Class + Connect

Please join us this Spring for a series of 3 open adult class offerings (each offering will include 4 weekly classes) featuring 3 different Twin Cities teaching artists. Join for all 3 offerings or drop-in as your schedule allows. Each class will be followed by an optional time to connect with one another over coffee/tea provided by TU Dance — either socially distanced in our green room space or outside on the loading dock, weather permitting. We hope to create a space where people can explore movement and dance but also build community by staying to connect through conversation and reflection of their shared experience.

Starting this series, we invite you to join (in-person only) Twin Cities modern teaching artist Jennifer Ilse. Jennifer’s class approaches movement with a goal of balance – fluidity in strength, power in softness, centered on breath and economy of movement to teach internal and external body awareness, rhythm and phrasing, and ensemble dancing through modern dance patterns and improvisation. This class is open to beginning and intermediate level participants, age 18+.

Saturdays, March 12, 19, 26 and April 2 | 4-5:30 pm (CST)

Cost Options: $12 or $15 (sliding scale)(previously purchased class cards accepted)

Please select one option :
Please select one option :
Student Name:

*Proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours + masks are required at the door for all in-person participants. Please read TU Dance Community Safety Statement.

*Pre-Registration is required as in-studio space is limited. Please complete the Pre-Registration Form here!

“April CLASS + CONNECT info coming soon… “  

Jennifer Ilse is originally from Wisconsin, Jennifer first studied dance in a professional setting in Duluth, Minnesota. She then moved to Eugene, Oregon to continue her studies at the University of  Oregon. In Eugene she also studied with the Eugene Ballet under Susan Zadoff of Ballet Russe, at Musical Feet school of tap, and performed four seasons with the Dance Theatre of Oregon. After moving to Minneapolis in 1997 she became co-artistic director of the dance/theater/visual art hybrid company Off-Leash Area, with which she has choreographed and directed over 28 full-length productions and created and managed a new venue, the Off-Leash Art Box. She was a City Pages Artist of the Year, has been featured on TPT’s MN Original, received 5 Arts Board Artist Initiative grants, and received 2 Ivey Awards. Ilse is a long time dance teaching artist, teaching ballet, tap and modern dance classes for adults and children over the past 30 years. Jennifer’s modern dance teaching draws from her eclectic movement background in classical modern and releasing styles, contemporary approaches to movement, improvisation, and extensive floorwork.


Dance Innovation for Seasoned Adults 55+, Fall 2022

Dance teacher Tamiko French has developed a program centered around revitalizing creativity of storytelling with the building blocks of dance creation that infuses the visual and literary arts. The 8-week workshop is designed to be sequential for participants, with each class building on the previous class. From a first class in which participants will use poetry, prose, dramatic writing, spoken word, or other writing as a stimulus to create movement, participants will learn about modern and jazz dance techniques and choreographic practice, collaborate and share results with others, study facilitated improvisation and play in dance, and refine their work for a sharing event for family, friends, and the community. This program is for adults 55+.

Session 1: Thursdays, March 17th – May 5th (8 weeks)
Session 2: Thursdays, May 26th – July 7 & Saturday, July 9th (8 weeks)
Session 3: Thursdays, September 15th – November 3rd (8 weeks)

TU Dance Center (in-person only) | 10:00am – 11:30 am (CST) (showing on last day of each workshop from 12:30-2:00pm)
Cost: $45 per workshop*

Please select one option :
Student Name:

Please complete this registration form.

*TU Dance will offer tuition and transportation subsidy upon request. Please contact us at or (651) 724-9708 to inquire.

Please read the TU Dance Community Safety Statement.

Pre-registration required.

TAMIKO FRENCH is a seasoned dance and performance art instructor with more than 20 years of experience in various fast-paced Dance Education environments. Throughout her time back here in her hometown (2013 to the present), she has built partnerships and curated experiences between the student community and arts organizations such as the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Northrop Auditorium, The Cowles Center, Walker Arts Center, The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota State Fair, The Festival of Nations, Springboard for the Arts and the Broadway Business Coalition.  Sharing with the youth, pathways to careers through arts education and performance; Tamiko creates a safe place and platform for students to advocate for themselves, innovate new ways of learning and empower their voice of expression.  She has been working with North High School’s Dance Program and Arts Integration for the last 6 years and has used these partnerships to develop continuous pathways to demonstrate the youth’s artistic excellence in the community. She is now clearing a path for her solo interdisciplinary work to emerge again. 

