Photo by Dua Chuot from Pexels

Dancing in the sunshine
Summer is approaching and while we’re all making decisions about how much to dance over the summer, we wanted to reflect on the benefits of dancing for humans of all ages. You probably notice some of these already, and there may be some benefits you’re experiencing but have never noticed before. Here are three things that spoke to me:
  • Movement encourages your brain to produce endorphins, a chemical that gives you energy. Did you know endorphins also make your brain more conducive to learning?
  • Dance helps build flexibility, and did you know that flexibility can help prevent injuries if you also do other kinds of activities?
  • Dance helps develop focus, discipline, and creativity. In what ways do you notice these qualities showing up in your life outside of dance class? How does creativity support you at school, work, and in other areas of your life?
There are so many fun ways to spend the summer. We hope you’ll include dance in your summer plans in whatever ways work best for you and your families! Find Danspace’s summer programming on our website.

Join us for Virtual Performances

Matinee Munch: Choreographers Showcase Sunday, May 2 at 2:00pm

Bay Area Dance Week is an annual event promoting and celebrating dance in the Bay Area. While the event is not being held this year in its full capacity, Danspace is choosing to have a virtual event to share our work with the community.  This event is typically a performance in the studio followed by a potluck (that’s where the Munch part comes in). For our virtual event, we encourage everyone to sign on and enjoy the performance in their own space, then have a snack together.

You will see “live” and filmed works performed by our Repertory Ensemble, Ballet 3a class, dNaga, COterie DAnce and Youth Division Composition (Summer 2020).

Adult Composition Virtual Showing Sunday, May 2 at 4:00pm

The Adult Composition class taught by Mary Armentrout will present their work in a culminating performance from the Fall and Spring workshop sessions.

dNaga virtual performance: Invisible Traces June 12 at 2pm

Featuring Selma Apara, Jennifer Chan, Mel Hilario, Janey Madamba and dNaga dancers.

Email to RSVP.

A note from Danspace’s Director Claudine Naganuma

This year has literally zoomed by and we thank all of you who have continued to dance with us on screen. I appreciate the technology that allowed us to continue to find ways to keep us dancing, and remain in community despite sheltering in place. It has been a year since we last saw the choreographers from Mary Armentrout’s composition class create dance on camera, breaking the notions of what dance performance can look like. Having worked with the camera as a tool to create art and perspective, Mary is the most suited of our staff to inspire the next group of dance makers to find their own artistic voice while using this unique medium. I’m looking forward to seeing what the artists share in this upcoming showcase.

My own first experiment of creating a dance on film and working on this virtual platform was entitled Mom & Me: The Warrior Heart. The work was created at the same time that the world was grieving the death of George Floyd and the injustices faced by the Black community. In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a link to the excerpt called Navigate.

After a year (a lifetime, many generations…), we are still grappling with similar issues. American police forces are increasingly militarizing and continuing to kill Black people. And in the wake of this violence and the violence and killing of Asians in America, we see over and over again that racism is a plague–one that is part of the fabric of our society and institutions. Through my art, I seek to have a better understanding of the world and my place in it. By engaging in the interview process, I can ask others about their personal stories and cull their wisdom to develop a better understanding of who I am and who we are as a community. Please save the date and join us for Invisible Traces, on June 12th at 2pm PST featuring a work that explores SF Chinatown and the result of how racist laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act, which did not end till 1943, continues to affect our lives today.

Thank you for continuing to cultivate allyship and creating a safer world for our children, one that is full of creativity, freedom, integrity and hope.

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

Children’s & Youth Division

Summer enrollment is open and we would love to dance with you!

Weekly classes are offered for ages 3 ½ to 8 with a mini session and full session option.
Week long workshops are offered for ages 8-15 and a month long intensive is available for ages 13-18. You can view specifics on our website, or email with questions or to enroll.

We will release specific schedule information in May, which will include any scheduling of outdoor classes or workshop options.

Dance Party Week is June 7 – June 12.

Danspace hosts Dance Party Week to celebrate a wonderful year of dancing. This year’s dance parties will have two parts. The first part will be held virtually on Zoom, parents and friends can sign on for the last class of the semester or sit in the room with your dancer while they have class. We will email you an invitation to the final class so that you can pass it on to family if you wish. The second part will be 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 Repertory Ensemble. Show times will be announced in May and we will ask you to sign up to attend. The virtual performance is a low-key event that will give our dancers a chance to share their work with each other.

Adult Division

Series 5 begins Monday, May 3

Find the schedule on our website. Please email to register for your classes!

This short, 6-week series is a great time to join a class, and dancing is fun with friends! Feel free to share this schedule with your loved ones who you think would enjoy dancing with us.

Our summer class schedule is available!

Join us for Adult Composition, Ballet + Feldenkrais, Cardio Hip Hop, and Ballet Technique classes. New students welcome and we hope to continue dancing with everyone who has been in class over the last year. Summer class information is available on our website.

Email (it’s never too early to sign up for classes!)

Photo by Matt Haber


Dance with the Corvinos!

Before the pandemic, Danspace was so fortunate to welcome master teachers Andra and Ernesta Corvino to our studio to teach workshops for teens and adults. Now the Corvinos are teaching on zoom five days per week (see their schedule).

This is a great opportunity for intermediate/advanced dancers to explore classical ballet training from two incredible teachers. If you join class and have any observations or insights to share, we’d love to hear from you!

Looking Forward

Beth is teaching a summer workshop in 2021!

Danspace is thrilled to offer the opportunity for intermediate/advanced teen and adult dancers to take class with Beth this summer. Join us for her one-week workshop that explores classical ballet technique and builds strength, flexibility, and artistry.

It’s never too early to sign up! Email to register or with any questions.

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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