The Time Is Now.

This is a distressing time in our history. We watched the brutal murder of an unarmed, black man on the streets of Minneapolis on video on Monday, May 25, adding to the United States’ legacy of police victimizing its black citizenry. TU Dance is proud to be a black-led organization based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We have received a great deal of support from our community while remaining steadfast in the pursuit of equal access to ALL PEOPLE to world-class dance that transforms us and connects us to our shared humanity. At the same time, we are hurting right now because we cannot deny that humanity is upheld for some, but not all of us.

Here at TU Dance, we are asking ourselves: What more can we do?

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King

We ask that you join us in the pursuit of justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and countless others black, brown and trans people whose names are not forgotten.

Many Twin Cities businesses have been burned down, constricting and in some cases eliminating families’ access to food and essential household items. Here is a resource sheet connecting you to places that are providing help in the Twin Cities. Taking a more long-term approach to the systemic issues we face, consider joining and supporting Campaign Zero. From their website, “Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.”

Within the TU Dance community, we continue to offer dance classes keeping in mind those who need to connect with others and find healing through making art. We are Taking time and space to reset with elder community member, Ms. Mary K. Boyd. We plan to create a Facebook group as a network, support system and resource sharing platform for our families, teachers, accompanists and staff during this time. Our students will also be reflecting on written prompts and collaborating with artists from the graffiti community to create a mural on the plywood boards that are currently protecting TU Dance Center. The intention is that this artwork will stand as a reminder of this time and part of the landscape once our doors are open again.

We are here to remind you that dance will always matter to us and that you matter to us. Continue to take care of yourselves during this time, and as you have the ability to do so, please lend a hand. The social and political framework that condones systemic white violence against black and brown bodies in this country must come to an end. The time is now.

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King JR

From all of us at TU Dance

Kari Mosel, TU Dance Development & Marketing Coordinator

We are excited to welcome Kari Mosel as TU Dance’s new Development & Marketing Coordinator. Kari has created several promotional materials for TU Dance’s company and school and has helped to manage TU Dance’s video archives. Kari has many years of experience working in several positions in the dance field, both as an artist and administrator.

Kari Mosel originally hails from Eau Claire, Wisconsin where she grew up riding horses, climbing trees and tripping over her own feet. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota in 2004. During that time she began a nearly two-decade journey with Shapiro & Smith Dance, performing with them from 2002-2019 and continuing to serve as their board treasurer. She was also a company member and teaching artist with Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater from 2006-2018. In 2012 Kari was nominated for a SAGE Dance Award for “Outstanding Performer”and in 2013 she was a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers. Kari has been assisting TU Dance with video editing and promotional materials since 2014. She received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Photography and Digital Imaging in the Spring of 2018.

Support TU Dance During the Give-At-Home-MN Campaign

Greetings from TU Dance!

We hope you and your loved ones are well. 

TU Dance, like most nonprofits, businesses, and individuals has been impacted by the effects of the current situation. Since the beginning, our concern and response has been filled with compassion and care. We continue to fulfill our mission by working to:

  • Ensure everyone remains safe
  • Ensure our TU Dance Center students continue to dance and be inspired
  • Ensure our Staff, Dancers, Teaching Artists, Accompanists, and others who depend on TU Dance are considered in our decision making
  • Ensure we continue to listen to the needs of our community 

As we deal with the ever changing situation, some decisions have not been easy. We were saddened that the company Spring Season at The Cowles Center, which included four world premieres, had to be cancelled due to gathering restrictions. Several TU Dance Experiences –our field trip program to TU Dance Center– were cancelled, as well as the TU Dance Center Spring Student Showcase, which was scheduled for June 13. All of these cancellations have a direct impact on our students, artists, patrons, and the community at large.

The School at TU Dance Center programs were reimagined to an online platform. We were amazed by the courage, passion, and creativity of our staff, teaching artists, and accompanists. They dedicated many hours to learn, reinvent, and adapt to this new reality. Since the classes were transferred to the virtual world, we are proud that:

  • Our Pre-Professional and Children & Teen programs’ previous enrollment has remained consistent, while new students have been joining our programs. Currently 158 students are taking classes online!
  • 24 teachers and 11 accompanists continue to be employed. 
  • The financial aid application process has been reopened and we have allocated additional funds beyond what was originally budgeted to our TU Dance Access Fund to aid families affected by the current circumstances.
  • We reduced the tuition of new adult and Dancing Together workshops by 33%.
  • We offered, in collaboration with teaching artist DejaJoelle, Quarantine Love: Self-Care During a Pandemic, a workshop specially created in response to the current situation.
  • We are offering three free weekly online classes with an average participation of 30 local, national, and international students.

