Virtual Master Class with Laurel Keen, August 15

Photo courtesy of Alonzo King Lines Ballet

Examining the details and subtleties of classical ballet technique while also exploring the textures, musical play and individual expression within our own unique bodies. Seeking a balance between clarity / precision and expansion / freedom.

August 15 | 1:00-2:30pm CST

Cost: $15/participant

Zoom link will be emailed 30 minutes before the class start time.

Student Name & Email Address:

Laurel Keen began her dance training at the age of seven at Minnesota Dance Theatre. She went on to study at School of American Ballet, Dance Aspen School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She has performed with Minnesota Dance Theater, TU Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. She spent a decade alongside Alonzo King as a company member, where she originated 21 roles, toured extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally, earned the prestigious Princess Grace Award, the Chris Hellman Dance Award, and an Isadora Duncan Dance Award and was featured on the covers of Dance and Pointe magazines. Laurel returned to the Twin Cities in 2011 and earned her degree as a physical therapist assistant from St. Catherine University. She has taught for Alonzo King LINES Ballet, TU Dance, Minnesota Dance Theatre and the University of Minnesota and has been the director of The School at TU Dance Center since 2015.

Virtual Open Classes, Week of August 10

Join us for a series of virtual open classes during the week of August 10. This classes are offered as part of the TU Dance Summer Intensive with Gregory Dolbashian and Guests. These classes are for Intermediate/Advanced level students.

Monday, 1:00-2:30pm CST | Horton-based Modern with Toni Pierce-Sands

Tuesday, 1:00-2:30pm CST | Floor Barre with Renee Robinson

Wednesday, 1:00-2:30pm CST | Ballet with Maurya Kerr

Thursday, 1:00-2:30pm CST | Floor Barre with Renee Robinson

Friday, 1:00-2:30pm CST | African Diasporic Dance with Melissa Clark

Cost: $12/class/participant (a Zoom link will be emailed 30 minutes before the start of each class)

Please select the class date you wish to take :
Student Name:

 

Virtual Masterclass with Ronald K. Brown, August 8

10_Evidence, A Dance Company TORCH (excerpt)

As part of the Intersect Summer Intensive, Evidence, A Dance Company and TU Dance are offering a virtual masterclass with Evidence’s Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown.

Saturday, August 8 | 3:00-4:30pm CST

Cost: $15/participant

Ronald K. Brown’s Master Class is designed for inter-generational participants with a wide range to no dance experience.  Classes begin with a focus on alignment and rhythm.

The class will include the introduction of the various dance techniques that are incorporated in the vocabulary of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company that will help participants execute the repertory phrases more effectively.

To register, please complete the information requested below. A Zoom link will be emailed 30 minutes prior to the class on August 8.

Dance Transforms Lives: A fundraiser for The School at TU Dance Center featuring Laura Kane Scher Photography

TU Dance is partnering with photographer Laura Kane Scher to raise funds for The School at TU Dance Center. For the last few years, Laura has been photographing our Children & Teen and Pre-Professional Program students in the studio and on stage as well as social events, capturing beautiful moments of our beloved TU Dance Center Community.

Laura’s unique eye grabs the essence of each fleeting moment for the world to enjoy, memorializing it for a lifetime. As you take a tour through the photo galleries, we hope that you are inspired to bring home photos of the students you care about, and if possible, consider giving an extra donation. 75% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will go to support The School at TU Dance Center. Your purchase helps to ensure that The School at TU Dance Center continues to be a home for dance education, supporting scholarships for students and a robust offering of programs. We at TU Dance nurture the human connection through the power of dance. Thank you for your support!

Visit the galleries by clicking the image below!

Laura is offering another fundraising option for TU Dance families and the entire TU Dance community. She will be donating 25% of all photo sessions booked between July 25 – August 25, to be shot before January 1, 2021.  Please mention TU Dance when booking. For more information click here.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LAURA KANE SCHER

Laura Kane Scher is an accomplished documentary photographer who studied photography at the renowned Film in the Cities (FITC) program, worked in the photo department at the Star Tribune for 12 years and has had her own photography business for several years.

