Contemporary Experiment Classes with Leslie Parker

Please join us at TU Dance Center for two open classes with Leslie Parker. The classes are focused towards intermediate to advanced experiences although all bodies and dance experiences are welcomed.

Contemporary Experiment is a class session in improvisation. The focus of the class is primarily the individual body as a site/map for exploration. It is an embodied practice that expands capacity for a more nuanced, rigorous, and sensory approach to space, time, and energy to integrate the thinking-body with real-time presence; and to play with physical range while increasing flexibility of the spine for a deepening in awareness of strength and endurance. In this class, empathetic exchanges using collaboration in movement studies are significant to amplify grounded power, intuitive connection to the body and place, navigating dissent, and honing clarity in timing and rhythm.

Dates: March 13th & 18th, 2024
Time: 9:30-11:00 am
Cost: $16/class or $140/10 Classes

Please select one option :
Student Name and Zip Code:

Learn more about Leslie Parker

Leslie Parker is a dance artist, director, choreographer, improviser, and performer born in the traditional homeland of Indigenous people, mostly the Dakhóta and Ojibwe people, also known as the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She has home art bases in both Brooklyn, NY(traditional homeland of Lenapehoking people) and in St. Paul, MN. Her deep roots in the territory also known as the St. Paul, Rondo community led her to a dance practice that emphasizes an organic aesthetic in experimental movement derived from the Black and African diaspora. Growing up in the Rondo community inspired her towards socially engaged art. Parker’s informal training began with marching in rhythm drill team competitions in the Rondo neighborhood learning from local organizers and activists. Parker holds a BFA from Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance, a MFA in Dance from Hollins University in partnership with the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and the Dresden Frankfurt Company in Frankfurt, Germany. She studied Senegalese dance forms at the Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor de Dakar in Senegal, West Africa.

As a dance creative, she highlights unique individual contributions, digs into collective memory to engage with the world more imaginatively and embodies an aesthetic that encompasses an organic physical/movement that includes: Traditional W. African, Black/African American vernacular/social dance, Improvisation, and Contemporary/Modern technique derived from and exchanged across multiple continents. She has received a 2022 McKnight Fellowship for Choreographers, A Nefa/NDP award 2021 and was a Jerome Artist Fellow 2019 – 2021, 2017 Bessie award for Outstanding performer.

Photo Credit: Bobby Rogers

GYROKINESIS® Workshop for Adults with Wendy Anderson

Please join us at TU Dance Center for a 6 week GYROKINESIS® workshop for adults with Wendy Anderson. No experience is necessary.

Starting with breathing patterns and progressing into motions that mobilize the spine through arching, curling, bending, spiraling and waving. Connecting with the breath, the movement starts to feel like a dance. Oxygenating the circulatory system, stimulating the nervous system and opening the body. Exercises are done on chairs/stools, in standing and lying positions.

Wednesdays, March 6th – April 10th | 4:30-5:45pm

Cost: $85

*Online registration required. This workshop is at capacity. Stay tuned for upcoming offerings!

To complete your registration, please submit this form and pay the fee below.

Wendy Anderson has trained as a dancer, fitness professional, Pilates trainer and presently Gyrotonic Trainer. She is an authorized teacher and teacher trainer (Pre-Trainer) of both Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic. Having the good fortune of working with some of the most renowned Master Trainers, including Juergen Bamberger, Juliu Horvath (creator of gyrotonic) and Paul Horvath (physiotherapist) Wendy has also trained on all pieces of Gyrotonic equipment!. She trains all levels of students from highly accomplished athletes to the very beginner who has started their adventure with Gyrokinesis or Gyrotonics later in life. “Always amazed by the beauty, depth and sophistication of this movement modality. And how people can benefit from gyro on all levels of their being.”

Photos courtesy of Wendy Anderson

Open Classes at TU Dance Center

Join CULTIVATE, A Trainee Program morning classes and The School at TU Dance Center Level 4/5 afternoon classes.  Teaching artists include TU Dance Founder & Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, guest choreographers, and TU Dance Center teaching artists Hassan Ingraham, Laurel Keen and Abdo Sayegh-Rodriguez, among others.

These classes are for INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED dancers for technique classes, and physically active people for GYROKINESIS.

(please check the Open Class calendar as classes and/or teaching artists might change)

Cost: $16/class or $140/10 Classes

Please select the class you wish to take: :
Please select a payment option :
Student Name & Zip code:

Registration Form: This form should be completed once a year.

Please read the TU Dance Community Safety Statement before you register for classes at TU Dance Center.

