Soulfood Sessions with Aneka McMullen

Join Young Dance Artist-In-Residence Aneka McMullen and collaborator Tamiko French for this series, Soulfood Sessions, exploring pranayama breath work and sound bath meditation. 

Saturdays, January 22, 29, and February 5
5:00–6:30 p.m.
Cash donations for the artists accepted.

The mission of Soulfood Sessions is to supercharge the mind, body, and spirit. This practice utilizes breathwork, sound healing, and movement meditation while targeting the chakras (internal energy centers of the body) to relieve the stress of daily life and clear internal energy blockages. During the series, we will build community and gather tools to help ourselves and each other recharge mental, physical, and spiritual health during pandemic times and beyond.

Ages 7+
No experience necessary.

Vaccination or negative PCR test within 72 hours required. Masks required.

Participation in all sessions is encouraged. 

For more information, or to share go to: https://fb.me/e/1tSYd4QPE. Registration recommended at: https://forms.gle/QqGrQCBduCNMBSEi9

Moving Practice with Ruby Josephine Smith Tuesdays in January

Moving Practice is a weekly class series for professional dancers. Classes prioritize rigor, diversity of contemporary aesthetics, variety of class content, and commitment. Professional level dancers of all styles are welcome.

Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30AM at The Arena

Ruby Josephine Smith teaches throughout January.

These contemporary classes focus on finding individual flow in the body and exploring different, contrasting qualities of movement through improvisation and phrasework. Fluidity, breath, and expression tend to be at the core of my work and practice, so we will use these themes to get back in touch with the beautifully internal experience of moving and dancing that then can be radiated out to audiences and observers. This will be done through exercises connecting breath and movement and finding flow from the spine and core, guided improvisations using images and sensations, and a combination taught at the end that aims to bring all the themes of class together, leaving room for the dancer to play within the set movement.

Ruby Josephine Smith is a contemporary dance artist and choreographer, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her curiosity and passion launched her into a life of travel, continuing her self-driven training at studios, workshops and intensives around Europe. She finally landed in Tangier, Morocco, where she was based for the past 7 years until recently relocating back to the Twin Cities. In Tangier she taught regular classes at Le Conservatoire D’Art et de Musique and Positive School, as well as taught workshops and masterclasses around the country. As an experienced choreographer, her expressive, fluid and narrative work has been showcased in festivals around Morocco and Southern Europe, and commissioned by institutions such as the US Embassy of Morocco’s Cultural Department and the French Institute of Morocco. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from internationally renowned dance artists, including Pau Aran Gimeno of Tanztheater Wuppertal and Brazilian choreographer Natalia Fernandes. She currently teaches, creates and performs in Minneapolis, giving regular classes at Zenon Dance School and Circus Juventas. Ruby believes strongly in the power of dance to tell stories, explore personal expression, and form human connections.

Pre-register at https://www.arena-dances.org/the-arena/
Flexible pricing and free parking!

Join us for Amy Jones’ Pilates mat class from 9:15-10:00am before Moving Practice. Take both for just $25!

Creative Movement Workshop 2.0

Thanks to the wonderful movers who came to last month’s workshop and made it such a success, Creative Movement 2.0 is now here!

More about this workshop: Creative Movement is a hybrid class (in studio or online) made for adult movers who are just beginning to enter, or re-enter, a movement practice and are curious about improvisation within the realm of contemporary dance. However, more experienced movers are also welcome in order to explore their own practice in a relaxed and open environment.

This workshop will include a group warm-up, several layers of prompted improvisation, and a shared improvisation score set to music. The atmosphere is welcoming and celebratory of all styles, levels, and abilities. It is a chance to explore your own body and self through motion and flow, bringing out your authentic movement voice. Let’s have fun, be playful, and get curious together through dance.

About the instructor: Ruby Josephine Smith is a contemporary dance artist and choreographer, born and raised in Minneapolis. She has spent the majority of her dance career abroad, living in Tangier, Morocco for 7 years, choreographing, teaching and training around the country as well as in festivals and workshops around Europe. In Morocco, she choreographed several full-length performance pieces, sponsored by the US Embassy, American Language Centers, and the French Institute. She also leads masterclasses at international schools around the world in using movement as a form of story-telling and improving emotional literacy. Ruby moved back to Minneapolis about a year ago and now teaches regularly at Zenon Dance School, Circus Juventas, leads virtual yoga sessions, and works as a freelance choreographer and performer.

