Workshops and Classes

Festival 2010 News Release

Sacred Dance Flash Mob Benefit July 29

Teen Dancer Inspires Flash Mob

Former Alvin Ailey Dancer Simply Soaring

An Artist Reflects on the Festival Logo

Faculty Concert Poster


Dance Technique Classes

Rising to New Heights
Presenter: Wesley Yarbor

Bend, jump, turn, and move – all with uplifting joy in this modern jazz dance technique class inspired by a blend of styles from Alvin Ailey to Luigi. Dancers of all levels will experience exercises and combinations designed to charge up your energy, liberate your body, free your spirit and get you soaring.

Wesley Yarbor danced for seven years with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and with Riverside Dance Company at New York's Riverside Church. Wesley worked with choreographers Judith Jamison, Twyla Tharp and Anna Sokolow and also performed on Broadway in the musical Dancin'. A resident of West Haven, Connecticut, he teaches dance at the University of New Haven and also works with sacred dance companies in his local area.

Soaring from Within
Connecting Breath, Bone, Muscle and Soul

Presenter: Natasha Royka

Uplifting music, breath and meditative movement quality create a technique class that lifts the body and soul into a place of potential and well being. Evolving out of Natasha's experience teaching the Pilates Method, Classical Ballet Technique and Contemporary Technique (Limon) this class will present the possibilities of dance technique in a nurturing, moving atmosphere. Soaring from Within will breath the magic of movement into dancers of all experience levels and backgrounds - From the newbie to dance to the seasoned mover through space.

Natasha Royka weaves her background in classical ballet technique, modern dance, and Pilates work into movement that speaks to the mind, body and soul. She has taught dance throughout North America. Natasha's theatrical dance work includes performances for the Ottawa Lumiere Festival, Christmas Lights across Canada, Dance Kapital, Informal Presentations (Quebec City) as well as First Night (Kelowna BC) and choreographic work for theater. She is an alumni of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Massachusetts's Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASSMoCA) Directing Dance for Camera Workshop.

The NIA Technique
Dance Arts – Moving Arts - Healing Arts

Presenter: Lisa Howard

NIA combines dance, healing, and movement arts to help connect you to your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. NIA is a body-based approach to learning, designed to allow students to develop and participate in their own way. The body is used for exploration, discovery, and sensory experiences. The mind is used to focus, witness, and direct attention. The emotional body is used to create a personal experience and to sense the body-mind connection. The spirit (which is unique to each person) is used to recognize personal power, expand self-healing, and uniquely express the self.

Lisa Howard is a Certified Black Belt NIA Instructor, has a BA in Dance, and has performed and taught for 30 years in ballet, modern dance, jazz, social dance, and musical comedy. Lisa traveled the world on cruise ships as a dancer/singer and assistant cruise director. She presented NIA at workshops, retreats, and fitness conventions: DCAC, IDEA, White House Athletic Center, USA Today. Lisa was featured on Reuters News Network, FOX News, Washington Post, Washington Women, and Washingtonian Magazines. She choreographed and directed "Genesis" a program of poetry, art, and dance at The Ratner Museum in Maryland.

Soaring In & Beyond Technique
Presenter: L’Ana Burton

Floor & standing modern technique with emphasis on breath, length & stretch. We will be doing a solid warm-up using technical work, but then will soar beyond the technique layer to play with movement as we explore some interesting improvisational tools. The emphasis will be on taking care of our own bodies and experiencing community through improvisations. For dancers of all technical levels.

L'Ana Burton has been dancing continuously since age three when she stepped into her first ballet class. Her early dance training stems from the Alvin Ailey School and the Joffrey Ballet School. She received an AA degree in Childhood Education and turned to teaching children about the joys of creative dance. In 1984, L’Ana founded Creative Dance Continuum (CDC) in the dance department at Connecticut College. She has directed this program, CDC for ages 4 through adult ever since. L'Ana is a Master Teaching Artist through the State of Connecticut Commission on Tourism and Culture, having created over one hundred in-school dance residencies to connect dance to the curriculum. She is part of the state's HOTS program which joins artists with classroom teachers to collaborate and integrate arts education. An avid yoga practitioner, as well as an Interplayer, L'Ana has also recently been enjoying a return to performing.

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