Seeded through her time as an arts educator at North High, she has worked with Energy Dance Collective in 2013 to 2016 (hip hop compilation, SKYN), Northside Flow( Night of the mind)2015-2017, She performed in Sista Solo/Being Brothas (Night of the Mind)2015 and curated groups of performers for the Festival of Nations(African American Cultural Group)2015-2019, Minneapolis Institute of Art (Family Day and Prince Tribute)2018. She was awarded a Director slot in the American High School Theater Festival’s set in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 2020. It was then she took a leap of faith in creating Legacy Arts Group, LLC to help carve the path of the original work who co- wrote and directed with the Cast.  Due to the pandemic, the tour is extended to 2022. This project has been supported by the Springboard for the Arts, the Awesome Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Minnesota Arts Coalition, West Broadway Area Business Coalition, the Minnesota Orchestra, MN, Black Theater Circle, and the Guthrie Theater. Tamiko synergizes text, props, recorded and physically played music, fashion, and dance to build a rooted expression of connectedness, and reflection of the human condition. 

Her passion is rooted in illuminating the human condition, and using it as a way to bridge healing, self-discovery, and empowerment with every person she has the honor to share and work with. Currently, she is working on an interdisciplinary work called “Eye See You”. It is comprised of sound bathing (Tamiko is playing), vocalization (poetry, song, Monologue), and movement inside an environment created by crystals and light that depicts Amethyst. The core of this work shares the trusting of intuition through peaks and valleys of life lessons in aging, learned relationships and untangling mental attachments to traumas. It shares vibrational wellness practices in sound and crystal healing as well as meditation. July 2021 She will release part 1 of the 3 part work in her show “Rock Royalty”.

Photo by Tamiko French

FLOW SPACE | Class with Guest Artist Gregory Dolbashian, February 20th

Join us for Flow Space, an atmosphere that allows for the act of “pure play” to help dance artists use more capacity, intellect, sense, courage, and imagination in their movement styles. Conducted by director of The DASH Ensemble, Gregory Dolbashian, the class is a highly developed series of improvisational tools and games that warms and pushes both the mind and the body to break habits and fulfill more presence. These exercises are all methods that Gregory has developed and utilized to create movement with The DASH. The artists learn confidence not just in themselves but also in the environment that they are a part of. Games and tasks work both on the individual and in tandem, so that Flow Space creates a community for progress, inspiration, and most of all, discovery. Classes are for dancers aged 16+.

Sunday, February 20th, 2022 | 11:00am-12:30 pm (CST)

TU Dance Center or via Zoom

Cost: $20 per participant (in-person or virtual)

Pre-registration required as in-studio space is limited!

In-Person: Due to our Covid protocols, only 9 in-person participants will be allowed to take class in-person in Studio 1.
Virtual: When in person capacity in Studio 1 has been reached, up to 6 participants will be able to take the class virtually in Studio 2. Other virtual participants are welcome to take class at their desired locations.

Please complete this registration form.

*Proof of vaccination + masks are required at the door for all in-person participants.

GREGORY DOLBASHIAN – Born and raised in New York City Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory. He debuted his own company, The DASH Ensemble, in December 2010 at The JOYCE SoHo. DASH Company performance credits include The JOYCE Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Live Arts, Guggenheim Works and Process Series, Kaatsbaan as well as domestic touring all over the U.S. including Dallas, L.A., and North Carolina. Gregory, in partnership with dance education specialist Lindsey Pettus, is also the co-founder of The DASH Academy. He has been commissioned for original works by American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, American Dance Festival, and most recently for Limon Dance Company’s newly formed Limon 2 . Awards for Choreography Hubbard Street 2 International Competition, Ballet Austin’s New American Talent. His collegiate and training program commissions include Juilliard, Point Park, LINES Ballet, NYU, and SUNY Purchase. Faculty positions include Broadway Dance Center, Gibney Dance, and Peridance Capezio Center. He has conducted multiple masterclasses around the country including Juilliard, NYU, UNCSA, UC Irvine, SUNY Purchase, and Point Park. In addition, Gregory, alongside fellow choreographer Loni Landon, is the co-founder of The PlaygroundNYC, a choreographic initiative that was voted 25 to Watch in 2013 by Dance Magazine.

Photo by Mike Esperanza @ mikeesperanza

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