The Young Dancers Workshop offers five courses each day, with study in Modern, Jazz, Afro-Modern, Improvisation, Hip Hop,  Composition 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. All dancers take Somatics, Street Styles and Modern Dance Technique, and can design their afternoon schedule from week to week. Students may either participate in Repertory, or Afro-Brazilian & Composition. Repertory is a three hour course that fills the entire afternoon, with a rotating faculty and choreography each week. Afro-Brazilian & Composition are both 80-minute classes, taken back-to-back each day. Dancers can swap their afternoon courses from week-to-week, creating a diverse and well-rounded experience!

Morning Courses

Somatics – Tristan Koepke

In this morning practice, we will explore foundational concepts of embodiment, alignment, rhythm, community and sustainability as preparation and education for rigorous dancing. This class combines yoga, ballet, breath work, martial arts, contact improvisation, and movement integration. We will warm up for the day, learn tools for recovery and injury prevention, and most importantly, wake up to the vast potential our dancing bodies hold.

Modern  – Courtney Jones

Jones leads a dynamic contemporary modern technique dance class that focuses on a natural kinesthetic approach to movement and emphasizes the importance of proper use of breath, body alignment, weight, and movement initiation. Each class begins with a warm-up that balances the organization of the skeletal frame, the relaxation of the muscular system, the connection and support of core strength and the mental stimulation of sequencing and phrasing. As the class material and physicality builds in momentum, it is guaranteed the dancers will sweat and be challenged by phrase work that moves through the space changing direction and levels and involving various rhythmic shifts and musicality, floor work, dynamics and spatial awareness. We will build a safe and respectful community that allows each dancer to explore movement with an open dialogue and encourages every individual to take risks and express themselves freely. 

Street Styles: Dancing Socially – Ama Law

What does hip hop mean to you? What sort of popular dances do you know? How did you learn them? In this class, we will review some of the social dances that paved the way for movement that is popular today. Through discussion and practice we will review history and develop a routine collectively to represent our ideas. We will also discuss our journey through dance and our approach to our art, our communities and our culture.

Afternoon Courses

Afro-Brazilian Dance Traditions – Tamara Williams

African-Brazilian Dance Traditions explores movements inspired by the Yoruba, Angola, Nago and Akan people of West Africa. These cultures represent a wide range of descendants of Africa that were brought to the Americas as enslaved people. Through education of African diaspora forms in movement, this class will expose participants to African derived dance forms in the United States and Brazil that are foundational to the history and development of American cultures. African-Brazilian dances combine several rhythms in their movement, with various rhythmic syncopations found in the shoulders, chest, pelvis, arms, legs etc. These African diaspora forms are a study of the connections between the rhythms and the traditional movement, archetype and story, and spirituality interpreted as an art form.

Composition – Tristan Koepke

This class engages the practice of making dances from a variety of creative prompts and impulses. Working both collaboratively and in solo form, we will encounter tools for creating choreography for the stage and for the camera. This class invites all participants to bring in their various experiences, interests and aesthetic values, whether based in street styles, modern/contemporary, percussive dance, or anything else we have in our background or want to explore in a supportive and generative environment. Additionally, we will cultivate abilities to give and receive supportive and critical feedback, emboldening each other as the next generation of game-changing choreographers and artists. Each week will culminate with an invitation to share our work in an informal performance setting.

Repertory – Urban Jazz Dance – Antoine Hunter

Week 1

It’s not how high you kick but why you kick! Join Antoine Hunter for Urban Jazz Dance Repertory.  Class is a convergence of artistic forces where raw energy, rooted in freedom, is expressed through the body and the uncontrollable passion of dance. Vocabulary will include Ballet, techniques of the Afro-diaspora and even American Sign Language.

Repertory – BRKFST Dance Company

Week 2

This week-long repertory class will focus on the creation and performance of a single work, using the process and technique of BRKFST Dance Company. Joseph ‘MN Joe’ Tran and Lisa ‘MonaLisa’ Berman will teach basic breaking foundation while simultaneously exploring how this form combines with pedestrian and contemporary movement vernacular to produce a finished work. This work will be performed at the end of the week.

Repertory – “Concourse”- Shakia Barron and Barbie Diewald

Week 3

This repertory course is based on research currently underway in Barron and Diewald’s project “Concourse.” The meaning of our work together will be shaped by our respective creative and ancestral bibliographies.  We see the body as an archive: a valid site for research and discovery, and we believe that the strength of our work lies in its relation to other tools, traditions, and lineages.  For Barron, these tools are of the African Diaspora and include Hip-Hop, Jazz, African, House, and other street dance forms. Diewald draws from her histories with western contemporary dance, modern and post-modern forms, and improvisation. We will reflect on the stories that shape us,  and we will build an ecology of communal practices that allow us to find meeting points across movement forms and cultural frameworks.