“I was drawn to photography at a very young age because I always felt like an observer rather than a participant. When I received my first camera it felt like a natural extension of my body, and captured the lens through which I had been seeing the world.

My favorite subject to photograph has always been children. What draws me in is the purity, unfiltered joy, and the lack of self consciousness that young people have in front of a camera. I have found over the years photographing my daughter dance has been the same, so it was natural to offer my services to TU Dance. Shooting for The School at TU Dance Center has become one of my favorite projects because I get to capture dancers focused on their own emotions and movements and then portray that beauty to a broader audience through my images. The children at The School are expressing their true selves through their own art, and to marry their art with mine is something I find extremely beautiful.”, says Laura.

Toni Pierce-Sands, TU Dance’s Artistic Director and Laura grew up together at Saint Paul Open School, a small diverse K-12 school that started in 1971 by Laura’s mother and other parents, teachers and administrators, who wanted an educational option to the traditional school systems. Through Open School, Laura’s mother built a community around her family, welcoming her children’s friends and others to gather at her home. Toni, the dancer friend who Laura went to see as a child dancing The Nutcracker, became one of those extended family members.

Laura’s daughter Lucy, who has been dancing since she was very little, now studies at The School at TU Dance Center. Laura and Lucy learned about TU Dance through Toni. At TU Dance Center, both Lucy and Laura were able to find the community they were searching for, a place where Lucy could continue to grow as a dancer and a human. For Laura, “TU Dance is about everyone, individually and as a whole. The reason for starting the school was to provide opportunities to any child to dance no matter what their circumstance or resources are. TU Dance embraces us all and has become a family on its own. A family that we consider ours, and a second home for most – just like my mom’s house was.”

Visit Laura’s blog about the photo fundraiser.

Intersect Summer Intensive, August 3-8

Evidence, A Dance Company and TU Dance join forces in an inspiring 1-week virtual Summer Intensive. Intersect (to meet and cross at a point/to share a common area), is an open level inter-generational Summer Intensive for participants with a wide range to no dance experience that will provide the opportunity to experience both companies’ approaches to dance and dance training.

Participants will begin each day with classes from TU Dance Center teaching artists, including TU Dance Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, that are grounded in TU Dance’s three pillars of Horton-based modern, West African and ballet. While these are commonly referred to as technique classes or training, TU Dance takes a look into how these dance forms intersect with one another and the many possibilities they offer. The goal of these classes is to prepare the dancer’s mind, body and spirit to be fully present, ready to receive and engage, tap into different energies and feel prepared to move openly into what follows. The workshop section of this intensive will be led by Evidence, A Dance Company Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown and Associate Artistic Director Arcell Cabuag. Participants will learn Evidence repertory as well as Afro-Cuban and traditional and contemporary African dance techniques that are incorporated in the choreographic style.

The Intersect Summer Intensive will conclude with a discussion between teaching artists and students followed by a celebratory class open to the community. See the Intersect Summer Intensive Daily Schedule here. All classes will be provided via Zoom.

August 3-8, 2020 | Registration deadline extended: Sunday – August 2, 2020

Cost: $500 (inclusive of the registration fee). A limited number of scholarships will be offered. To apply for an scholarship please complete this form by July 29.

To learn more and to register visit Intersect at http://www.tudance.org/summer/

Read the press release here.

Virtual Krump Ongoing Open Class with Herb Johnson III, Thursdays at 5:00pm

Learning and training in the basics of Krump. The growth process in this class will be approached with LUAIE (Learn, Understand, Apply, Investigate and Execute). The end result will be for each individual to know more about the style’s foundation and be able to improvise within the style.  All levels welcome.

Thursdays, 5:00-6:00pm

To register for this class click here!

