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MAD (Movement and Dance) Weekend

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Contact Heather Roffe, event coordinator and Assistant Professor of Dance, at 585-389-2163 or

When:  Thursday, March 27 - Sunday, March 30

What:  A weekend of master classes and special events in a variety of dance styles and movement practices, including traditional technique classes, cultural and social dance, somatic modalities, performance styles, improvisation and choreography.

Featuring more than 30 master classes over a span of three days, this event is open to dancers, actors, and movers (ages 15+) of all skill levels.

We will be presenting three special events over the weekend, starting with a MAD (Music and Dance) performance in Linehan Chapel on Thursday, March 27 at 7pm, featuring faculty, student, and guest artists with original music and dance compositions, performed by student and faculty musicians and dancers. Free and open to the public.

On Friday, March 28 at 8pm in Callahan Theater, we will be welcoming special guest artists from FuturPointe Dance for an informal performance and lecture. Tickets are $5, or the 6 classes for $25 package may be applied; a $2 discount is available for students with ID.

On Saturday, March 29 at 8pm in Elizabeth George Hall Dance Studio, a student Master of Arts in Liberal Studies capstone performance Phoenix will explore the convergence of feminism and the art of Belly Dance. Free and open to the public. (Mature audience content).

 Who:  Classes are taught by local, regional, and national artists - including professionals, cultural experts, professors, and movement practitioners - with a wealth of experience and expertise among them!

Other special guests and master teaching artists include:

- Stephanie Fittro - Broadway Dancer/performer and teaching artist, based in NYC

- Dr. Staffan Elgelid - Feldenkrais Practitioner and PhD in Physical Therapy

-Daniel Gwirtzman - Performer, Choreographer, Dance Educator, and Company Director of the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, based in NYC

-William (Bill) Evans - Performer, Choreographer, Professor, and Artistic Director of the Bill Evans Dance Company

How: Registration will occur onsite, throughout the day in the Upper Lobby of the Arts Center, Nazareth College beginning at 1:30pm on Friday, March 28.

Tickets for classes/Friday 3/28 lec-dem can be purchased at registration - $5 a class, or 6 classes for $25 ($2/class discount for Nazareth students w/ID). Only cash is accepted.
*There are opportunities to volunteer at MAD in exchange for free classes!  Contact Heather Roffe at for details.

 Download Master Class Schedule Here

Class Schedule and Descriptions

Thursday, March 27

Faculty and Student MAD (Music and Dance) Performance - Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

Friday, March 28

"Finding Presence" is an improv/technique/comp class. "Finding Presence" is another way of saying staying in your body/mind, no matter what movement language is thrown at you in any given technique class. It is also at the heart of what is really you, as you sift through movement vocabularies stored in your bones from past teachers and influences when you are in the process of making your own dance. Elements of yoga, improvisation, somatic body work, and Evans dance technique are used as tools to aid in the processes of dancing and making dance.
Instructor: Sarah Gullo

This class focuses on developing the basic movement skills of jazz dance. Inspired by my experiences, emphasis is placed on Jack Cole technique and is fused with musical theatre, concert, and commercial jazz dance forms. The intention of the course is two-fold: develop a solid technical background and develop artistry within the dance style. Students will address body awareness and movement efficiency through traditional technical combinations, learning body isolations, and confronting varying rhythms and contrasting dynamics. Choreographic excerpts take the place of shorter combinations, allowing students to simultaneously develop creative expression, stage presence, and technical abilities. Character shoes, both flat and with heels, are welcome but not necessary. While previous dance experience is helpful, this course is open to students of all levels.
Instructor: Sarah Coolidge

Bharatanatyam is a popular South Indian classical dance form that hails from the state of Tamil Nadu. Derived from ancient manuscripts, Bharatanatyam incorporates the mind, body, and spirit through intricate movements, fast footwork, and expressive storytelling.
Bharatanatyam focuses on building the body’s core with fast footwork, intricate poses, and lovely leapsand bounds. After mastering the fundamentals, the dance form becomes a great form of cardio. In a 1.5 hour masters class, I will gauge the students’ overall initial grasp to the dance. I will cover common dance moves and hand gestures that will later be incorporated into a short choreography. By the end of the class, the students should have a strong introduction to Bharatanatyam with an authentic choreographed routine to take home as a souvenir!
Instructor: Anu Mukund

The objective is to introduce traditional tap dance vocabulary allowing students to discover the art of playing percussive music with their feet.
The workshop will encourage students to explore timing, phrasing and the interplay of tap dance with music.
Instructor: Cheryl Johnson