Contemporary Ballet Class with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, January 22

Join CULTIVATE trainees and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company dancers Aaron Choate, Morgan Clune and Michele Dooley for a contemporary ballet class at TU Dance Center available to participants thanks to a partnership between Northrop and TU Dance. As part of this class, dancers may be asked to participate in an improvisational session. This class is open to participants ages 16+ and no experience is necessary.

This class is free for University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff. If you are affiliated with the University of Minnesota, please email to register.

Date: January 22, 2024
Time: 9:30-11:00 am
Cost: $20

Please select one option :
Student Name and Zip Code:

Learn more about Hubbart Street Dance Chicago

Learn more about Hubbart Street Dance Chicago performance on at Northrop on January 25 at 7:30pm.

Aaron Choate (they/them, Lexington, KY) is a graduate of The Juilliard School class of 2022. After studying at Diana Evan’s School of Dance in Kentucky, they were named a 2018 Presidential Scholar in the Arts. They have performed the works of renowned choreographers, such as Aszure Barton, Ohad Naharin, Justin Peck, Jamar Roberts, Bobbi Jene Smith,  Rennie Harris, Spencer Theberge, Lar Lubovitch, and Ted Shawn. They are also an avid choreographer. Most recently, they had a process at Gibney Dance called the Moving Towards Justice Fellowship, created by Scott Autry.  In 2022, they presented a work at 92nd Street Y as a part of the Future Dance Festival. In 2021, they received the George J. Jakab Grant Award from Juilliard to create a dance film, and upon graduation they were awarded the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship. 

Morgan Clune (she/her, Barrington, IL) graduated from The Chicago Academy for the Arts in 2018. She was recognized as a National YoungArts Winner in New York for Contemporary dance in 2018 where she performed solo at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Upon graduation from Juilliard, Morgan was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for her achievement and leadership in Dance as well as a Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship for her promise as an entrepreneur and engagement in the arts. She is an emerging choreographer, recently choreographing at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s CREATE summer intensive and The Juilliard School in 2023. Morgan is currently entering her second season with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago under the direction of Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell.
Michele Dooley (she/he/they, Philadelphia, PA) is a dance artist and teacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began her dance training at The Institute of the Arts, graduated from The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and later earned her BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts. Michele has completed programs with Bates Summer intensive, BalletX Summer Program, and DCNS Summer Dance Intensive and has worked with choreographers Gary Jeter, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Aszure Barton, Jermaine Spivey, Milton Myers, Spenser Theberge, and Nora Gibson. She has had the privilege of working with Eleone Dance Theatre and Spectrum Dance Theater. She is thrilled to be back for her second season with the company!
Photos courtesy of Hubbart Street Dance Chicago.

Community Classes with Anna Pinault | November 2023

Created with RNI Films app. Profile 'Agfa Optima 200 Warm'

Join CULTIVATE trainees and Anna Pinault for a dance class at TU Dance Center for Intermediate/ Advanced dancers. Anna’s Contemporary Floorwork class focuses on moving in and out of the floor with fluidity and expressivity. After a warmup and floor-based drills across the space, you’ll learn choreography that incorporates highly physical contemporary movement with fluid and grounded floorwork movement, in order to practice transitioning between the two. (Knee pads are recommended.) This class is for intermedia/advanced dancers.

Dates & Times:

  • Wednesdays, November 8 (9:30-11:00 am)
  • Monday, November 13 (9:30-11:00 am)
  • Thursday, November 16 (4:30-6:00 pm)

Location: TU Dance Center

Cost: $16

Please select the class you wish to take: :
Please select a payment option :
Student Name & Zip code:

Raised in Minnesota, Anna Pinault worked as a dance artist and educator in New York City for nearly a decade. In 2022, she landed back in the Twin Cities once again to pursue the next season of her creative work. Anna’s most recent work includes Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Invisible Cities, TU Dance Company’s The Three Women Project, and projects with Joe Chvala’s Flying Foot Forum, Rovaco Dance Company, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. Her work as an educator has included Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Neighborhood Playhouse, Daya Yoga Studio, the NYC Public School System, Zenon Dance School, Hothouse Minneapolis, and The School at TU Dance Center, among others. Anna also practices Thai Bodywork, and is studying for her MS in Human Movement Science. Her passion for bodily education spills into both her teaching and artistic work. Her current choreographic creations explore the creation of imagery and architecture by transposing rhythm and other musical languages onto the body. Her powerful energy is unique in its ability to quickly morph from style to style, all while maintaining a supple articulation and water-like quality. (www.annapinault.comInstagram: @anna_pinault)

Class with Adji Cissoko from LINES Ballet | November 1, 2023

Join CULTIVATE trainees and Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer Adji Cissoko for a dance class at TU Dance Center available to participants thanks to a partnership between Northrop Auditorium and TU Dance. This class is for Intermediate/Advanced dancers and will start with a warmup followed by choreography and movement exploration!

