Open class is a very special class for me. One where the participants attend for many reasons, but where true desire to be there is number one. I admire and respect each participant and always aspire to meet the challenge of providing the best class for all in attendance. This challenge includes offering a class that dancers of multiple levels, life/career stages, ages and backgrounds can enjoy, gain technical help and advancement, or just use to get some exercise. I love to help each dancer in some way. This may be by providing a fun combination or in honing in on a technical need for them personally.
My background includes early training in Royal Academy and Cecchetti techniques, and a professional performing career where Vaganova methods, Balanchine style, and a great deal of contemporary ballet helped shape me as an artist and as a teacher. I am passionate about teaching and I love to impart my knowledge and experience. My love of the art of ballet and dance inspires and motivates me. I believe in the basics of classical ballet technique, posture, and placement as well as good form and line. I like to focus on the detail of transitions, and detail of movement quality and phrasing. I stress details on where movement begins and how it ends, as well as the incorporation of a good sense of port de bras and use of the head. These can be applied and incorporated by anyone in my open class. I encourage participants to modify or adapt combinations based on their own need, physical condition or desire. My open class is for them.
Nothing is more exciting than an open class that includes a good group of regulars (I have several who are dedicated, committed and ever improving), a smattering of professionals, former professionals, more advanced students, another teacher or choreographer, and you— whoever you are. The energy of each person helps shape the class and informs me on adaptations I need to make, regardless of any pre-class plan.
If you are new to Dance Fremont and a bit nervous I encourage you to just show up and try a class. It may be too easy or too hard, but know that each class is different. I am always willing to chat so I can get to know your desires and to try to accommodate them. If you need a beginner class, DF offers them as well. If you want more push, more challenge, less challenge or just want a simpler option just let me know. Dance Fremont is welcoming to all. Teaching here is always a pleasure as all are always treated with respect and kindness and offered support and comradeship.
Image: rehearsal for William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Circa 1990. Pictured left to right: Marquita Lester (Ballet Mistress), Barry Ingham (Artistic Director), William Forsythe (Choreographer) Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford (Dancer)