YOUTH CLASS DESCRIPTIONS
PRE BALLET (ages 5-7): The Pre Ballet class will focus on learning the fundamentals of ballet with an emphasis on ballet's basic patterns and coordination, while maintaining an atmosphere of positivity and FUN. Ballet can sometimes feel very serious and hard, but the goal for the kids will be to show them that even though things may be challenging, that doesn’t mean they are failing.
Instructor: Leah Fournier
CREATIVE MOVEMENT (ages 5-7): A fun movement class focusing on learning new patterns, understanding rhythms, and exploring creative impulses. Class will include movement games as well phrases across the floor with an emphasis on play, developing a more clear body awareness, and their own movement voice.
Instructor: Leah Fournier
YOUTH MODERN (ages 8-12): An introduction to Modern dance for early adolescents, this class will include floor work, combinations across the floor, and performance skills. By watching and integrating movement into their own bodies, student will be encouraged to develop their own, unqiue style.
Instructor: Robyn Coady
BALLET I (ages 8-12): This ballet class is filled with technical exercises and movement games that enhance coordination, strength, and support the students love of dance! We combine classical ballet technique with anatomical and compositional improvisations that offer a creative relationship to the Ballet form.
Instructor: Robyn Coady
BALLET II (ages 13+): This class is geared towards older students who want a more creative and personal experience in Ballet class. The class is rigorous and fun, working on strength, flexibility and coordination with a sense of play and joy of dance.
Instructor: Jenny Bennett
DEVISING PHYSICAL THEATER (ages 13+): Devising theater is a method of collaborative theater making. This class is open to beginning and advanced students of theater or dance. Participants will learn how to generate content collaboratively, how to identify which themes are important to the group, then how to explore these themes through physicality, movement, and gesture. We will examine the process of growing an original physical theater piece that is visual and visceral. Participants can expect to make work that is unique to the individual lives, questions, aspirations, and imagination of the class. Together we will tap into the incredible and beautiful power of collective intelligence.
Instructor: Chris Gonzalez
ABOUT THE TEACHERS
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF HATCHERY
BALLET II, HATCHERY, BEG/INT ADULT MODERN
Jenny Bennett holds a BFA from the University of Massachusetts, where she had the privilege to study with and perform works by Fritha Pengelly, Terese Freedman, Jen Rosenblit, Robert Battle, Trisha Brown/ Abby Yager, and Doug Varone/ Eddie Taketa. While living in San Francisco, she performed with The Riley Project, Stacey Swan/ Daymare, and Kelly Bowker at The Garage and Counterpulse. In New York, she collaborated and performed with Meghan Fredrick at Greenspace, Movement Research, and at The Judson Church. She has taught at studios across MA and the Chicago area, as well as creative movement in elementary schools through The San Francisco Arts Education Project and Yoga through mindfulness education at R.H. Conwell Elementary. Current influential teachers include Corinne Andrews, Patty Townsend (Embodyoga®) and Jenn Nugent. Recently she worked with Kate Seethaler and Barbie Diewald, performing at Smith, University Settlement, Jacob’s Pillow and in Residency at A.P.E. Gallery. Photo by Jim Coleman.
BALLET I, YOUTH MODERN
Robyn Coady is graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her creative work ranges from dance, documentary filmaking, short film and experimental theater. Robyn has performed with David Newman and Stacey Dawson at PS 122, Mass MOCA, and the Brooklyn Bandshell. Robyn’s work attempts to extract and frame the inexplicable comedy that makes up what matters in our life. The foundation of her work is based on personal, transpersonal, and mystical elements. As a teacher Robyn is committed to helping her students foster self awareness and expressive freedom. Robyn is also a devoted yoga teacher and practitioner for over 20 years.
OPERATIONS MANAGER, SCDT
Leah is an improvisor, dancer, and dance-maker born and raised in Lewiston, Maine. She graduated from Indiana University in 2015, and has since collaborated with and performed in works by Angie Hauser, Chris Aiken, Sara Shelton Mann, Jennifer Polins, Selene Carter, Elizabeth Shea, Autumn Eckman, Emily Lukasewski, and Shaina Cantino. She has been part of numerous site specific performances including Mill Town with Stephan Koplowitz at the Bates Dance Festival in 2017, at The Yard and along the Martha’s Vineyard coastline with OceA Wilderness Dance in 2015, and at the Indiana University Art Museum in 2013 and 2014. Her work has been presented in Detroit, Philadephia, Indiana, and Massachusetts, and she is currently in process with a new work alongside frequent collaborator and creative partner, Amelia Koper Heintzelman. Leah currently resides in Easthampton, MA where she works at the School for Contemporary Dance & Thought, and teaches at Pioneer Valley Ballet where she is developing a movement class for people with varied physical abilities.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
DEVISING PHYSICAL THEATER (YOUTH & ADULTS)
Chris Gonzalez is the Artistic Director of Water Or Bread Theater, a Devised Physical Theater company based in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has devised theater with a youth education troupe at Northampton High School. Chris has just finished filming a full length Devised Physical Theater piece called "The Restaurant", which he acted in, directed, wrote and produced. Chris was a recipient of the James Baldwin Memorial Scholarship Fund for Playwriting from Umass Amherst, where he studies theater. At Umass Chris has studied with a concentration on performance, and has recently had the honor of playing Shakespeare’s Othello. Chris also has been a featured poet around Massachusetts for the past 5 years, performing alongside International Slam Champions Saul Williams and Shane Koyczan. Chris’s first book of poetry, "the end or the beginning of water", will be published this fall by Human Error Press.