unique exploration in rhythmic specificity and nuanced choreography, welcoming and refining both originality and precision.

Modern Technique, Movement, and Emotional Memory – Kevin Iega Jeff

Emotional memory may be stored in many places in the body, not just in the brain. How do we access and engage with memory — incidents, events, or experiences — that may be felt and expressed throughout the body? Dancer, choreographer and educator Kevin Iega Jeff explores the relationship between memory, the body, and classical modern techniques.

Ballet – Shonach Mirk-Robles

This class is designed to provide an understanding of body placement, the use of the skeleton, the influence of gravity through the body in a turned out position and the use of energy from the floor throughout the body in basic ballet. The barre is used to build strength and coordination. The center work introduces an organic relationship to direction and movement, along with an understanding of different movement qualities, such as fluidity in adage, suspension and sharpness in turns, and balon in small and big jumps.

Ballet – Martha Tornay

This class is designed to emphasize a physical understanding of the source of ballet technique. Through clear barre exercises students are encouraged to recognize their individual anatomy and learn how to practice ballet in a secure and effective way, placing a strong emphasis on epaulement (upper body) working in harmony with the rest of the body. Center exercises further develop an awareness of technique using tangible combinations that are designed to escalate in complexity, giving the dancer the substantial benefit of a classical ballet class.

Jazz – Mary Ann Bradley

Jazz dancers and choreographers are stylists. The technique is the foundation for the style. In this class, students will begin to develop a knowledge of the building blocks of a personal style as a starting point for a dancer’s own individualization and performance. This class will explore and celebrate jazz dance as a vernacular art form that has its roots in Africa. Emphasis will be on the use of space, clear articulation of movement, rhythmic footwork, grounding movement, dynamics, and overall musicality (meter, tempo, syncopation, and phrasing). Dancers will deepen the exploration of improvisation in a “jazz way” (to include jazz rhythms, chord changes, jazz structures, and sharing the pulse in different body parts, etc,). In developing a clear understanding of the kinetic and social elements of Jazz, dancers will begin to see the impact this uniquely American art form continues to have on popular culture today.

Hip Hop – Amirah Sackett

Join Amirah in exploring foundational hip hop dance styles including top rocking, breaking, and popping. Develop a better appreciation and understanding of hip hop history through the physical representation of the culture. Clean sneakers required.

Improvisation – Aretha Aoki

Beginning with somatic exercises to enliven and deepen sensory awareness, this class will progress through individual, duet as well as ensemble improvisation, drawing from both theater and dance practices. We will source from our skills as dancers-in-training as well as broaden our palette to include movement from everyday life and from our individual movement histories. We will explore the relationship between improvisation and composition/choreography as well as performance. Most importantly, we will delight in joy of moving and allowing our creative impulses to guide us.

Afro-Fusion Modern – Melissa Alexis

Afro-Fusion Modern Dance class combines the spirit and techniques of West African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Brazilian, and contemporary dance styles.  After a full body warm-up, we will travel across the floor and do center work, including improvisation and choreography. Focus on literacy and fluidity across dance forms, building community, and self-expression.

Enrichments

Pointe – Martha Tournay

Through daily barre and center exercises, students will have the opportunity of adding pointe technique to their dance vocabulary. Students will explore level-appropriate sequences, which will strengthen safe alignment with the ultimate goal of giving the student a sense of ease en pointe 

Spiraldynamik – Shonach Mirk-Robles

Spiraldynamik® is a combination of the art and science of anatomically correct movement. Like a “user’s manual” for the body, it enhances our understanding of body function. The integration of Spiraldynamik® into the daily lives of dancers helps prevent injury, improve technique and lengthen one’s dance career. In this class, we will study in depth the principles of Spiraldynamik® and how we apply them to our bodies.

Yoga – Tristan Koepke

In this class, we will explore many aspects of Hatha Yoga as a process of self-discovery.  Breath work, somatic meditation, and dynamic yoga forms and flows will all be examined. Through our yoga practice as well as discussions of the history of yoga and its prevalence today, we will build tools and resources for curiosity, self-care, vitality, and longevity for a continued path through dance.

Transnational Exchanges of African Diasporic Dance from West African Dance to Hip Hop – Melissa Alexis

From sabar in the streets of Dakar, Senegal to hip hop in the streets and dance studios of New York City,  transnational exchanges of movement vocabulary, approaches, and attitudes are constantly flowing.  In contemporary society, transnational trade and travel have made cultural exchange, including dance, so fluid that it becomes fusion. At the same time, cultural tradition makes meaning in particular ways and as exchanges occur, how is this meaning making honored?