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Fall 2012 Adult Class Descriptions & Faculty Biographies

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Quick Links to Adult & Teen Class Descriptions and Faculty Biographies
Class Descriptions and Faculty Biographies

BALLET — Monday night Ballet classes are taught by Emily Scott, former dancer with the Louisville Ballet and current company member of MamLuft&Co. Dance. This class is intended for beginners and intermediate dancers. The class will follow the traditional ballet structure of barre exercises, stretching, adagio, pirouettes, petite allegro, and grand allegro in joyful, low stress environments!

EMILY SCOTT is a native of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and started her training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet under the instruction of Patrick Notaro. A graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy, she performed many featured roles in The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Serenade, and performed in contemporary choreography by the Butler faculty including pieces by Cynthia Pratt and Derek Reid. She also had the opportunity to perform/study ballet and character dance in St. Petersburg, Russia. Emily is a dancer in the modern dance company, MamLuft&Co. Dance; prior to coming to the company, she performed with the Louisville Ballet Company.

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BALLET BASICSClick here.

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BREAKDANCE — Click here.

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CLASSIC ARAB DANCE — These classes teach the foundation steps common in many styles of Arab Dances all throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East. The Dance course is taught by Irene Mirci in Classic Egyptian style, also known as Dance Oriental.

For Beginner Dancers – Classes will focus on the basic movements of the hips and chest, including; conscious application and practice of geometrical shapes particular to this ancient art (circles, spirals, figure eights). Pulsating rhythmic movements (locks) and vibrating rhythmic movements (shimmies). We will learn dance steps, examine Arab Folklore related to dance, and take a brief look at its origins and history. Each class concludes with guided improvisation, which invites your inner dancer to come out and play!  This class is appropriate for all ages. Bring a scarf to tie around your hips to aid with body awareness.

For Intermediate and Advanced Dancers – Classes build on the foundation steps from the beginner course. Focusing on layering movements that gradually increase in difficulty in three different ways: moving two distant body parts simultaneously, moving two adjacent body parts simultaneously and moving the same part of the body in two different ways at the same time. We will also practice changes in velocity, learn various arm movements; and experience different dance moods and stage presence through guided improvisation. Please wear comfortable dance attire, including a dance belt and skirt/harem pants.

IRENE MIRCI was born in Italy and grew up in Australia. Throughout her youth she traveled around Europe, as far as Pakistan, India, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen. During this time she had a great interest for their more sophisticated form of dance and some years later started seriously studying Raqs Sharki (Dance from the East) and Arabic Folklore. She enrolled in some of the best schools in Italy and attended regular classes with dedication for over six years learning the subtle art of Arab dance from some of the best teachers and dancers in Italy. Irene studied classic Arab dance and Folklore with dedication and followed the teachings of Egyptian dancer Amal Khalifa and the Egyptian dance instructor Saad Ismail of the M. Reda Dance Troupe. She studied and performed with American dancer and anthropologist, Mylitta. With Italian dancer and C.U.S. instructor Maria Luisa Sales, she studied a more contemporary style combining Dance Oriental with elements of Bharatnatyam, Creative Movement, and Flamenco. Irene was the acclaimed and talented primary dancer at the “Cleopatra” Club-Restaurant in Rome, Italy in 2004/2005, and she participated in various shows and live performances during cultural events, weddings, and parties around the world. She began teaching Arab Dance and Choreography classes in 2001. In October 2006, Irene relocated to the United States and is now residing here in Cincinnati. She says, “I have a particular interest in languages and folklore and have always been irresistibly curious about other cultures. When I meet a language barrier, I find it is much easier to relate to people while dancing to their folk music. A step and a smile will bring you closer than a thousand words.”

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HIP HOP — Steve Irwin teaches adult level Hip Hop classes with creative choreography set to the latest hip hop and R&B music.

STEVE IRWIN has been dancing and teaching professionally for over twenty years. He has performed all over the world on cruise ships, at dinner theaters, and at theme parks. Steve’s teaching credits include Northern Kentucky University, Governor’s School of the Arts, Playhouse in the Park, Wyoming Center for the Arts, and is currently on staff at Cincinnati Ballet and CCM. He is pleased to be teaching at CDT.

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MODERN DANCE — Mixed-level and mixed-origin Modern Dance classes will explore various Modern Dance styles and techniques. The classes aim to improve your flexibility, range of motion, technical knowledge, musicality, artistic range, and understanding of basic modern dance principles.

