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Smuin Announces Extension of Virtual Classes Plus 'Class for a Cause'

Virtual classes extended through February 28, 2021.

Since launching last April, Smuin Contemporary Ballet has led hundreds of aspiring and professional dancers through Zoom-based drop-in Virtual Classes in movement including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, fitness and more. Taught by Smuin dancers and alumni, the latest extension of these popular classes for all levels continues in 2021-just in time for anyone looking to kick off their New Year's resolution with some fun at-home toning, stretching, or movement. In addition to new offerings such as the sassy "Heels" and starter "Ballet FUNdamentals" workshops, and the return of the popular "Easy Movin'" class geared for seniors, Smuin has scheduled another "Class for a Cause" on January 22, this time benefiting the San Francisco/Marin Food Bank. Smuin's Virtual Classes are extended through February 28 (see schedule below). Classes are offered on a sliding scale from $8 - $20, with workshop series priced at $75-$100. Students must register 30 minutes in advance to receive a Zoom link to participate. For more information or to register, the public may visit www.smuinclasses.org.

Smuin Ballet Master Amy London was asked by Artistic Director Celia Fushille to launch Smuin's virtual classes, which have grown to offer a wide array of dance styles and fitness classes for all levels. 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 use our art to continue to positively impact issues that are important to our community." Over the past months, Smuin has donated all class tuition revenue from these events to organizations including the NAACP, the African American Art and Culture Complex, Center for Black Equity, ACLU, California Community Foundation's Wildfire Relief Fund, and the League of Women Voters.

Class for a Cause

All proceeds for Class for a Cause will go towards positively impacting issues and supporting important organizations in the community.

Heels for Meals

Fri 5pm (Jan 22)
Teacher: Cassidy Isaacson
In this session's Class for a Cause, Company artist Cassidy Isaacson teaches students to put on the Ritz at home. Whether they don high heels, low heels, or simply bring their attitude, this hour of strutting, swirling, and overall sassy dance fun combines elements of jazz, ballroom, salsa, and contemporary dance. All proceeds from this Class for a Cause will be donated to the San Francisco/Marin Food Bank.

Ballet Classes

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

Beginning Adult Ballet

Tues 9:30am, Thurs 5pm, Sat 10:15am
Teachers: Tess Lane, Brennan Wall, Ian Buchanan
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 10am
Teachers: Valerie Harmon
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 6:15pm, Sat 11:45am
Teachers: Terez Dean Orr, Tessa Barbour, Tess Lane
These classes will focus on continuing to strengthen technique with thorough barre and some center work. Classes include increased ballet vocabulary and aim to challenge and inspire those with previous ballet training.

Intermediate Pointe

Tues 6:15pm
Teacher: Lauren Pschirrer
These classes begin with strengthening and stabilizing exercises followed by pointe work, structured to safely continue pointe training at home. This class is for dancers 13 years and older with at least two years of previous pointe training.

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

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.

Beginning/Intermediate Broadway Jazz

Sun 4pm, Tues 4pm (No classes 1/12, 1/17, 1/19, 1/24, 1/26)
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. The second class on Tuesdays is a continuation of the material begun on Sundays. This class has been renamed from Musical Theater to better reflect the dance emphasis; the class content has not changed.

Intermediate Tap

Tues/Thurs 5pm
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

Thurs 6:15pm
Teacher: Mengjun Chen
Back by popular demand! Students will learn the highly stylized flavor and theatrics of Character dance, a style that draws influences from traditional folk and national dances.

Dance-Based Fitness

Taught by Smuin dancers or alumni, these classes emphasize strength, flexibility, mobility, and fun.

Pilates

Sat 9am
Teacher: Lauren Pschirrer
A full-body workout designed to build strength, improve coordination, balance, control and endurance throughout the body, through specifically designed exercises. Emphasis placed on proper alignment, the importance of the breath, and developing a strong core. Modification for all levels and experience.

Easy Movin' with Smuin

Thurs 10am
Teacher: Valerie Harmon
This low-intensity class features full body exercises for seniors or anyone wanting to focus on balance, stability, range of motion, and coordination, plus a short phrase of movement set to music. The entire class may be enjoyed seated or standing, and additional options will be given to add light resistance work. Optional equipment includes: a towel or belt, and light weights such as soup cans, milk containers, or hardcover books.

Stretch & Strength

Wed 11:30am
Teacher: Valerie Harmon
Pilates-based exercises and full body stretching to strengthen and lengthen! A great way to augment any style of dance by strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility. Modifications for all levels of experience.

Workshop Series - NEW!

These workshops are designed to give participants a concentrated introduction to a specific style of dance. Each class package includes video access to a recording to practice between classes.

Beginning/Intermediate Heels

Fri 5pm (Jan 29, Feb 5 & 12)
Teacher: Cassidy Isaacson
Dancers can strut into the weekend feeling fabulous in this all-new Friday class, teaching students how to put on the Ritz from the comfort of home over the course of three classes. Whether students choose to don high heels, low heels, or simply bring their attitude, this hour of sassy dance fun combines elements of jazz, ballroom, salsa, and contemporary dance. Each instruction will be recorded, and participants will have access to the video in order to practice throughout the week until the next class meeting.

Ballet FUNdamentals

Mon 5pm (February 1, 8, 15, & 22)
Teacher: Brennan Wall
Would-be dancers who have always thought of trying a ballet class will have a chance to get introduced to the foundations of ballet posture, positions, and basic steps in this new 4-week workshop. Each instruction will be recorded, and participants will have access to the video in order to practice throughout the week until the next class meeting. This is a fun and low-stress way to gain an appreciation for the basics of ballet training or to prepare to join Smuin's Beginning Ballet classes.

Photo credit: Maggie Carey



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