The loss of revenue from unrealized performance ticket sales, educational programming cancellations, reduced tuition fees, hosting open community classes at no charge and increased financial aid, among other things, has created stress on TU Dance’s finances. Meanwhile, our commitment to the community has not ceased. We have taken every effort to support our artists during this difficult time. With imagination, we’ve continued to fulfill our mission and remain steadfast with the connective power of dance. 

From May 1- 8, TU Dance joins the GiveMN’s #GiveAtHomeMN campaign. We invite you to participate in building this new chapter of our story. Your contribution to TU Dance willhelp us maintain and create new and needed programming while we support all of those who make TU Dance’s mission a reality. Please consider making a donation to TU Dance by visiting: www.givemn.org/organization/TU-Dance

Together we will get through this!

All of us at TU Dance

Virtual Quarantine Love: Self-Care During a Pandemic with DejaJoelle

This class is for all levels and all walks of life. During this time of uncertainty, the one thing you can count on is your body and spirit bringing you through. Utilizing meditations, movement, and affirmation. Unwind, decompress, manifest, and visualize the world you want to walk FORWARD into. All ages are welcome: low-intensity movement– mostly stretching and extensions.

Fridays, 2:00-3:30pm 

Session A: April 24-May 15 

Session B: May 22-Jun2 12

Cost: $40.00

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Student Name:

*Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants.

DejaJoelle uses Traditional West African Dance and Black social dance to create an aesthetic that promotes healing and Self – Love. DejaJoelle is an interdisciplinary artist who is guided by ancestral dance and healing. Deja believes Self – Love is the first step in healing from your past and ensuring the fullness of your present. Through dance, mindfulness, Self – reflection, and affirmation, Deja is developing a dance aesthetic that promotes/evokes healing. In addition to dance, Deja creates intentional spaces for otherwise marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ2, BIPOC and Deaf community. Recent intentional space holding created for the Minneapolis Institute of Art under the title Discover Yourself: Golden Season, which was a day-long healing conference in collaboration with local Healing Artists with workshops including: Black Pleasure, Finding your Divinity, Body Reclamation, Afro Futurism, Sound Bathing, and many more. DejaJoelle, believes  dance and healing should be fully accessible, and curated this conference to be completely free including childcare and food. In addition, DejaJoelle is proficient in American Sign Language and is intentional about making space for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. DejaJoelle continues to activate this work at Northside Healing Space where she directs her dance company BLAQ and holds community Dance and Healing Sessions and activities monthly. She works closely with Dr. Joi Lewis, a nationally known Healer, Author, and Joy instigator to deepen her research in solidifying her healing practice. Her ultimate goals include guiding herself and others to their higher selves, creating stronger community ties, and building an accessible revolution. “I believe in movement that brings life to the dancer’s experience. I’m based in traditional West African dance and informed by life experiences. I believe in dancing from the inside out. With rhythm. With love.”

Photo by Maya Clark

Virtual Adult Beginning Modern Workshop with Lori Mercil

During these two 4-week virtual workshops Lori will focus on helping students feel a sense of both release and groundedness, using breath and imagery, while also finding our inner strength, alignment, and connection to ourselves and the world from our own living rooms and kitchens. A gentle, easy to follow warm-up will be followed by simple movement patterns that play with rhythm, spatial awareness, and movement qualities, doing our best to move “big” in a small space.

Mondays, 12:00-1:30pm

Session 2A: April 20- May 11
Session 2B: May 18- June 15 (no class on May 25)

Cost: $40.00 per session (pre-registration required). Participants will be emailed the class link.

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Please select one option below :
Student Name:

In addition to earning a BFA in Dance from the U of MT, Lori earned summer scholarships for further study at the Martha Graham School in NYC, and Repertory Dance Theater in Salt Lake City, and has taught and/or performed ballet, jazz, modern, and creative movement in Montana, Oregon, Japan, and the Twin Cities. Locally, Lori has taught jazz, modern, ballet, hip hop, and creative movement at various locations, including Ballare Teatro, Elev8, Zenon, and Young Dance. Lori currently dances with the Christopher Watson Dance Company, and MotionArt, and has danced with Becky Heist, Hauser Dance, Karla Grotting, Link Vostok , Marciano Silva dos Santos, Marylee Hardenbergh, Off-Leash Area, and Una Setia. Lori has shown her own work at Hauser Dance, Kinetic Kitchen, Dances at the Lakes, and Solstice River, and is currently co-producer/choreographer for Global Water Dances, Minneapolis, and 16 Feet (an annual choreographers’ showcase).