EMILY SCOTT is a native of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and started her training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet under the instruction of Patrick Notaro. A graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy, she performed many featured roles in The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Serenade, and performed in contemporary choreography by the Butler faculty including pieces by Cynthia Pratt and Derek Reid. She also had the opportunity to perform/study ballet and character dance in St. Petersburg, Russia. Emily is a dancer in the modern dance company, MamLuft&Co. Dance; prior to coming to the company, she performed with the Louisville Ballet Company.

SHANI ZISOVITCH was born and trained as a dancer in Israel, and is a graduate of The Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem with a Bachelor of Dance and a teaching certificate. As a choreographer her works were shown on stages in Israel and she was awarded first place in competitions and festivals. As a dancer Shani performed in works of different choreographers in Israel and Europe. In the past 8 years Shani has taught modern dance and improvisation to students and adults, using a variety of techniques, extensive use of release technique and floor work. In addition to dancing, Shani specializes in women’s exercise and is a certified trainer for pregnant women. She has recently performed in “Small Craft Warning” by choreographer Diane Germaine.

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MODERN DANCE WITH MAMLUFT&CO. DANCE (OPEN COMPANY CLASS) (Advanced) — MamLuft&Co. Dance opens its doors to its company class, where advanced students can take class with ML&Co.’s company of dancers. The classes will be taught by Jeanne Mam-Luft (Director), Susan Honer (Assistant Choreographer and Pilates Trainer), and Ashley Powell (Assistant Choreographer). Other company members may also step in to teach. The class will use a range of class formats to explore dynamic alignment, athleticism in dance, organic movement, abdominal support, release and somatic techniques, and pluralistic aesthetics. Visit mamluftcodance.org for more information on the Company.

JEANNE MAM-LUFT is a choreographer, designer, and photographer, who also dabbles in lighting, video, and sound. Jeanne is also the Assistant Director of Contemporary Dance Theater, serves on the OhioDance Board of Trustees, and is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance. She has recently taught at Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts (Lexington, KY), Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX), University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), Northern Kentucky University (Newport, KY), Wright State University (Dayton, OH), Brookhaven College (Dallas, TX), and Tarrant County College (Fort Worth, TX). She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was also a student of scenic design and dance at their renowned School of Drama, while also studying photography and video at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. As a student, she received full scholarships to both American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival.

SUSAN HONER hails from Southwest Virginia, and currently resides in Dayton, Ohio where she teaches Pilates and dance in the community. Susan received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival and her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and English from Hollins University. Susan’s work has been seen in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New York, and Austria. In 2009, Susan was commissioned to create an original work for Merge Record’s 20th Anniversary Dance Concert, Merge with Motion. She is also the co-founder of Distance Dances, a blog and video-based dance collaboration with fellow dance artist Gina T’ai. Ms. Honer has been creating Fringe Festival material for ML&Co. since 2011 and made her ML&Co. mainstage debut as a choreographer in Pieces (2012).

ASHLEY POWELL hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana and is now a Dayton, Ohio resident. Ms. Powell is a graduate of Wittenberg University where she studied both Dance and Political Science. She has trained with David Dorfman, Lisa Race, and Jennifer Nugent at the American Dance Festival, as well as the Susan Marshall Company and Tricia Gelmini; she is also a former member of Rhythm in Shoes. Ms. Powell is in her sixth season with MamLuft&Co. Dance as an original company member. Outside of the company, Ms. Powell has also choreographed for her alma mater and the adjudicated Choreographers Without Companies, presented by Contemporary Dance Theater.

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MODERN DANCE SATURDAY SERIES  (Intermediate/Advanced) — An intermediate-level modern dance series, highlighting the range of styles in Modern Dance. An eclectic and interesting sampling, sure to keep you riveted. Drop-in students are welcome!

Session I: Sept. 15 & 22 — Shani Zisovitch; Sept. 29 & Oct. 6 — Michelle Morano; Oct. 13 & 20 — Karen Wissel; Oct. 27 — Shani Zisovitch.

Session II: November 3 — Visiting Guest Artist, Everett; November 10 & 17 — Leslie Dworkin; December 1 & 8 — Shani Zisovitch; December 15 & 22 — Leslie Dworkin.

