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 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.

Open and master classes with Yusha-Marie Sorzano, March 17, 21 and 23 (CANCELLED)

Yusha studio

Yusha-Marie Sorzano blends her wealth of professional experience with her Caribbean-American heritage to concentrate on codified techniques and artistic intention. Mixing floor work, improvisation, and a variety of musicalities and rhythms, she aims to impart and augment the participant’s ability to draw from the diverse spectrum of dance.

Open/Company Ballet Classes: Tuesdays, March 17 and 23 | 9:30-11:00am
Cost: $15/class or $130/10-class card; payable by cash, check, debit/credit card, or class card at TUDC.

Contemporary Master Class: Saturday, March 21 | 2:00-3:30pm
Cost: $18; online pre-registration recommended below.

Student Name & Email Address:

TU Dance Center is located at 2121 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114. Find us on the north side of University Avenue, one block east of Vandalia, located directly behind Subway on the building’s east side. Free parking in the lot in front of TU Dance Center and in the north side lot accessible by Vandalia and Charles (master class only).

Guest Artist Bio: Originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Yusha-Marie Sorzano has been a member of Ailey II, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, and BODYTRAFFIC. She has also performed as a guest artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. She is currently a member of Camille A. Brown & Dancers. As a choreographer, Ms. Sorzano has created works for Santa Barbara Dance Theater, New Century Dance Project, The Ailey School, The Joffrey Ballet School, and The Windward School. Ms. Sorzano was a part of the creative team for NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” acting as a movement consultant to John Legend and curating promotional material for the live event. She has been the recipient of the Alvin Ailey Foundations New Directions Choreography Lab and the National YoungArts Foundations Artist In Residence for dance. Ms. Sorzano is Co-Artistic director of Zeitgeist Dance Theatre, a new concert dance company launched in 2020.

Photo by Eric Politzer

 

 

Dancing Your Story Workshop, July 8-August 26

Join teaching artists Thern Anderson & Mary Moore Easter in a dance and writing workshop with curriculum designed for adults ages 55+. Participants will explore creative exercises in which the two art forms are inextricably linked and expand their range of physical expression through improvisational activities and practicing set choreography. Movement will be used as a prompt for writing a variety of texts. Classes are accompanied by live music. There will be a culminating event on the last day of class.

Participants of all levels and abilities are welcome. No previous experience is necessary. Limited spaces available. This workshop is free.

July 8-August 26 | Mondays, 1:00-2:30pm 

Abiitan Mill City, 428 S 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55401

Please contact TU Dance Education & Outreach Coordinator Kaitin Kelly Benedict at kaitin.kbenedict@tudance.org or (651) 505-3264 with questions and to register.

Teaching Artist bios:

Thern Anderson is a dance educator with a wealth of experience teaching children, adults, professional dancers and community groups. Thern brings somatic movement principles and improvisational skills to her teaching of modern dance techniques. In teaching dance to beginning adults, her philosophy is that anyone can dance and find pleasure in movement. Classes include the study of body and spatial awareness, rhythm and phrasing, ensemble dancing, and injury prevention. Students learn through modern dance phrases as well as improvisational structures.

Mary Moore Easter’s first poetry collection, The Body of the World, was published by MadHat Press in 2018. The manuscript was a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in 2017.  A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and Cave Canem Fellow, Easter is published in POETRY, The New York Times, Seattle Review, Water Stone, Calyx, Pluck!, Persimmon Tree, Fjord’s Review, The Little Patuxent Review and the 2015 anthology Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence and an M.A. from Goddard. Born in Petersburg, Virginia to parents on the faculty of then-segregated Virginia State College, she was as immersed in their artistic and intellectual interests as she was in limitations segregation imposed on her black world. She re-rooted as faculty at Minnesota’s Carleton College where she was founder and director of the Dance Program.

This activity is supported by a Seeding Vitality Arts MN grant from Aroha Philanthropies.

TU Dance Center 2019 Student Showcase, June 7 & 8

Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands and School Director Laurel Keen invite you to The School at TU Dance Center 2019 Spring Student Showcase. Students from the Children & Teen and Pre-Professional divisions will perform in works by TU Dance Center teaching artists and TU Dance company members. This year, we are also extremely honored to have our advanced pre-professional students performing a work by choreographer Ronald K. Brown entitled Four Corners, which was originally commissioned for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2013. Please join us in celebrating these inspiring young dancers and all of their hard work!

Whiting Proscenium Stage
Rarig Center, University of Minnesota
330 21st. Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN

Friday, June 7 – 7:00pm

Saturday, June 8 – 2:00pm & 7:00pm

Available for online purchase until 2 hours prior to the start of the performance. Ticket purchase will be available at the door. Exact cash or check preferred!

Tickets: $15 (General Admission)
Parking and Directions to Rarig Center

For questions, please contact Maxine Yamazaki at maxine.yamazaki@tudance.org or 612-605-1925.

Photo by Graham Tolbert.

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