Free Mask Workshop for Dancers with Off-Leash Area

In tandem with casting for our 2022 mainstage production, Minotaur, Off-Leash Area is offering two Theatrical Mask Performance Workshops for Dancers. Professional dancers are invited to attend free of charge. Previous mask experience is not required.

Saturday, January 29 – 5:00-7:00pm
Sunday, January 30 – 6:00-8:00pm

at TU Dance Center, 2121 University Ave, St. Paul. Directly behind the Subway restaurant.

Mask performance is an excellent bridge vocabulary between theatrical characterization and dance performance. For the performer, it can be liberating, empowering, and transformative, unleashing untapped reservoirs of energy and imagination.

​Participants will undertake group physical warm-ups geared towards training in mask performance. Participants will don one or more masks in different styles, and present brief improvisations to the group.

Limited space to allow distancing. N95 masks required. For full details and Covid protocols, visit www.offleasharea.org/auditionworkshops

To sign up for one of both of the workshops or for questions, contact Off-Leash Area at offleash@offleasharea.org

A designated audition for Minotaur will occur on February 6. Theatrical Mask performance will be an integral vocabulary in the production, so those interested in auditioning are highly encouraged to attend a workshop, and will receive priority for the limited spots.

Raising the Barre for Mental Health – A Dance Teacher Workshop Series

Mental health is as important as physical health for healthy, happy dancers. Minding the Gap presents a workshop curated in five sessions, each presented by an accredited professional.

All sessions online from 12:30pm–1:30pm:

#1 – February 6, 2022
Common mental health challenges for dancers, signs of distress, and what actions can be taken.
Presenter: Josh Spell MSW, LICSW– consulting mental health professional to Pacific Northwest Ballet.

#2 – February 20, 2022
Tough love in teaching. What is it? How is it done correctly? Unlearning problematic methods from our past and moving on with a mental health approach to dance pedagogy.
Presenter: Jo-Anne La Flèche, MPsy, MA Dance – consulting psychologist to l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

#3 – March 6, 2022
Language Matters: Shifting how we speak about food and bodies to prevent eating disorders and improve dancer health.
Presenter: Monika Saigal, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, CDN – nutritionist and eating disorder expert based in New York City.

#4 – March 20, 2022
Productive, proactive communication. How to engage students and dancers on the tough topics and disappointments.
Presenter: Jackson Jirard, M.Ed – Education psychology specialist and dance educator, associate director of Urban Improv at Rehearsal For Life in Massachusetts.

#5 – April 3, 2022
How to support an injured dancer. Best practices to get the dancer back into the studio strong both mentally and physically.
Presenter: Marissa Schaeffer, PT, DPT, CSCS – licensed physical therapist and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in New York City.

VITALITY – Creativity Through The Body

Move your body and free your mind in a one-of-a-kind class at REM5 VR Lab in St. Louis Park, MN.

This five-week course will introduce you to new ways of staying active both physically and mentally. Bringing together two artforms and new technology, James Sewell and Sheila Asato will teach integrated classes to utilize movement in the physical and virtual worlds.

By the end of the course you’ll have new ways to move and practice coordination through James’ COORDI system, and also have your own piece of VR artwork that you can show to your friends.

*This course is available to all abilities. No VR experience necessary. Space is limited, only 10 spots available.

Course Focus and Key Takeaways:

  • Neuroplasticity
  • Movement and coordination
  • Meditation and imagination
  • Art and creativity in Virtual Reality
  • Learning new things and having fun!

This is a five-week course on Tuesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm; February 8, 15, 22, 29, and March 8. Each day will start with coffee and snacks, then move into physical movement practice. We’ll take breaks regularly, then shift into creation inside of VR. $250.

COVID-19 protocol: This event will be a small group practice of around 13 people in an 8,000 square foot space. We will be wearing masks when we are around others and doing group activities. Each person will have their own VR POD with their own headset that will be properly sanitized and not shared with anyone else during class.

Free bodyART® Classes at Hothouse

Join movement teachers Christina Redondo and Alexa Lautenbach for a special movement practice! Christina and Alexa are partnering up to bring you bodyART® for FREE for the course of three sessions. Welcome in the new year with something different.

bodyART® is a physical therapy based movement system that focuses on injury prevention, pain reduction and sustainable longevity. A non-religious, fully-functional training system, specifically designed to improve strength, cardiovascular endurance, joint mobility and achieve holistic balance, physically, psychologically and emotionally.