The ribcage and middle back are traditionally areas that are stiff and immobile in many people.. For most of us that is not a big concern, for a dancer, actor/actress the area of the ribcage and middle back is where movements can turn from ordinary to elegant and emotions including joy, depression, and sadness can be expressed. How do we become more flexible in the ribcage and middle back so that we can express those emotions during the performance? This workshop will focus on the range of movements and emotions that can be expressed from intelligent use of the ribcage and middle back. It will be an exploratory workshop that will guide the student through various movement practices inspired by the Feldenkrais Method, Yoga and Tai Chi. At the end of the workshop the student will have a new appreciation for the importance of the middle back and ribcage, and have a variety of new expressions and movements available for their performance. Great for actors, dancers, and movers of all skill levels!
Instructor: Dr. Staffan Elgelid

An eclectic Modern class pulling from various traditional Modern Dance techniques (including Cunningham, Graham and Horton) for the intermediate to experienced student. Throughout the hour and a half, we will focus on musicality, connection to the floor and variations in movement quality. We will finish with a phrase that utilizes all of these while giving students an athletic sense of strength and fluidity. Class begins with a warm-up on the floor and moves into a cardio series, which evolves into improvisation, to thoroughly warm-up the body and engage the dancers’ creativity and attention. As we move into center and across the floor exercises, there is a focus on floor work, spatial awareness and the juxtaposition of control and release. All of these elements prepare students for a final combination. The final combination has an athletic movement quality with a slight contemporary flare. This pushes the dancers to apply their knowledge of Modern Dance technique while losing themselves in a sense of fall and recovery. The given choreography is heavily based on the musicality of an instrumental piece, challenging the dancers to find accents, dynamics and moments of silence layered within the music to compliment their execution of and intention behind the given movement.
Instructor: Alicia Sehn

Paige’s classes are a fusion of Ballet, Jazz, and Modern principals and vocabularies.The class begins with a warm-up sequence that builds in intensity, stretch, and strength. Movement develops throughout the class that is built on the foundation of the warm-up. Students are taught to have a deeper awareness of body and space, focusing on proper alignment in order to decrease injury, provide longevity in movement, and build a well-rounded dancer. Geared toward the experienced student, participants are encouraged to work within their own abilities, learning transitional phrasing and preparing their bodies to execute movement to their fullest range of motion. Students are encouraged to let go, release their torsos, while understanding the center and reaching through their outer limbs. This class is both physically and athletically challenging with movement dynamics ranging from lyrical to percussive. The concept of mind/body connection is taught in order to execute the more complicated, multi-dimensional elements of class. Paige’s belief is by building a strong technical foundation, a dancer is free to explore personal style and freedom.
Instructor: Paige Cummings

Master dancer/ teacher/choreographer comes to Rochester from Abidjan Cote d Ivoire. This Master Dance and Drum class is not only an amazing dance and music experience, but a true cultural journey into the heart of the motherland. In Africa, dance is not just an art form, it is essential component of life. Master dancer/teacher Mr. Jean MAILLY will delight students with his beautifully crafted and graceful movements which challenge both the physical and mental abilities from the very beginner to the most advanced dancers. Energetic, powerful and ultimately breathtaking, African dance celebrates the joy of life itself; the harvest of a good rice crop, a brilliant full moon in the small village, the birth of a baby, the passing of an elder and rites of passage ceremonies all embrace and embody traditional African dance. All classes are accompanied with live professional drummers who delight in playing for dancers.
Instructor: Jean Mailly

Guest artists from FuturPointe Dance present an informal performance and lecture. Tickets are $5, or the 6 classes for $25 package may be applied; a $2 discount is available for students with ID.

Saturday, March 29

Non verbal communication, personal boundaries, touch, confidence and intuition are just some of the topics addressed as students grapple (sometimes literally) with the creative skill-set that PUSH performers use everyday as they “share weight” to build impossible looking physical sculptures.
Instructor: Darrin Stevenson, PUSH Physical Theatre

This an improvisation class for the beginner to experienced student. Throughout class, we will focus on various improvisation exercises. Each task would be followed by a group discussion on their uses as choreographic tools. Many students can be intimidated by improvisation; therefore, the first exercise will begin traveling across the floor in groups. As dancers progress across the floor, they are given choreographic elements to incorporate (such as variations in tempo or levels) for each passage. Music would be introduced as the first variable, having students alternate focus among instruments as they explore both rhythm and melody. Next, a prop (ex. chair) would be introduced. We will then move into partnering skills. As we shift to partnering across the floor, dancers practice ‘catching’ movement phrases as they move in duets. Our final exercise will be contact improvisation. Students leave with a thorough exploration of dance improvisation and a deeper understanding of its significance to the choreographic process.
Instructor: Alicia Sehn