LESLIE DWORKIN has been choreographing, teaching, and performing internationally for the past 15 years, including residencies at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research in NYC, Jacob’s Pillow, and Wolfeboro’s Arts on the Edge Festival, to name a few. She has performed in the works of Ralph Lemon, Maureen Fleming, Kei Takei, and Bebe Miller, among others; and as a member of the Leah Stein Dance Company, Sharir/Bustamante DanceWorks, and Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre. “Dworkin moves like silk” (ArtsHouston) and her uniquely fluid dance pieces have garnered much choreographic support from such sources as the Pew Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Djerassi, and a 3-year residency in the Susan Hess Choreographers Project in Philadelphia. Her training has included a rich blend of release-based techniques, somatics, butoh, qigong, and yoga. She has taught as a guest artist in many dance departments including UCLA, UNC/Greensboro, Oberlin College, Ohio University, and University of Texas/Austin. Leslie has an MFA in Choreography from Temple University, is a certified Trager bodywork practitioner, and has recently moved to Yellow Springs, OH where she resides with her husband, daughter, one cat, and a rabbit. In Leslie’s release-based class, we will explore the balance between ease and power, fluidity and specificity. Class will progress from awareness-building floorwork, to phrase material that is dynamic, fluid, and fully charged. Drawing from the studies of many different mind-body and dance techniques, we will explore off-balance movement, spinal articulation, and intricate, spiraling motion that moves in and out of the floor with expressiveness and musicality.

MICHELLE MORANO graduated with honors from Ohio University School of Dance. Since 2000, she has worked with such choreographers as Diane Germaine, Kelly Gottesman, Linda Reiff, Cheryl Wallace, and was a dancer, workshop leader, and co-collaborator in Fanchon Shur’s FLIGHT, FIGHT, FREEZE! project. She was also a guest artist with MamLuft&Co. Dance. Michelle has been involved as a dancer/choreographer with the Secret Commonwealth Folk Dance Opera projects funded by Dan Dutton. She has also worked with various other companies including Mind Collision Dance Company, Pilobolus, Shawn Womack Dance Company, Village Productions Contemporary Ballet Company, Mark Taylor Dance Company, and Liz Lerman. Her own work has been seen in Cincinnati’s Fringe Festival, in collaborations with Moving Art Dance Company, and in a collaboration with choreographer Diane Germaine (entitled “Monologue and Little Deaths”). Michelle is a certified Pilates instructor and has a studio in the Kenwood area where she works with private clients.

KAREN WISSEL-SHIOTA & DR. KAZUAKI SHIOTA will be teaching an Interactive Sonic Dance Technique Class. Come to this interdisciplinary modern dance class to experience the essential parts of the wide spectrum of modern and contemporary modern dance technique styles. Improvisation exercises will play a huge part in this interdisciplinary modern dance class because Wissel-Shiota believes improvisation is the fastest way to unlock ones creative potential. Group discussions of what worked and didn’t may also happen during the class.”Look back to the past, to inform the now. Use the now to forge the coming future. ” —Karen Wissel-Shiota

Karen Wissel-Shiota, adjunct instructor of dance at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, BFA in dance from OSU, will guide you through class exercises that explore some of the “isms” of the pioneers/founders of modern dance (including, but not limited to Delsarte, Isadora Duncan, Rudolph Laban, Louie Fuller, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Merce Cunningham, Bebe Miller and more). The Wissel-Shiota technique style has been developed to include a method for the integration of Modern Dance + Human Computer Interaction, called Interactive Sonic Dance (ISD).

Dr. Kazuaki Shiota, adjunct instructor of music at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, created Human Motion Wind Chimes and Piano for Interactive Sonic Dance, which allows dancer’s movements to be captured by motion sensors which trigger sounds and creates the real-time sound score for the class.

SHANI ZISOVITCH was born and trained as a dancer in Israel, and is a graduate of The Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem with a Bachelor of Dance and a teaching certificate. As a choreographer her works were shown on stages in Israel and she was awarded first place in competitions and festivals. As a dancer Shani performed in works of different choreographers in Israel and Europe. In the past 8 years Shani has taught modern dance and improvisation to students and adults, using a variety of techniques, extensive use of release technique and floor work. In addition to dancing, Shani specializes in women’s exercise and is a certified trainer for pregnant women. She has recently performed in “Small Craft Warning” by choreographer Diane Germaine.

EVERETTClick here.

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SALSA BOOT CAMP — Learn the basics in this “boot camp” of Salsa dance to get you out on the dance floor.  Amos teaches a combination of LA, New York, and Casino/Miami styles of Salsa. Basic steps of left and right turns, rocks, side break, cross body leads, cross over cumbia, and spot turns will be the focus of this class. Register with or without a partner.