Virtual Adult Beginning Ballet Workshop with Tina Anderson

These two 4-week ballet technique workshops emphasizes alignment, placement and somatic awareness. The class consists of barre and center work that focuses on balance, classical line, connecting steps, and simple turns and jumps.

Tina Anderson Wallum’s 23-year performing career included principal and soloist work with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Ballet Minnesota, Ballet Arts Minnesota, Ballet of the Dolls, Savannah Ballet, The Contemporary Ballet Company, and Pennsylvania Ballet. She holds her BS from Radford University in Virginia. She has taught ballet classes for Ballet Arts Minnesota, Ballet Minnesota, Classical Ballet Academy, Chinese Dance Theater and is currently teaching at the University of Minnesota. Her current scholarly research is in Mind-Body Centering and somatics where she is devoted to creating a sense of embodiment in her students.

Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm

Session 2A: April 21- May 12
Session 2B: May 19- June 9

Cost: $40.00 per session (pre-registration required). Participants will be emailed class link

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Sessions (please select one option below) :
Student Name:

Virtual Dancing Together

These two 4-week sessions are designed for children (ages 2-4) and their parent/caregiver who are interested in a shared movement experience that engages the senses of curiosity and play. Both child and caregiver will participate in developmentally-appropriate movement exercises that incorporate elements such as effort, shape, and tempo. Music will play an essential role in the class as students will be asked to respond to sounds as well as make sounds themselves. Participants will be encouraged to join at their own comfort level with the understanding that observation is often the best form of learning with younger children. This class will give children and caregivers the opportunity to learn more about themselves and one another through the art form of dance.

Attire: Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and bare feet.

Saturdays, 9:00-9:45am

Session 2A: April 18- May 9 (4 weeks)
Session 2B: May 16- June 6 (4 weeks)

Cost: $40 per workshop (Pre-registration required. Participants will be emailed the class link)

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below

Please select one option below :
Child and Parent/Caregiver Name and Lastname:

Virtual open classes at TU Dance Center

As we take this moment of reflection along with the rest of the world and determine how we can best offer our TU Dance Center programming during this time of physical distancing, it is important to express our great desire to continue moving with you all and to stay connected through the artform of dance.

We would like to offer the following virtual classes with TU Dance Center teaching artists from now until June 12, 2020:

  • Tuesdays, 10:00-11:00am: Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Penny Freeh and Abdo Sayegh, Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/322489956
  • Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00am: GYROKINESIS® Method with Wendy Anderson (please have an armless chair/stool and yoga mat/blanket readily available) Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/254720746
  • Fridays, 10:00-11:00am: Afro-Contemporary with Alanna Morris- Van Tassel, Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/746489791

For updated open class schedule visit http://www.tudance.org/openschedule/

If you would like to donate for participating in these offerings or simply make a gift to the organization, please click here. Your support of TU Dance will ensure that we continue to be able to offer these classes.

We look forward to seeing you in our classes!

Photo: (from left to right) Wendy Anderson, Penelope Freeh, Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Abdo Sayegh

Virtual Classes at TU Dance Center, 3/25 and 3/27

Wendy Anderson and Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

As we take this moment of reflection along with the rest of the world and determine how we can best offer our TU Dance Center programming during this time of physical distancing, it is important to express our great desire to continue moving with you all and to stay connected through the artform of dance.

We would like to offer 2 free virtual classes this week with TU Dance Center teaching artists:

  • Wednesday March 25, 10:00-11:00am: GYROKINESIS® with Wendy Anderson (please have an armless chair/stool and yoga mat/blanket readily available) Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/328981269
  • Friday March 27, 10:00-11:00am: Afro-Contemporary with Alanna Morris- Van Tassel, Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/868662049

How to Donate:

  • If you would like to donate for participating in these offerings or simply make a gift to the organization during this time, please click here.

We look forward to connecting soon!

Open Classes Cancelled (March 16-29)

As we continue to stay updated on the unfolding situation with COVID-19, we have decided to cancel all morning and afternoon open classes for the next 2 weeks. (March 16-29)

These decisions are not easy and our intention is to keep the TU Dance community (as well as the community at large) as healthy as possible.

We will stay in touch with updates about The School at TU Dance Center Programming.

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