Smuin Kicks Off Summer Session Of Virtual Classes Today

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Smuin Contemporary Ballet announces the extension of its hit virtual classes featuring lessons in a variety of dance styles now through July 5, 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. Launched shortly after COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Smuin's Virtual Classes have attracted hundreds of participants, and will now be extended through July 5 (see new schedule below) with details on an additional extension through August 2 to be announced soon.

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.

Ballet Classes
Three 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
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
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.

Pointe & Therabands
Tues 4pm
Teacher: Tessa Barbour
Classes will 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 and will require use of a Theraband or similar exercise band.

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.

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 Jazz/Funk (Beginning)
Mon 4pm
Teacher: Weston Krukow
Combining elements of Jazz, Hip Hop, and fun, this class will give students a chance to show off their sassy and fierce side.

Musical Theater (Beginning/Intermediate)
Sun 4pm
Teacher: Weston Krukow
Smuin alum Weston 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 home.

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.

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.

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