Description of Classes


All classes must be at least 45 minutes in length
Classes are always adjusted to the age and experience level of students

CREATIVE MOVEMENT--classes in basic problem solving using movement. The class first learns, then improvises en masse with basic components of dance/movement (direction, level, speed, force, quality, shape, etc.), then uses those components to create combinations of movement. Problems are given involving individuals, partners and groups. There is no right or wrong combination as long as the problem is solved. Cooperation is stressed.

COMPOSITION--classes in learning to compose dance, i.e. choreograph. Ideas, improvisation and problem solving are the modes for this class. Besides interesting movement, subjects such as shape, line, form, dynamics, use of music and idea are addressed. Students are expected to become visually aware of movement choices. Aspects of design are stressed.

DANCE TECHNIQUE--modern dance, ballet, theater and Renaissance dance techniques are taught, only one style per class period. All styles can be addressed during a residency or the concentration can be on just one style. Exercises are done to promote better strength, flexibility, coordination and control. Posture and pattern recognition are stressed, as is a kinesthetic sense of the movement.

CHOREOGRAPHY--special interest group learns a dance choreographed by Valerie Williams, either commissioned or from existing repertory. Requires ample rehearsal time (generally 1-2 hours per minute of finished dance).

DANCE HISTORY--a listening and doing class devoted to western dance through the ages, most specifically from the Middle Ages through the present. Short dances and parts of dances are taught (geared, of course, to the age and experience level of the students) for a 'feet on' acquaintance with the movements and styles. Costuming is discussed. The dances and styles are examined with a background of the socio-economic and political conditions of the time.

COSTUMING--an informal exemplary talk about the design of costume for dance; discussing problems, fabrics, construction techniques and color.

LIGHTING FOR DANCE--a theoretical and/or practical session on design, using color, placement and hanging, caring for instruments, general lighting schemes and specific design problems.

PHYSICS OF DANCE--a movement, kinesiology and biomechanics class exploring inertia, axis, angular momentum, force, weight, rotation, friction, efficiency of motion, etc. in dance and pedestrian movement.

LECTURES AND SEMINARS: Reviewing and reporting dance; Creative writing and dance; Producing a concert; Fencing; Auditioning; Non-performing jobs in dance and theater; Dance as a business; Stage movement; Movement and curriculum; Question/answer session; Survey of 20th Century dance history; Survey of dance styles; Kinesiology; Music and dance; Design; etc.

Number of sessions required for best effect during a one week residency:
Creative Movement--any number of classes. Information is added to previous learning.

Composition--at least 60 minute class for introduction. The more classes, the better.

Technique--for more than a rudimentary introduction, the class must meet every day for a short term residency, 3 times per week for a long term residency.

Choreography--the dance taught depends on the length of the residency and the age and experience of the students. A good rule of thumb is that it takes 1 hour of time to teach 1 minute of dance.

Dance History--1-5 lecture classes that can take place in any size space. This lecture is more effective as a "hands on" class, to experience the movement, style of movement, manners and clothing type.

Costuming--1-3 lecture/demonstrations.

Lighting for dance--1-? sessions depending on the amount of time per session. A lecture/demonstration needs 45-90 minutes. If a practical lighting plot and hang are desired for a specific concert, it will take 3-25 hours.

Physics of dance--a "feet on" class that demonstrates physical bodies being acted upon by physical forces depends greatly on the age of the students. 1-3 sessions.