McKnight Fellow, Herb Johnson III Aka JDot Tight Eyez graduated from Perpich Center for the Performing Arts in 2010 and studied 3 years at the Lundstrum Center for Arts. Herb is now at the University of Minnesota as an Urban & Street dance instructor. He currently choreographs and performs solo and in groups 612 Crew, DeadPool, and Mixtape. Professional work includes iLuminate from America’s Got Talent, Choreographing G-Easy’s half-time show 2018, and SuperBowl 52 half-time show 2018 with Justin Timberlake.

Photo by McFarquhar Photography

Virtual Open Classes

We are taking a pause. During the month of August we will not be offering morning open classes. We appreciate your understanding while we evaluate how to best serve our open class attendees. If you have any questions please contact us at education@tudance.org

TU Dance Center is offering virtual open classes to our community until further notice. In order to continue with this offering and be able to compensate our teaching artists and accompanists going forward, a class fee is necessary. We recognize that the current situation has affected our community in different ways. Class participants will be able to chose from a sliding scale, with a minimum fee of $8.

Thursdays, 5:00-6:00pm CST | Krump

Classes will be added as they get confirmed. For a calendar view of classes and Teaching Artist information please visit www.tudance.org/openschedule

Cost: $8 – $12 – $15
(Please type under “Your Price” below your payment choice of $8, $12, $15 or a greater amount if you wish to make a donation beyond the class fee)

A Zoom link will be emailed 30 minutes prior to the start of the class you purchased.  If you don’t receive the email with the link please contact Maxine Yamazaki at maxine.yamazaki@tudance.org requesting the link.

Please select the class date you wish to take :
Student Name:
Your Price: $ 

One participant per registration.

Mural Making in Times of Resilience

A mural has been created to transform the boards that have been protecting TU Dance Center since the riots that occurred in the Twin Cities following the murder of George Floyd in collaboration between TU Dance Center students and artist/dancer/choreographer, Lela Pierce and graffiti artist Kyle Alexander, with contributions by TU Dance Center teaching artist Herb Johnson III and community artist Pramila Vasudevan. This will be a space for our community to process the grief, sadness and anger felt by our community during this time and also a space to express our unwavering belief that black and brown lives matter and our hope for the future that we imagine is possible.

Please feel free to drive by TU Dance Center to see the front entrance mural before the boards are removed. The window boards have been stored inside the building. The full art work will be displayed inside TU Dance Center and available for viewing once the space is reopened.

(see mural making photo gallery below)

Meet the Artists:

Lela Pierce was born and raised in rural Minnesota on Dakota and Anishinaabe land. She currently resides in South Minneapolis. As an interdisciplinary artist, she creates painting, performance/dance, sculptural installation and sound based work. Through practice she strives toward a deep rooted connection to land and place and a deep yearning for ancestral healing. Lela has presented work locally at several different Twin Cities venues and internationally in both Sweden and India. She is a Jerome Emerging Artist recipient 2018 and is currently pursuing an MFA in the interdisciplinary art and social practice area of the Art Department of the University of Minnesota.

McKnight Fellow, Herb Johnson III Aka JDot Tight Eyez graduated from Perpich Center for the Performing Arts in 2010 and studied 3 years at the Lundstrum Center for Arts. Herb is now at the University of Minnesota as an Urban & Street dance instructor. He currently choreographs and performs solo and in groups 612 Crew, DeadPool, and Mixtape. Professional work includes iLuminate from America’s Got Talent, Choreographing G-Easy’sHalftime show 2018, and SuperBowl 52 half-time Show 2018 with Justin Timberlake. Herb began teaching for The School at TU Dance Center in Fall 2019.

Kyle Alexander was born in Chicago and raised in South Minneapolis. He is an avid skateboarder and loves to listen to music, paint and hang with friends. In recent weeks he and his friends have painted several boarded up storefronts in Minneapolis – responding to the Murder of George Floyd in graffiti style. Kyle finds inspiration and a sense of being grounded through the love and care of his mother and grandmother and the relationships he has built with community members on the Southside.

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.

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