This class explores the fluid relationship of gravity and levity, and the juxtaposition of line and flow. Structured similarly to a ballet class, dancers progress from center barre through phrase work, with an emphasis on shifting centers of balance, movement efficiency, and developing personal artistry.
Instructor: Vanessa Van Wormer

This master class will take the fundamental elements of hip-hop dance as a street form, integrating them into the context of studio dance. Using language as a tool of integration, we will marry the two worlds of dance performance, combining aspects of both the concert and commercial stages to get us moving through space in a BIG way.
Instructor: Nicole Kaplan

This full-bodied movement class will explore the dynamics and phrasing range possible for the moving body. Focusing on how the dynamic range and choices made in movement come together to form expressive statements in a manner useful to character development, choreography and dance performance. Through playful exploration and formed movement phrases participants will be guided to embody a wide range movement possibilities and apply their learning to current performance interests.
*appropriate for dancers, actors, and those interested
Instructor: Colleen Culley

POWER, RHYTHM, SPEED. A codified technique that is rooted in dance fundamentals and which reflects Daniel’s eclectic career as a teacher/choreographer/dancer and the synthesis of years of research, discovery, and practical application. Dancers will learn his signature style, blending “casualness with precision,” as dance critic Deborah Jowitt has characterized the aesthetic. The class cultivates the physicality of the athlete with the energetic flow of dance and the expressivity of an individual artist. The meat and potatoes and spinach, or tofu and beans if vegetarian, are characterized by a manipulation of speed and a rewiring of the body to gain comfort in unexpected shifts of weight and changes of direction; the virtuosity comes through the manipulation of a certain neutrality and pedestrianism of the body; rhythmic work and coordination are designed to challenge the student both physically and intellectually. Partnering and improvisation are also woven into the class. The objectives are to gain a total awareness of the entire body at all times and to cultivate one’s individual expression and idiosyncrasy. In this class Daniel seeks to cultivate complete versatility to aid in the development and proficiency of dance for a dancer regardless of genre. It's also a kick-butt and brain workout!
Instructor: Daniel Gwirtzman

This class delivers a dialogue of master tap dancers throughout the last century such as Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Buster Brown, Gene Kelly, Steve Condos, Leon Collins, and Gregory Hines.
Students will learn signature steps and engage in an integrated study to understand the evolution of the art of tap dancing.
Instructor: Cheryl Johnson

This is a dance conditioning class that focuses on improving dancers’ flexibility and strength. Drawn from my knowledge of dance, Pilates, yoga, and other bodywork modalities, this class conditions the body head to toe and increases body awareness. The combination of exercises is also designed to balance the body, prevent injury, and improve posture. No dance experience necessary. This class is also beneficial for athletes and health enthusiasts of all kinds.
Instructor: Sarah Coolidge

The goal of course is a promotion of understanding of Chinese culture and the characteristics of Chinese classical dance. The fan dance and long-sleeve dance have been important forms in Chinese classical dance since ancient China. The course is going to provide an opportunity for students to experience Chinese fan dance as well as Chinese long-sleeve dance. Briefly introduction of the history of Chinese classical dance will be present in the course. Beginning level of movements of both dances will be taught in the course. For practice purpose, the instructor will bring several fans and long sleeves to class for sharing.
Instructor: Maggie Wang

The master class will cover:
• Facts about Performance-Related Musculoskelatal Injuries (PRMI’s)Injury sites; injury distribution among dancers; when the greatest number of injuries occur, physical, psychosocial and situational factors influencing PRMI, risk factorsstrains, etc.)
• Common problems seen at CHPT (snapping hip, patella-femoral pain syndrome, sprains,
• Proper warm-up, cool-down and stretching techniques
• Sprain vs. strain, when/how to self-treat, when to seek help
• Returning to dance after an injury
Taught by CHPT therapists, variations of this workshop have been presented at the Garth Fagan Dance SMI, the first Nazareth College Dance Festival in 2010, at our Dancer Wellness Initiative in 2012, as well as several area dance studios.
It can be tailored to meet the needs of the audience and will include a significant amount of “hands-on” practice with the instructors.
Instructor: Tracey Boccia and staff from Callan-Harris Physical Theraphy

