We asked (some) of our classes to share words that came to mind when they think about dance and/or what words make them think of Danspace. We’re sharing a word cloud of the words they shared with us, and as usual, we continue to be inspired by the creativity, dedication, and engagement of all the dancers at Danspace.

The biggest word that comes up for our team is gratitude. We’re grateful to you our students, to your families and support systems that make it possible for you to dance and be a part of our community, to our teachers who lead us in our creative explorations and foster our curiosity, and to Beth our founder for creating such a wonderful space for us all to dance in.

Thank you for being with us this year. It was nothing like we could have predicted, and we were still able to dance our way through. We hope to see you (fingers crossed) in person this summer and in the fall.


Waltzing into Summer
As part of my continued education, I have had the pleasure of taking classes with founding Dance for PD® teacher, David Leventhal. Over the years, one of the focuses of our study has been how to choreograph transitions into our class, considering that functional purpose, motivation and timing are the tools that dancers draw upon to execute movement, develop muscle memory and create a sense of movement phrasing. The primary transition we focus on in Dance for PD® is how to move from seated to standing in a way that promotes ease, is driven by imagery and supported by a rhythmic sense. Most recently, we were asked to consider how to get elders from a standing position to a travelling position. Through a simple weight shift that rocks from side to side and with a gentle swing of the upper body, we can easily find ourselves in a waltz. I always imagine the flow of my dress from one side to the other or imagine that I am embracing a child as we rock in a soothing pattern. I’ve always enjoyed watching the ballroom dancers glide around the room, changing directions easily as they dance amongst other couples in a crowded ballroom.

When I find myself having anxiety about the transition that we all face as our community considers reopening safely, I have to remind myself to waltz. So many of us have a different sense about what feels safe, and it can be challenging to navigate the changing CDC and state rules, each other’s expectations and needs, and to consider each other’s desire (or not) to commune with others. I have to remind myself to rock a bit and find my waltz step and simply pivot with dynamism when necessary.

As we transition back to the studio, I appreciate how creative and unpredictable our re-opening waltz is. Keeping the best of what we have learned during this pandemic, I look forward to waltzing with you.

Claudine Naganuma
Danspace Director

Photo by Daria Obymaha from Pexels

Children’s and Youth Divisions

Dance Party Week!

Dance Party Week is June 7 – June 12 on Zoom
All classes will meet as scheduled during this week.

Danspace hosts Dance Party Week to celebrate a wonderful year of dancing. This year’s dance parties will have two parts, all held virtually on Zoom.

The first part parents can sign on for the last class of the semester or sit in the room with your dancer while they have class. If you invite a family member or friend to sign on to Zoom for the last class, please email Danspace at info@danspace.com to let us know so that we can prepare to admit new names from the waiting room.

The second part, a virtual performance on Saturday, June 12 where we will share a film showcasing all of the class dances from the week. It will be a short performance, showing dances from Serendipity to Ballet ⅘ and the Danspace Repertory Ensemble.

The virtual performance is a low-key event that will give our dancers a chance to share their work with each other. It will be all pre-recorded, no live dancing for this event. The virtual performance will be held at 10:00am and 1:00pm. We expect this event to be about 45 minutes.

Click here to RSVP to the dance party film presentation

Thank you for a fun year of dance!

Summer Enrollment

We know things are rapidly changing and places are starting to re-open. At this time, for the safety of our staff and student body, we plan to hold our summer program for Serendipity and Pre-Ballet virtually on Zoom. We hope that you will include dancing in your summer plans!

You can view the summer Serendipity and Pre-Ballet schedule here

Deadline to enroll for the mini session and/or full session is June 1. We need 5 students to enroll in each class for it to go. If we do not have enough enrollment, the class will be cancelled or combined if possible.

We expect a County update in mid-June with further guidelines for re-opening. We will have more knowledge about where the County is with our Blueprint for a Safer Economy at that time. If there are any changes in class format, we will notify you ASAP. If In-person dancing at our studio becomes an option, a virtual option will also be available for anyone that chooses to continue on Zoom.

Visit our website to view your options for in-person dance camps or workshops for students age 8 and up.

Fall Enrollment

Fall enrollment opens on June 1 (originally scheduled for May 24, we pushed the date back). We will email information about our anticipated program format and post the schedule on our website. Fall schedule decisions for class format are contingent on Alameda County moving to and staying in the yellow tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Alameda is currently in the Orange tier, on schedule to move into the Yellow tier mid-June. A Yellow tier designation will give us more flexibility with dancing safely in our space for in-person instruction with distance between dancers and the instructor. We know that our young dancers are not eligible for the COVID vaccine at this time. Providing a safe dance environment for our students and staff is a top priority. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we cautiously move forward.

Adult Division

An opportunity for emerging choreographers everywhere!

Summer is a great time to explore, and Danspace is pleased to offer a Composition workshop with Mary Armentrout this summer.

This class is a combination of class/lab time, independent rehearsal time, and feedback time. You will embark on the creation of a dance after a period of small studies and after settling on a topic that interests you, guided by Mary Armentrout, award-winning, internationally-acclaimed choreographer. This class is open to teens and adults.

Summer Adult Composition Workshop
Mondays 5:00 – 7:00pm **Note new time!
Jun 14-Aug 23 (11 weeks)
Session price: $176 by cash or check, $183.04 by credit card
Instructor: Mary Armentrout
If you’re interested in enrolling in this workshop, please contact info@danspace.com to be connected with the teacher and to get registered.

Start your summer with Classes taught by Master Teacher Beth Hoge!

June 21 – June 25, 2021
Classes with Beth are based on the Corvino approach and reflect a unique approach to the understanding, practice and application of ballet technique. Grounded in the organic principles of movement, the approach is anatomically sound, devoid of affectation and has great emphasis on musicality.

This Intensive will be held on Zoom. All levels are welcome. Email info@danspace.com to enroll.
View the daily schedule and learn more here


Opportunities to watch dance around the Bay Area

If you’re looking for more virtual and in-person performances, check out Dancers’ Group’s community calendar. There are incredible artists presenting work of all kinds – there’s always something new to see or experience.

dNaga presents: Invisible Traces

Danspace’s Director Claudine Naganuma is presenting Invisible Traces: SF Chinatown on June 12 (featuring performances from some Danspace dancers and teachers). This dance film is an artistic response to examining the legacy racist laws have on our communities and how we can foster healing. Learn more and get free tickets here.

Photo of Janey Madamba and Chinese Exclusion Act
Conceived by Claudine Naganuma and Elmira Bagzaderah

Looking Forward

Our studios are getting ready for students!

As we’ve shared previously we’ve been busy getting the space ready for dancing in the times we find ourselves in. We’ve added more technology to support our students who will decide to stay on zoom, purchased air filters for each studio, marked the space for safety between dancers in the space, and we put new floors in Studios 2 and 3 and mirrors and barres in Studio 2. We can’t wait to see you in our refreshed space!

Studio 2 with mirrors and a new sprung floor (barres not pictured)

Studio 3 with a new sprung floor

This past year has been challenging for everyone, and arts organizations are struggling. Danspace has been committed to continuing to pay our teachers and staff, and your support continues to make that possible.

If you’re able to, please consider making a contribution. You can contribute to Danspace directly or make a tax-deductible donation through our resident company, dNaga. Click here for contribution options and please contact us if you’d like to support our school at a different amount.

Thank you for all the ways you make Danspace so vibrant and special!

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