If you were in the studio last November, you might remember a gratitude-themed art piece on the door to Studio 1 where students wrote something they were grateful for on a paper leaf. One of those read “I’m grateful for Danspace.” I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling that same gratitude now.

In this wild and bizarre time, I’ve noticed in myself more reflection, more thinking back to understand what’s happening now. I’m so grateful that through the ups and the downs, I always have the option to return to dance (in the past, I would have said return to the studio, but now I’m dancing on a rug in my living room). Even with a wiggly barre, an uneven floor, and a tiny zoom screen, being able to center in my own body, move and express, be silly and be focused, to stretch and reach and expand and shrink feels like an incredible gift. I’m so grateful to be able to dance, to get to experiment as both a teacher and a student, and to have the consistency and the grounding of dance in my life.

As we prepare for some breaks this November and December, I hope you will all find time for dancing (in the kitchen, brushing your teeth, wherever you’re inspired). Thank you all for dancing with us!

Children & Youth Division

Upcoming Vacations & Holidays
Monday, November 23 – Saturday, November 28
Thanksgiving Break

Monday, December 21 – Sunday, January 2
Winter Break
Classes resume Monday, January 4, 2021

Spring 2021 enrollment will open soon.
Students will continue in their same class for the spring semester (the spring semester goes from February 1 – June 12, 2021). We expect to hold classes virtually through January. At this time, we do not have a date for when in person instruction will resume in 2021, many factors are being considered as we research safety protocol for our staff and students. We will send an update at the end of December with more information about the spring semester class format.

Adult Division

Series 2 begins November 1!

Ballet Fundamentals will start one week later on November 8 (pending enough enrollment – email to sign up by 11/1).

Adult Composition is still in Session 1, so no need to re-enroll until January.

No classes the week of Thanksgiving (we’re grateful for the break – thank you!)

Beth is teaching Ballet 4/5 this fall!

After a very successful and fun test class in October, Beth Hoge (Danspace’s founder and matriarch) is scheduled to teach twice more this year: Sat, Nov 21 and Sat, Dec 19 from 11am-12:30pm. Email us to sign up!

Dance for PD®

In our weekly Dance for PD classes, I am greeted with smiling faces. I can feel the appreciation seeping through the monitor as one by one, the students arrive for class. Parkinson’s disease is challenging with symptoms that can seem to accelerate the pace of the aging process. No one wants to experience losing one’s freedom and autonomy, and dance seems to directly combat these symptoms by employing imagery and musicality. Participation in class brings a bit of joy and solace to this little community that we have created.

As this pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and create changes in our world, one thing we have been talking about is creating more opportunity to dance and engage in art. Oliver Sacks wrote several books about the human brain and its relationship to music. Music has the power to change our state of being and is a resource that we all have access to. By identifying songs that bring us happiness, a sense of power and freedom, we can use our playlists as a tool to adjust our mood and get us moving. Even though we might not be able to engage in dance classes all day, every day, we can still take the tools we learn in class, primarily imagery and musicality, to enrich our lives and help us to get through these changing times.

If you’re interested, please share a favorite song that makes you happy.

Claudine Naganuma, Danspace Director

Community News

Diablo Ballet presents (virtually) The Nutcracker Suite

On the weekend of November 13 – 15, Diablo Ballet will be presenting a virtual broadcast of their annual holiday ballet, The Nutcracker Suite.  This presentation also includes a Q&A session with Julia Adam, Nutcracker Suite’s award-winning choreographer, plus Diablo Ballet dancers.

Students can purchase a special $25 viewing pass through October 29 (regular price is $35). All tickets are $35 after October 29. To get the order link and code for this special offer, please send an email to Dan@DiabloBallet.org.

Diablo Ballet’s Nutcracker Suite puts a new spin on the classic ballet and sets it on Christmas Eve in San Francisco where Clara and her family stay in the Fairmont Hotel’s Nutcracker “Suite” and have a whimsical and thrilling magical holiday experience! This presentation is being filmed by award-winning director Walter Yamazaki and sure to entertain the whole family!  Your students can watch this program as many times as they like right from their home.

Stay at Home Soiree: Oakland Ballet Luna Mexicana

Friday, October 30th at 7:00pm

Join Oakland Ballet in a celebration of Día de los Muertos, led by MCs Melina Duarte and Graham Lustig.

Guest Speaker – Author, Artist, and Cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz Share a meal from Agave Uptown (additional cost), Ballet Folklórico México Danza, Jalisco Harpist Salvadore Vazquez, hear about the elements of an ofrenda with Daniel Camacho, learn to construct paper marigolds, and see excerpts of Oakland Ballet in Luna Mexicana. All from the comfort of your own home.

Looking Forward

Save the date for Danspace’s presentation of our Virtual Nutcracker Project (Dec 19). If you’re interested in attending our dance film presentation, please email us to reserve your spot!

This year, we invite you to make your own display at home of things you are thankful for.

See you over zoom!
The Danspace team

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