Dancing Your Story Workshop, September 9-November 4

Join teaching artists Thern Anderson & Mary Moore Easter in an 8-week dance and writing workshop with curriculum designed for adults ages 55+ at Rondo Community Library. 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 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 the workshop.

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

September 9-November 4 | Mondays, 2:30-4:00pm (No class on October 14-library closed.)
Rondo Community Library, 461 Dale St N, St Paul, MN 55103 (Multipurpose Room)

Sample class: Monday, August 19, 4:00-5:30pm at Kings Crossing, 500 Dale St N, St Paul, MN 55103

Please contact Kaitin Kelly Benedict at TU Dance 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 Open House & Summer Intensive Showcase, August 17

On Saturday, August 17, please join us for an Open House from 10:00am-1:00pm and Advanced Pre-Professional Summer Intensive Showcase from 2:00-3:15pm at TU Dance Center. 

Students who are interested in enrolling in fall classes at TU Dance Center will have the opportunity to take sample classes, tour the facilities, ask questions about our programs and register! 

Sample Class Schedule 

  • Open Children’s Sample Class, 10:00-10:30am
  • Open Teen/Adult Sample Class, 10:30-11:15am
  • Open Boys Sample Class, 11:15am-12:00pm

Following the Open House, please join us for the Summer Intensive Showcase featuring Advanced Pre-Professional Summer Intensive students sharing new works created by Artistic Director Uri Sands and visiting guest artists Maurya Kerr and Marcus Jarrell Willis. 

Saturday, August 17
Open House, 10:00am-1:00pm
Showcase, 2:00-3:15pm
TU Dance Center
2121 University Ave. W., St. Paul MN, 55114

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. Limited parking is available in the lot in front of TU Dance Center. Additional parking is available in the north side lot accessible by taking Vandalia and Charles.

Photo by Laura Scher.

Guest Artist bios

Marcus Jarrell Willis has performed with RIOULT, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza and was a member of Ailey II. Willis performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2008-2016 traveling around the world performing, teaching numerous masterclasses and participating through Outreach in various communities both locally and abroad. He has been a resident teacher for the KCFAA Paseo Project and was a member of the KCFAA Ailey Trio, leading lecture demonstrations in schools around the Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas area. Willis is a returning teacher at Centre Chorégraphique James Carles Stage International de Danse in Toulouse, France. Willis has presented his choreographic work in the 2009 TDDC Contemporary Dance Festival in NYC, The Ailey Dancer’s Resource Fund performances, The Dance Gallery Festival, The Moving Beauty Series and Gdánsk Festival Tańca in Poland. Commissions include works created for Ailey II, TU Dance, Company Danzante, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, University of Minnesota, Lucia Marthas Institute for the Performing Arts in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Satellite Collective, The Dance Gallery Festival Level Up Commission in 2013 and The 92nd Y Dance Introduction Series, among others. Willis is the Founder of MJ Willis Project-Inc, which made its debut in Wales in 2017, premiering “My Brother, Dear Sister”. He was named Best Choreographer for TU Dance creation “Sensible Existence” in City Pages 2018-Best of the Twin Cities. Currently, he is the 2018/19 Leverhulme Choreography Fellow at Rambert Dance in London.

Maurya Kerr is a choreographer, educator, performer, and the artistic director of tinypistol, where her choreographic work has been honored by numerous awards, grants, and commissions. She was an ODC artist-in-residence from 2015 to 2018, and completed her MFA through Hollins University in 2016, writing her thesis on people of color and their access to, or prohibition from, wonderment. She was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for twelve years, and most recently performed in The Foundry’s Deep South, and BodyCartography Project’s felt room at SFMOMA and the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Museum. In 2017 she co-founded the tiny little get down, a quarterly dance party intended to defiantly and subversively fortify otherness through embodied joy and the power of the collective. 

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