Written by Claudine Naganuma, Danspace Director
Recently, I have been inspired by the Buddhist teaching that our true nature is the Buddha Nature, aka the awakened one. The teaching is that we aren’t inherently flawed, just forgetful about how beautiful and good we really are at the core of our being. We get swept up in showing others how good and beautiful we are, meanwhile we reject ourselves. Deep down at our core many of us feel that we are not good, true and beautiful. There is a teaching about accepting ourselves using an allegory of a garden full of flowers. The peony flower doesn’t wish she was more like the lily and the rose doesn’t wish she was more like the iris.
“When you are born a lotus flower, be beautiful as a lotus flower. Don’t try to be a magnolia flower.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
We are a school filled with amazing flowers! I’ve always considered Danspace as a place to bloom. Beth’s infectious energy and commitment to the craft of ballet technique and artistry is inspiring. The Danspace staff is committed to meet you where you are as a dancer, support you in the development of technique and to foster your unique artistry. I am thrilled that I am choreographing the Waltz of Flower number in this year’s Virtual Nutcracker Project. I am working with an intergenerational cast of flowers and I am very appreciative for the garden.
Written by KT Mower, Danspace Manager
I find humor in my own “thoughts from the barre” while I am in class, including these gems:
- are my pants on backwards (mid plié)?
- I think I forgot to breathe (following a tendu exercise).
This month, our contribution to “thoughts from the barre” is this reminder that when you are working with two hands on the barre “make paws, not claws.” This refers to the idea that when you are working facing the barre with two hands resting on the barre, they are there to engage the back and support you in your movement: “paws”, relaxed hands and arms allowing the spine to lengthen as you remain upright; “claws”, tension in the hands and gripping the barre.
Think of this fun quip as you dance at the barre, drive anywhere in the Bay Area or walk down the street with your warm autumn beverage.
Children’s & Youth Division
We are closed for Thanksgiving Break Monday, November 23 – Saturday, November 28.
No classes will be held. We hope you will be able to spend time together, off screen and have a relaxing week of self care and play.
We are closed for Winter Break Monday, December 21, 2020 – Saturday, January 2, 2021.
Our fall semester goes until Saturday, January 30, 2021.
There is no break between the Fall & Spring semesters.
The Spring semester goes from February 1 – June 12, 2021.
Spring enrollment opens on Monday, November 30.
Our plan is to continue to offer classes virtually on Zoom. As always, information is ever changing and we will let you know in January if there are any modifications to this plan. We know that academic schools were starting to talk about resuming in-person instruction with pods, and that some may have already started the process. Most recent reports reflect that the County has announced plans to continue with distance learning through January due to the increase in COVID cases.
The virtual class schedule will remain the same. You can view the class schedule here.
If you are submitting a check, please print your children’s full name and class in the memo line. Please do not write over the routing/account numbers or the check will be returned with a request to rewrite the check.
We accept payment in the form in a personal check or electronic payment from your bank and online with a credit card.
Series 2 ends December 19!
Please schedule your makeup classes to be completed by December 19.
If you have any questions about the makeup class options, please ask in your class or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Series 3 will begin Sunday, January 3.
Beth is teaching Ballet 4/5 this fall!
After two very successful and fun classes in October and November, Beth Hoge (Danspace’s founder and matriarch) is scheduled to teach once more this year: Sat, Dec 19 from 11am-12:30pm. Email us to sign up!
We are currently able to safely rent our space to solo instructors that are teaching classes on zoom or for personal movement. We hope to be able to safely open our rental program early in the New Year to include groups of 3-4 to work safely in the space. Our rental rate will remain at $27 per hour and Liability Insurance listing Danspace as additionally insured is required. Please email to inquire about availability.
For most of our students and families, The Nutcracker is likely the most well known Ballet. Each year (for Ballet 1 and up) we look forward to participating in two local Nutcracker performance opportunities with Oakland Ballet School and Oakland Ballet Company. While we are not able to enjoy that tradition this year, Danspace is working on a virtual Nutcracker Project where our Children’s and Adult Division students are learning choreography on Zoom and which will become a dance film that we put together for our students and their families to view on December 19 at 3:00pm.
The San Francisco Ballet company performed the first complete version of The Nutcracker in the U.S. on Christmas Eve, 1944. But, the ballet debuted in 1892 in St. Petersburg, and Tchaikovsky’s Suite of the eight most popular songs (like the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and the “Russian Dance”) quickly became a hit internationally. Music commentator Miles Hoffman told NPR, “for thousands and thousands of children [The Nutcracker has] been their first exposure both to ballet and to classical music.”
Pictured below: Alfredo Corvino (Beth’s teacher) as Drosselmeyer, Ernesta Corvino (Master Teacher) in Arabian, Andra Corvino (Master Teacher) in Snow, KT Mower (Danspace Manager) in Waltz of the Flowers, KT Mower as a Mouse, Ellie Kerwin (Danspace Admin) in Angels, Shosi Black (Danspace Admin) with Beth Hoge (Danspace Founder) backstage, Ellie Kerwin as Mother Ginger.
While we were optimistic that we may be able to safely gather for class in January, we’re not ready to make that determination yet. Our plan is to start 2021 virtually and keep you updated about opportunities to return to the studio when those are more fully developed.
We are watching the case numbers and listening to experiences in OUSD, at other dance studios, and public health guidance. As a small, family-owned studio, we are planning to move slowly and cautiously, prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
We also plan to continue to offer virtual options once we are able to begin gathering, so if you feel more comfortable staying virtual, we’ll still have options for you.
We are planning to send a survey to our community to get a sense of your comfort level and preferences. Please keep an eye out for that, and please complete it when it arrives.
As always, please reach out to us with questions.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and happy Nutcracker Season,
The Danspace team