The movement style is inspired by carnival groups of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Samba Reggae was created in the 1960s fusing Brazilian music and dance with Caribbean Reggae. We will be learning the signature style developed by Ilê Aiyê, one of the most famous Blocos Afros in Salvador. Their style emphasizes groundedness, body isolations, and the rhythmic drive of samba.
Instructor: Oluyinka Akinjiola

ENCORE. In this repertory workshop, Daniel teaches movement from the acclaimed program length theatrical dance, Encore, which lives at the intersection of concert modern dance and the contemporary musical theater. Premiering at Joyce SoHo in 2007 and an official selection of The New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF) in 2009, Encore has consistently toured by Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company and been set on other professional companies and dance departments. Reviewing the premiere, dance critic Brian Seibert wrote in The New Yorker:
Encore is both the title of Gwirtzman’s new dance suite and the response it’s likely to inspire. The name refers to the repetitions of rehearsal, as a fictional troupe of Broadway dancers prepares to go on the road, but there’s little tedium in Gwirtzman’s choreography, set to classic jazz recordings. Executing his tricky syncopations and intricate patterns at breakneck tempos, the dancers can’t help but smile.
Instructor: Daniel Gwirtzman

"The desire to communicate can and will overcome every obstacle" - Tina Packer
Rhythm and relationship to story is cultivated in this 1.5 hr workshop. Developing characters within rhythms, stories and shape, spirit and form.
Instructor: Stephanie Fittro

Belly Dance, also known as Raqs Sharki, is one of the oldest and most evolved forms of dance in the world. The movements of belly dance will sculpt and firm your body, while increasing your stamina and grace, all without stress and fatigue. The first part of class will include warm-up, basic moves, techniques and a short choreography. Join me as we explore this ancient, beautiful and feminine art!
In the second part our class, we will explore the Dabke; a style of line-dance from the Levant region of the Middle East - from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan to Iraq. This style of dance is for both men and women – used in social celebrations and also seen in folkloric stage shows. Dabke means “To Stomp” in Arabic. Although no one is certain, one legend has it that the dance developed to aid in creating housing. People would be needed to “stomp” on the dirt roofs to pack it down evenly. Dance and music aided in keeping spirits lifted. There are 6 different types of Dabke – in our class today, we focus on Al-Shamaliyya.
Open to all levels!
Instructor: Michelle Charles

In this class, Kathy Diehl offers a blend of vinyasa yoga, ballet, modern dance, and Bartenieff fundamentals. Class begins with an integrated series, followed by Sun Salutations to encourage body connectivity and breath support. Then, the exploration of asanas “with a twist” begins as Diehl weaves dance with more traditional yoga poses. Students can expect to engage with a practice that moves on and off the mat bringing them to a deeper experience with their kinesthetic sense, internal rhythms, and flowing energy. Music, of all varieties, is an integral part of the class. Class will conclude with a final savasana. Some yoga experience would be useful, but not necessary. Mats will be available.
Instructor: Kathy Diehl

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies student capstone performance Phoenix explores the convergence of feminism and the art of Belly Dance. Free and open to the public. (Mature audience content).

Sunday, March 30

This is an Intermediate/Advanced New Jazz Dance class designed to work with movement in isolations, body coordination, movement with rhythmic changes, muscular control, flexibility, and other new jazz techniques. Students are expected to master each clear and subtle transition between movements along the challenge of special changes. One pair of Jazz shoes is required to be worn in this class.
Instructor: Yang Wang

A unique FULL BODY CONTEMPORARY dance class experience with an energetic infusion of Caribbean rhythms & cultural dance forms. Lots of fun!
Instructor: Guy Thorne

William (Bill) Evans will guide an exploration into some of the essential concepts of his Laban/Barteieff-inspired modern dance technique. He will also model the Evans method of teaching, for which he is known internationally. The session will be appropriatefor intermediate and above level dancers.
Instructor: William (Bill) Evans

In a dance studio setting, Daystar/Rosalie Jones will introduce participants to the cultural meaning of dancing with small hoops as originated in the Southwest as a ceremonial practice for personal healing and growth. By mid-twentieth century, the hoop dance began to move out of ritual and into the powwow circuit and on stage as a “specialty dance” for entertainment by highly skilled dancers using up to 30 hoops. This workshop will begin with an explanation of the Four Directions (a cultural orientation for dance and life) and the purpose of dancing not only within a circle, but with a circular object known as the “hoop”. With the basic movements of the “roll”, “toss”, the “figure eight” and “walk the dog”, a creative improvisation or set routine can be created with one hoop. With two to three hoops, more intricate images can be created such as “basket”, baby eagle”, “insect”, “flower”. As time permits, each participant will be given time to create a short hoop dance with one, two or three hoops and show it to the group. Hoops will be provided. Wear loose comfortable clothing and soft-soled shoes (no street shoes).
Instructor: Daystar/Rosalie Jones

