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Smuin Announces CLASS FOR A CAUSE and Extension of Virtual Summer Classes

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Smuin Announces CLASS FOR A CAUSE and Extension of Virtual Summer Classes

Smuin Contemporary Ballet has announced Class for a Cause, and the extension of its hit virtual classes featuring lessons in a variety of dance styles now through August 2, 2020. Smuin's Virtual Classes taught by its Company artists and alumni provide at-home dancers of all levels-beginner, intermediate, and advanced-with the opportunity to participate in Zoom-based drop-in lessons in ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, and more. "I reconnected with my body. That's a polite way of saying it hurt-not injured hurt, but wake-up-muscles-you-don't-use-bingeing-TV hurt," wrote Tony Bravo of the San Francisco Chronicle. Class for a Cause, special dance classes whose proceeds will benefit community organizations (to be announced) will take place July 7 and 21. In solidarity with the national focus on Black Lives Matter, the company recently donated all class tuition revenue from June 2 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Launched shortly after COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Smuin's Virtual Classes have attracted hundreds of participants, and will now be extended through August 2 (see schedule below). Classes are offered on a sliding scale from $5 - $20, and students must register 30 minutes in advance to receive a Zoom link to participate. For more information or to register, the public may visit

Smuin Ballet Master Amy London was asked by Artistic Director Celia Fushille to spearhead the efforts to launch Smuin's class programs, which offer a diverse array of dance styles. London has been Smuin's Ballet Master for 12 years, and with more than two decades of experience as a dance educator and program director she was ideally suited to create Smuin's program. Regarding Class for a Cause, London said, "We want to continue to positively impact issues in our community. We are reaching out to our staff and dancers to identify organizations important to them and expect to offer Class for a Cause regularly, in a variety of levels and styles, to use our art to support important needs in our community."

Ballet Classes
Four levels of ballet taught by current and former Smuin company dancers are on offer this session.

Beginning Adult Ballet
Tues/Thurs 12pm, Sat 11:30am
Teachers: Ian Buchanan, Tess Lane, Brennan Wall
Adults who have always wanted to try a Ballet class can join Smuin artists for fun and approachable classes which will guide students through the fundamentals, and continue to build on work from previous sessions. For best progression, a minimum of two classes per week is recommended.

Beginning/Intermediate Adult Ballet
Mon/Wed/Fri 10am
Teachers: Valerie Harmon, Mengjun Chen, Tess Lane
These classes are geared toward adult dancers with some prior dance experience. Those looking for a greater challenge than beginner-level classes can sign up for this class, which focuses on fundamental Ballet technique through barre work followed by a short (small space) center practice.

Intermediate Adult Ballet
Mon/Wed 6pm, Sat 1pm
Teachers: Terez Dean Orr, Brennan Wall, Tessa Barbour
These classes will focus on continuing to strengthen technique with barre, and some center work.

Intermediate/Advanced Adult Ballet - NEW "Class for a Cause"
Tues 10am (July 7 & 21)
Teacher: Amy London
This class is designed for more experienced dancers to challenge and hone their Ballet technique while dancing from home. Classes will include thorough barre and additional center work. Following the success of Smuin's fundraiser for the NAACP, the Company has announced a commitment to offering Class for a Cause, where 100% of the proceeds will go towards positively impacting issues and supporting important organizations in the community.

Dance Variety
Versatility and excellence in a wide range of dance styles is a trademark of Smuin and its multi-talented artists. Students are invited to try one class, sample a variety of styles, or enroll in a series.

Beginning Hip Hop (Beginning & All Levels)
Mon 4pm
Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood
Adults who have always wanted to find their Hip Hop rhythm can join Needham-Wood, who will teach a variety of new moves during a quick warm-up, followed by a fun and original combo.

Musical Theater (Beginning/Intermediate)
Sun 4pm
Teacher: Weston Krukow
Smuin alum Krukow has spent his time post-Smuin on national and international tours of Broadway's "An American in Paris." Students can join in the fun and bring a dance story to life with a class that brings Broadway style straight to their homes.

Tap/Soft-Shoe (Beginning/Intermediate)
Thurs 4pm, Sat 2:30pm
Teacher: Tessa Barbour
With or without the shoes, students can "tap" into their inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, learning fun new rhythms and dance steps from Smuin's resident tapper extraordinaire.

Character (Beginning/Intermediate)
Sat 10am
Teacher: Mengjun Chen
Students will learn the highly stylized flavor and theatrics of Character dance, a style that draws influences from traditional folk and national dances.

Contemporary (Beginning/Intermediate)
Thurs 5:30pm
Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood
Combining elements of modern dance, ballet, jazz and cultural dance, Contemporary is a movement style where every creative outcome is possible.

Stretch & Strengthen (All Levels)
Wed 11:30am
Teacher: Valerie Harmon
This Pilates-based exercise and full body stretching class to strengthen and lengthen is a great way to augment any style of dance. Modifications to these exercises for strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility are available for all levels of experience.

Fri-Yay! Dance Break (All Levels)
Fri 12pm (July 10, 17 & 31 only)
Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood
This energetic new class offers fun for the whole family. All ages are welcome to get their bodies moving and their spirit energized in a joyful hour of dance appropriate for "any body." A great way to end the week with a smile and start the weekend off on the right (or left) foot.

Photo Credit: Maggie Carey

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