2016 Master Classes︱Workshops︱Lectures

In addition to these presentations, I am available for guest artist residencies as both a choreographer and theatre director.


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Past master classes & residencies.

While I teach a range of dance techniques, my primary interest is sound alignment/placement relevant to each individual student’s body. Class lengths can be arranged based on the needs of hosting organizations, unless otherwise noted. These technique classes were designed with pre-professional and professional dancers in mind, however, most of them can be adapted to students of any age or experience levels.

Ballet: an American approach drawn from the Balanchine Style that focuses on safe anatomical practice, dynamic alignment, length of line, musicality, weight shift, and speed.

Body Listening Warm-up: (single workshop format) encourages participants to engage in a dialogue with their physical selves. By responding to proprioception (or sensory awarenesses in the body), we can create our own unique warm-up in preparation for more structured dance practice, yoga, running, or other more vigorous activities. Open to dancers and as well those with no movement training. [2-hour format.]

Contemporary: a fusion of movement principles drawn from ballet, classic modern techniques, Bartenieff Fundamentals and other somatic practices. Breath work, bodymindspirit centering, dynamic alignment, isolation/undulation, rhythm/musicality, clarity, and space are major themes.

Modern: chose from a Dunham-Horton blended class, Limón, or my take on the Taylor style.

Musical Theatre Jazz: straightforward traditional musical theatre styles.

 this workshop can be structured based on the experience/skill level of the participants involved, from introductory through advanced.

Collaborative Dancemaking:
 introduces a functional way for artists to work together in the creation of a dance piece. It can be geared for both novice and experienced choreographers.

Improv︱Teen or Improv︱Adult: improvisation is the art of generating spontaneous movement in the moment. It can stand alone as a performance practice, or serve as an entry point to creative exploration and development of more structured choreography. This workshop can be geared to those who are trying to find their creative voice by exploring movement for the first time, or designed for dancers looking to deepen their improvisation practice. Beginning through advanced levels are available.

Site-Specific Dancemaking: looks at approaches to making and performing dances in non-traditional spaces, and leads participants through the creation of a new site-specific dance.

Hip-Hop Active:
 (children 4-11) using elements of hip-hop and street jazz, this workshop helps engage young children in a healthy, active lifestyle. [Recommended length: no longer than 30-45 minutes.]

Movement for Actors:
 please note that this is not a dance class, but rather, an exploration of the actor’s physicality designed to help better create embodied charters in theatrical work. Using concepts from Bartenieff Fundamentals and other somatic practices, actors explore the body’s primary weight centers, dynamic alignment, and principles such as initiation and response. [Note: 2-hour minimum for single class sessions.]

Case Studies in Collaboration

In the contemporary worlds of art and education, we place a great deal of emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinarity. In this talk, I present case studies of  long-term collaborative partnerships between choreographers (ballet and modern), musicians, and visual artists that propelled some of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century. Among the collaborations introduced are:
+ George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Igor Stravinsky, and Marc Chagall
+ Martha Graham, Louis Horst, and Isamu Noguchi
+ Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns

Modern Dance & Anthropology at the Crossroads
During the rise of American modern dance in the last century, three major choreographers were also engaged in anthropology and sociology. Their ethnographic fieldwork produced deeper understanding of traditional dance forms in Western Africa (Pearl Primus), the Caribbean (Katherine Dunham), and North America (Lester Horton). Each of these choreographers/ethnographers then infused those traditional dance vocabularies into their own artistic work in American concert dance—thus making major contributions to the development of American modern dance. Dunham and Horton in particular designed dance training systems (drawing on key elements from their fieldwork) that remain major dance techniques today. The primary focus of this talk is on Katherine Dunham’s research-to-performance methodology.

How They Trained: A Biography of Modern Dance
The rise of modern dance brought new ideas about art and about how we train for artistic practice. Choreographic interests and responses to world events led to the creation of new dance training systems that facilitated bold new visions of a truly American artform. These training systems mapped contemporary cultural ideas into dancing bodies, changing the physicality of the American dance landscape—and perhaps, of American itself.

The Working Dancer (or Working Musician)
This presentation on developing an entrepreneurial business as an artist is adaptable to both dance or music professionals.