This class is open to all experiences and encourages anyone from professional dancers to new comers to movement. Class is practiced barefoot and on a mat. We hope to see you there!

Classes are located at Hothouse NE in the Kennedy Building located on the 4th floor. Free parking on site.

Soulfood Sessions with Aneka McMullen

Join Young Dance Artist-In-Residence Aneka McMullen and collaborator Tamiko French for this four-part series, Soulfood Sessions, exploring pranayama breathwork and sound bath meditation. 

Saturdays, January 15, 22, 29, and February 5
5:00–6:30 p.m.
Cash donations for the artists accepted.

The mission of Soulfood Sessions is to supercharge the mind, body, and spirit. This practice utilizes breathwork, sound healing, and movement meditation while targeting the chakras (internal energy centers of the body) to relieve the stress of daily life and clear internal energy blockages. During the series, we will build community and gather tools to help ourselves and each other recharge mental, physical, and spiritual health during pandemic times and beyond.

Ages 7+
No experience necessary.

Vaccination or negative PCR test within 72 hours required. Masks required.

Participation in all four sessions is encouraged. 

For more information, or to share go to: https://fb.me/e/1tSYd4QPE.
Registration recommended at:
https://forms.gle/QqGrQCBduCNMBSEi9

Ruby Josephine Smith Teaches Moving Practice, Tuesdays in January

Moving Practice is a weekly class series for professional dancers. Classes prioritize rigor, diversity of contemporary aesthetics, variety of class content, and commitment. Professional level dancers of all styles are welcome.

Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30AM at The Arena

Ruby Josephine Smith teaches throughout January.

These contemporary classes focus on finding individual flow in the body and exploring different, contrasting qualities of movement through improvisation and phrasework. Fluidity, breath, and expression tend to be at the core of my work and practice, so we will use these themes to get back in touch with the beautifully internal experience of moving and dancing that then can be radiated out to audiences and observers. This will be done through exercises connecting breath and movement and finding flow from the spine and core, guided improvisations using images and sensations, and a combination taught at the end that aims to bring all the themes of class together, leaving room for the dancer to play within the set movement.

Ruby Josephine Smith is a contemporary dance artist and choreographer, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her curiosity and passion launched her into a life of travel, continuing her self-driven training at studios, workshops and intensives around Europe. She finally landed in Tangier, Morocco, where she was based for the past 7 years until recently relocating back to the Twin Cities. In Tangier she taught regular classes at Le Conservatoire D’Art et de Musique and Positive School, as well as taught workshops and masterclasses around the country. As an experienced choreographer, her expressive, fluid and narrative work has been showcased in festivals around Morocco and Southern Europe, and commissioned by institutions such as the US Embassy of Morocco’s Cultural Department and the French Institute of Morocco. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from internationally renowned dance artists, including Pau Aran Gimeno of Tanztheater Wuppertal and Brazilian choreographer Natalia Fernandes. She currently teaches, creates and performs in Minneapolis, giving regular classes at Zenon Dance School and Circus Juventas. Ruby believes strongly in the power of dance to tell stories, explore personal expression, and form human connections.

Pre-register at https://www.arena-dances.org/the-arena/
Flexible pricing and free parking!

Join us for Amy Jones’ Pilates mat class from 9:15-10:00am before Moving Practice. Take both for just $25!

McKnight Worksample Zoom Workshop

Join Dana Kassel and Colin Edwards from The Cowles’ McKnight Fellowship Programs for a free, one-hour Zoom webinar on how to make a compelling video work sample. The Zoom link will be emailed to participants the week of the workshop.

The focus will be on offering tips for creating a compelling video work sample for applicants for the McKnight Dancer and Choreographer Fellowships, with some additional information on creating work samples for other grants and uses. We will be joined by a McKnight Fellow who will offer insights from an applicant’s point of view. We’ll allow plenty of time for specific questions from participants.

The McKnight Fellowships for Dancers and Choreographers has been a part of The Cowles Center’s offerings since 2015. Each year we award six $25,000 unrestricted grants to dance artists (three dancers and three choreographers) and provide additional support for career and artistic development.

Free to attend. Pre-register: https://www.thecowlescenter.org/tickets/worksampleworkshop