Through a unique blend of styles and influences, Kathy Diehl’s contemporary class offers complex movement phrases designed to ignite curiosity and individual artistry. As a mover, Diehl cherishes kinesthetic pleasure and is committed to giving students multiple opportunities for self-discovery through improvisation, interpersonal exchange, and movement vocabulary that encompasses the full range of dynamic possibilities. Students are encouraged to find their way into the material within a supportive environment that invites collaboration, personal exploration, and a sense of humor. Class begins with a floor warm-up, followed by a combination of structured and improvisational exercises, finally culminating in a multidimensional movement phrase connecting the various concepts of class.
Instructor: Kathy Diehl

This class is geared towards musical theatre students who would like to become proficient knowing and performing tap vocabulary. I will cover some of the following steps: time-steps, paradiddles, waltz clogs, suzie q’s, bombershays, drawbacks, cincinattis, maxifords, falling off the log, time-steps, and essences. The class includes a technical warm-up, down the floor exercises and will finish with a center combination.
Instructor: Jody Deloria

This class is designed to help generate awareness and conversation among the participants about movement pathways that are naturally familiar or unfamiliar in their bodies. Class will begin with a small, structured improvisation where the dancers will be asked to explore movement initiating through different parts of the body. The dancers can be cognizant of the pathways they are naturally moving through. Afterwards, the students will be led through a more traditional warm up (on the floor and standing) consisting of x-rolls, stretches, tendus and plies in small phrases. Do these pathways feel familiar in their bodies because of their history as a dancer or because they feel natural based on the structure of their body? Class will end with a short phrase that can be inverted by the dancers in an effort to have them explore both familiar and new pathways. The class is open to all levels.
Instructor: Julia Zdrojewski

Building on the principals of fall and recovery, this class we will explore complex movement phrases that swing, suspend and resolve themselves. Warm-up will start on the floor, and we will progress through standing, across the floor, and small and large jumps. For the experienced dancer.
Instructor: Ruben Ornelas

This ballet class will focus primarily on how best to clarify the basic vocabulary of classical ballet and will address how the steps learned at the beginning level simply combine to create the vocabulary of the next (Intermediate) level. Proper placement of the torso with the head, arms and legs responding naturally, yet correctly, to achieve classical "line" will be addressed, as well as the distribution of weight and the controlled direction of energies.
Instructor: Brad Parquette

Born from the oppression of slavery, capoeira is a synergistic blend of dance, martial arts, and acrobatics. Capoeira's history charts its existence back to the slave ships, which carried millions of Africans to the shores of Brazil under the direction of the Portuguese crown. In the fight for freedom, the slaves developed a means of self-defense disguised as dance. As slavery disappeared, the martial art evolved into the current blend of dance, music, and improvisation that is seen in capoeira today.
This class will be an exploration of the fundamental movements and techniques of capoeira. This includes attacks, escapes, ground movements, inversions and more. Great for actors/fight scenes!
Instructor: Carcará (Todd Russell)

This workshop is a movement and choreography class that explores the Bounce subculture (music, moves, and public figures), which shaped the early twerk-like movements. This genre of dance began in the early 90’s in New Orleans as part of the club/nightlife scene but quickly became a scene in and of its self. Much like any other secular dance style born in the US, the social climate of New Orleans and the country at large played a large part in the incubation of this genre. As the class learns the many eclectic and parody based movements that Bounce dance was formed out of, the class also learns that the movements are in response to the driving beats and the instructional lyrics of the Bounce MC’s rhythmic chant. More over a short choreographic sequence leads to open improvisation, the original social context. The class is a high-energy dance party while providing morsels of history and experience colored by the enthusiastic Bounce beats and MCs. This class is an open levels class. Bring lots of water.
Instructor: Liam Knighten

This is an intermediate + level tap class. The class will be geared towards the intermediate student who is familiar with pullbacks/grab-offs/pick-ups (sometimes interchangeable terms depending on training). We will present these tap steps with an emphasis on performing them with clean sounds and an intentional, clear rhythm. The class will include a technical warm-up, down the floor exercises and finish with a center combination. (Tap vocabulary as defined by Dance Masters of America)
Instructor: Jody Deloria

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