This class is free for University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff. If you are affiliated with the University of Minnesota, please email to register.

Date: Wednesday, November 1

Time: 9:30-11:00 am

Location: TU Dance Center

Cost: $20

Please select one option :
Student Name and Zip Code:

Adji Cissoko was born and grew up in Munich, Germany where she trained at the Ballet Academy Munich and graduated with a diploma in dance. Cissoko attended the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City on full scholarship, before joining the National Ballet of Canada in 2010. In 2012 she was awarded the Patron Award of Merit by the Patrons’ Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. Cissoko joined LINES Ballet in 2014. Since then she’s originated many central roles and guested for galas worldwide. Cissoko has given multiple masterclasses and taught classes around the world as part of the company’s outreach program. In 2020, she became certified in health/life coaching and ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Cissoko choreographed her first piece “AZIZ “ for Ballet X in 2021. She also is a 2022 recipient of the Toulmin fellowship.



Movement, Sound, Memory for Seasoned Adults 55+, Fall 2023

Unlock the Art of Self-Expression through Movement, Sound and Memory.

Embark on a profound 8-week journey of self-discovery and creative expression with Tamiko French’s innovative dance fusion class. In this transformative course, you’ll delve deep into the realm of movement, sound, memories and words to illuminate the vibrant landscape within you.

Tuesdays, October 10th – November 281th (8 weeks) | 9:30-11:00am
(informal showing on last day from 11:30am-12:30pm)
Cost: $45 per workshop* (Pre-registration required)

Student Name:

Please complete this registration form.

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

Please read the TU Dance Community Safety Statement.

Week 1: The Foundation Is You

  • Dive into introspective discussions about your identity, values, and sources of joy.
  • Immerse yourself in a soothing sound bath and capture your thoughts, emotions, and memories on paper.
  • Begin weaving the threads of self-discovery into the foundation of your unique expression.

Week 2: More or Less Me

  • Explore the intensity of your being and refine it to its purest essence.
  • Discover the flow that uniquely defines you, celebrating the beauty of individuality.

Week 3: Rolling In The Deep

  • Dive further into your journey as we explore our profound connection to water through movement and sound.

Week 4: Tapestries

  • Layer your experiences like waves, creating a rich tapestry of memories, words, movement, and sound.
  • Expand upon the foundation to craft a masterpiece of self-expression.

Week 5: Traveling

  • We will work through each sequence traveling through our unique journey of sound, memory, and writing through movement. Remembering that you are the foundation, you are more or less you in perfect proportion, you are in perfect flow, and your flow has created a beautiful tapestry of life.

Week 6: Solid and Liquid

  • Refine your movement sequences, words, and memories with intention and clarity.
  • Embrace both your unwavering strengths and fluid adaptability.

Week 7: Wings

  • Deepening our connection to our work this week we will let it go, let it fly, and love our journey. Remembering each week we built on our collective energy. Practice, explore, embrace and share what we have created.

Week 8: Golden

  • Revel in a final class where you’ll practice and showcase your unique tapestry of work to friends and family.
  • Embrace the golden culmination of your transformative journey.

Throughout this profound process, we invite you to expand, express, and reconnect with the incredible power and value of your life’s tapestry. Rediscover the beauty of vulnerability and the boundless potential within you. Join us on this extraordinary voyage of self-expression and self-discovery.

This program is for adults 55+.

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.

Movement and Creativity for Adults 55+ at Rondo Center for Diverse Expressions

Join TU Dance teaching artist Suzette Gilreath for Movement and Creativity for Adults 55+. This class will use a simple approach to movement based on dance and yoga practice allowing room for creativity to be explored and experienced while focusing on building community through individual expression and how it is shared with one another. The class is open to those who are hearing, and to those who identify as a person with a disability, hard of hearing, and or D/Deaf individual. 

Dates: Fridays 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/8 & 9/15 (no class on 9/1)
Time: 10:30am-12:00pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Rondo Center for Diverse Expression/Rondo Commemorative Plaze, 315 N. Fisk Street. St. Paul, MN 55104  (outdoors or indoors depending on weather)

To register please complete this Registration From.

