Day of Dance!

Love to dance? Don’t have the money? Don’t be sad – come to DAY OF DANCE!

Wesleyan Dance alumni will lead participatory workshops tomorrow, the 21st, from 10am to 6pm in the Schonberg Dance Studio on Pine Street to honor Bessie Schonberg’s one-hundredth birthday year. That’s right – 8 hours of dance all day long. Bring your family!

Schedule of Events

*All classes are open to anyone who wishes to participate.
No registration needed. Observers are also welcome if space allows!*

10 AM. Emily Faulker ’86: DANCE AND THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
In this workshop, we will explore the application of the Alexander Technique to dance. By identifying harmful or inefficient habits of thought and movement and replacing them with a natural ease and coordination, the AT can open new avenues for grace, strength and creativity. The basic nature of the Alexander Technique makes this workshop appropriate for the novice and professional alike. No technical requirements.

11 AM. Wendy Blum ’87: BLUM REP CLASS
We will start establishing connections to the floor in order to release the superficial muscles for greater economy of motion and range of expression. Knowledge of skeletal and joint functioning will be addressed as a tool to release into gravity with direction, weight, and momentum. From there, we’ll dive into quirky, torqued, breath-y movement from current company rep.

NOON Jody Sperling ’92: HOOPING WORKSHOP
A fun, hour-long class open to anyone of any age or level of movement experience. As participants tune into the circular rhythms used to sustain the hooping action, they experience a blissful harmony of the self in motion. Hooping helps develop fluidity of motion. It also helps motivate and tone the core muscles. This workshop offers an energetic and accessible way to connect the body into a three-dimensional kinetic environment.

1 PM. Roger Kent ’89: PHYSICAL STRENGTH AND GRACE – AN INTRODUCTION TO BALLET
One of the most discliplined of art forms and movement traditions, ballet has been used by dancers and athletes as a way to develop physical strength and grace- and for professionals, it has served as a vehiclbe to reach high levels of artistic and physical expression. In this hour long class, we will focus on basic movement concepts and key benefits of the ballet technique. The goal will be to enjoy an easy warm up and exciting movement combinations in the center, combining modern dance with ballet. Using the barre for the first half of class as a way to develop strength through support and balance, participants will enjoy exercises that will gradually increase in difficulty based on principals from the Alexander technique and moving off “one’s center”. The second half of the class will be an opportunity to enjoy a full range of movement and explore the technique with soaring jumps, turns, and exciting combinations. All ages and levels welcome.

2PM. TRIBUTE TO BESSIE SCHONBERG
Join us in paying tribute to Bessie Schonberg in honor of her one hundredth birthday year. Hear presentations by Cheryl Cutler (founder of Wesleyan’s Dance Department). Wendy Blum ’87 and Clarinda MacLow ’87, and see films of Bessie, including footage of her teaching and advising students. All are welcome to celebrate the many contributions of Bessie Schonberg who, in the seventy years of her teaching and mentorship, challenged and inspired both dance students and professional choreographers through her passion for dance and the creative process.

3PM. Darrah Carr ’96: IRISH STEP, STEPPIN AND STOMPIN
Non-dancers and dancers alike are invited to an invigorating dance lesson inspired by the traditions of Ireland. Catch a glimpse of history by learning Irish social dances and see how a contemporary dance company keeps the tradition alive by blending Irish music, footwork, and spatial patterns with modern dance.

4PM. Emily Watts ’03: IMPROVISATION AS TOOL FOR CHOREOGRAPHY
Currently working on some ongoing choreographic research through classes/workshops involving de-constructing and then incongruously reconstructing the movement and ritual of the modern American wedding, Emily will bring aspects of this work to participants in this class. We will warm up bodies and voices, learn some set movement and improvise with what we discover. Basically, we will create a ritual/party/event using the work in the class. No technical requirements.

5PM. Eva Silverstein ’98: MASTER CLASS WITH THE SILVER-BROWN DANCE COMPANY
Join Eva Silverstein and the SBD Company for a fast-paced romp through her signature movement style, fusing athletic daring and classical modern dance. Emphasis will be on rhythmic exploration and airborne movement (jumping!). All levels welcome.