AMOS BROWN began his dance training with parents Amos Sr. and Alpha Omega Brown. He won his first dance contest with his baby sister Felicia under their parents tutelage. His dance interests include modern, jazz, hip hop, Latin, African, and occasionally some classical dance genres, working with Shekinah Glory Dancers, opening up for gospel recording artist Darwin Hopps, and learning Ballroom from former Champion Susie Lasko, winning first prizes in Cha, Cha, Cha, and Swing competitions. He has also worked as an Actor/Cotton Club Swing Dancer in the play, This Joint is Jumping produced by Norbert Brown, the creature of A Good Man is Hard to Find. Amos’ theater interests drew him to audition with Ballet Tech Cincinnati where he performed in Shall We Dance, The Conductors, Green Legs and Ham, Made in America, and Jazzy Sleeping Beauty. In 2009, Amos won the Salsa category in the So You Think You Can Dance Competition in Dayton, Ohio. He then learned Rueda and joined and performed with Cincinnati’s first Rueda dance team Pan n Canela. Amos is currently teaching LA, NY, and Casio/Miami style salsa. From Amos, “I would like to personally thank all of the individual’s master instructors across the country, who helped me in my personal development in the art of salsa dancing and teaching. Thank you, Eddie Torres, Shaka Gonzalez Brown, Rogelio Moreno, Henry Herrera, Patricia Paz “Rueda.”

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WEST AFRICAN DANCE — Join us and be introduced to various West African dance styles and techniques. This aerobic activity will help you develop strength, coordination, flexibility, rhythmic awareness and provide stress relief. Learn specific dance steps and routines and also about West African culture and traditions of which dance is such a rich component. West African traditional dance is passed down over generations and often mimics occurrences in nature, daily life, and animals, in addition to having ritualistic importance. See and experience how West African dance can not only improve our physical health but also expand our relationship with nature, each other and ourselves. Class is lead by Shakira Rae Adams and accompanied by live drumming. This class requires registration: click here for more information.

SHAKIRA RAE ADAMS, born a Leo, a creative and accomplished dancer and choreographer, has a passion for journeying to different cultures to learn their ways and bring them back to the states to share and enlighten others. In 2004 she traveled to Ghana, West Africa where she became part of the community, learning their music, dance and way of life. Trained by Halifu Osumare in Katherine Dunham and Afro Caribbean techniques, she earned a Bachelors of Science in Dance Education from BGSU. Shakira also earned a Bachelors of Science in Music Education, specializing in trumpet, and a Masters of Education in Sports Medicine specializing in Kinesiology. Shakira danced 5 years with Bowling Green State University’s Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble. Here, she led and choreographed traditional West African dances to perform for various community events. She also taught traditional West African dances and culture to both adult and children groups. In 2001,She continued to dance and participated in Alma African Dance Company, Ohio Dance Conferences, theatre productions, BGSU showcases (showing casing her original works), choreographing works for various high school color guards, creating a beginning dance manual, and improvisational dancing for art show openings. Shakira currently teaches 2-4 year olds how to develop and move their bodies in various classes at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center.

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VINYASA YOGA — Vinyasa yoga is a vigorous yoga practice appropriate for all levels of practitioners. The class will focus on connecting movement with breath, through such postures as sun salutations, standing poses, balances, backbends, twists, and inversions. This practice enhances the body’s flexibility and strength, while calming and focusing the mind through breathing and meditation techniques.

MEGAN SHEPHERD has been practicing yoga since 1999 and has completed a 300 hour yoga teacher training program with World Peace Yoga & Cincinnati State, and is a 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance. Through teaching yoga, she seeks to help students become more peaceful and centered, as well as physically invigorated, strong, and flexible. In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, Megan teaches English, writes, runs, hikes, and bikes.

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BEGINNING YOGA — Beginning Yoga provides an introduction to a variety of yoga poses individually tailored toward students of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels. In depth instruction on basic poses and sequences, as well as an introduction to breathwork and meditation, will be provided. Mats and props will be provided to help you safely practice yoga and reap the benefits of a regular yoga practice, which include stress reduction, flexibility, strength, and an overall feeling of well being.

MEGAN SHEPHERD has been practicing yoga since 1999 and has completed a 300 hour yoga teacher training program with World Peace Yoga & Cincinnati State, and is a 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance. Through teaching yoga, she seeks to help students become more peaceful and centered, as well as physically invigorated, strong, and flexible. In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, Megan teaches English, writes, runs, hikes, and bikes.

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