Suzette Jornae Gilreath is a twin cities native. Born and raised in Minnesota, she is currently a dance artist based in MN. As of May 2020, she received her B.A. in Dance and American Sign Language from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Jornae is a virtuosic, versatile, and curious mover. She began her dance training at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and TU Dance at the age of 16. She is trained in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Modern and African, with experience in street style Hip-hop, and Heels. Through her dance training, she has obtained a greater understanding of the relationship dance has with the world, globally and internationally. Over the past five years, Jornae has gained professional dance experience by training and performing with many local and national companies. She had chosen to learn American Sign language as a second language requirement and fell deeply in love with D/deaf culture and the language. ASL has shifted her artist praxis, how she interacts with the world, ethnically, culturally, and spiritually. Jornae’s work is approached through an intersectional lens. Through aligning her multitude of identities and practices, she cultivates composition and projects that focus on enlightening the world to see who they are, and how we are all connected to the source. Her mission is to transform, inform, and inspire through art and human exchange. Suzette was a founding dancer with TU Dance’s CULTIVATE Trainee Program.

This workshop is supported by: 

Open Classes at TU Dance Center – Summer 2023

Join TU Dance 2023 Summer Intensive dancers for a series of open classes (July 24-August 12).  Classes will be posted weekly. Teaching artists include TU Dance Founder & Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands and Wendy Anderson, Hassan Ingraham, Herb Johnson, Laurel Keen, Anna Pinault, Laura Pratt, Abdo Sayegh-Rodriguez, and Peggy Seipp-Roy.

These classes are for INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED dancers.

WEEK 1 (July 24-29)

  • Monday, 7/24 | 9:30-11:30am | Contemporary with Christopher Ralph
  • Tuesday, 7/25 | 9:30-10:45am | Floorwork with Anna Pinault
  • Tuesday, 7/25 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Peggy Seipp-Roy
  • Wednesday, 7/26 | 9:30-11:30am | Contemporary with Christopher Ralph
  • Thursday, 7/27 | 9:30-10:45am | GYROKINESIS® with Wendy Anderson
  • Thursday, 7/27 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Laura Pratt
  • Friday, 7/28 | 9:30-11:30am | House with Herb Johnson III
  • Saturday, 7/29 | 10:00-11:30am | Contemporary Community Class with Christopher Ralph

WEEK 2 (July 31-August 5)

  • Monday, 7/31 | 9:30-11:30am | Modern with Anna Pinault
  • Tuesday, 8/1 | 9:30-10:45am | Floorwork with Anna Pinault
  • Tuesday, 8/1 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Laurel Keen
  • Wednesday, 8/2 | 9:30-11:30am | Floorwork with Anna Pinault
  • Thursday, 8/3 | 9:30-10:45am | GYROKINESIS® with Abdo Sayegh Rodriguez
  • Thursday, 8/3 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Hassan Ingraham
  • Friday, 8/4 | 9:30-11:30am | House with Herb Johnson III
  • Saturday, 8/5 | 10:00-11:30am | Modern Community Class with Anna Pinault

WEEK 3 (August 7-12)

  • Monday, 8/7 | 9:30-11:30am | Horton based modern with Toni Pierce-Sands
  • Tuesday, 8/8 | 9:30-10:45am | Floorwork with Anna Pinault
  • Tuesday, 8/8 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Abdo Sayegh-Rodriguez
  • Wednesday, 8/9 | 9:30-11:30am | Horton based modern with Toni Pierce-Sands
  • Thursday, 8/10 | 9:30-10:45am | GYROKINESIS® with Abdo Sayegh Rodriguez
  • Thursday, 8/10 | 11:00am-1:00pm | Ballet with Hassan Ingraham
  • Friday, 8/11 | 9:30-11:30am | House with Herb Johnson III
  • Saturday, 8/12 | 10:00-11:30am | House Community Class with Herb Johnson III

(please check the Open Class calendar as classes and/or teaching artists might change)

Cost: $15/class or $140/10 Classes

Please select the class you wish to take: :
Please select a payment option :
Student Name & Zip code:

Registration Form: This form should be completed once a year.

Please read the TU Dance Community Safety Statement before you register for classes at TU Dance Center.

Donation-Based Open Classes, June 18-29

Join us for a series of open classes and contribute to The TU Dance Access Fund which provides scholarships and financial aid to The School at TU Dance Center students. In 2022-2023, The TU Dance Access Fund provided almost $25,000 in financial aid.

By attending a class, a portion of your chosen donation amount will support our students.

24-hour online registration is required. Classes might be cancelled if the minimum number of students is not registered.

June 19 – 26 | 10:00-11:30am

  • Mondays: Horton-based Modern with Toni Pierce-Sands
  • Tuesdays: GYROKINESIS® with Wendy Anderson
  • Wednesdays: Ballet with Laurel Keen
  • Thursdays: Modern with Hassan Ingraham

Modern and Ballet classes are for Intermediate/Advanced levels; GYROKINESIS® welcomes all ability level.

Donation level :
Select a class :
Student Name:

The TU Dance Access Fund is partially funded by the E.A. Michelson Foundation and the Elmer L. & Eleanor J/ Andersen Foundation.

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