VOL. 25 - NO. 38
SEP 27 - 4, 2020
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Smuin Announces Latest Extension of Virtual Classes

Aug 07, 2020
Since launching in April, Smuin Contemporary Ballet has led hundreds of aspiring and professional dancers at home through more than 350 hours of Virtual Classes. The latest extension (August 10 – September 4) announces the continuation of these popular classes taught by Smuin dancers and alumni, providing all levels of at-home dancers — beginner, intermediate, and advanced — with Zoom-based drop-in lessons in ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and more. Wrote Tony Bravo of the San Francisco Chronicle, “I reconnected with my body. That’s a polite way of saying it hurt — not injured hurt, but wake-up-muscles-you-don’t-use-bingeing-TV hurt”. Smuin also announces the continuation of its Class for a Cause program benefiting organizations supporting important needs in the community. Special Broadway-inspired editions of Class for a Cause including Hamilton-inspired hip hop will take place August 11 and 28, with proceeds benefiting the Center for Black Equity and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), respectively.

Smuin’s Virtual Classes will be extended through September 4. Classes are offered on a sliding scale from $5 - $20, and students must register 30 minutes in advance to receive a Zoom link to participate. For more information or to register, the public may visit www.smuinclasses.org.

Smuin Ballet Master Amy London was asked by Artistic Director Celia Fushille to spearhead the efforts to launch Smuin’s class programs, which offer a diverse array of dance styles. London has been Smuin’s Ballet Master for 12 years, and with more than two decades of experience as a dance educator and program director she was ideally suited to create Smuin’s program. Regarding Class for a Cause, London said, “We want to use our art to continue to positively impact issues that are important to our community” In solidarity with the national focus on Black Lives Matter, the company donated all class tuition revenue from June 2 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Proceeds from the first two Class for a Cause events held July 7 and 21 benefited the NAACP and African American Art and Culture Complex, respectively.

Broadway-style Jazz

Tues 4pm (Aug 11)

Teacher: Weston Krukow 
Move, groove and All That Jazz! Smuin presents a Broadway-based jazz class full of energy and style while helping a worthy cause. All proceeds from this Class for a Cause will benefit the Center for Black Equity, an organization supporting the Black LGBTQ+ community.

Hamilton-inspired Hip-Hop
Fri 4pm (Aug 28)

Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood, Weston Krukow

Home dancers are not going to want to throw away their shot to have a great time, while supporting  a great cause. Smuin alums and BaseBallet co-creators Ben Needham-Wood and Weston Krukow team up to present a Hamilton-inspired Hip Hop class geared for the whole family. All proceeds from this Class for a Cause will benefit the ACLU.

Ballet Classes
Four levels of ballet taught by current and former Smuin company dancers are on offer this session.

Beginning Adult Ballet

Tues/Thurs 12pm, Sat 11:30am

Teachers: Ian Buchanan, Tess Lane
Adults who have always wanted to try a Ballet class can join Smuin artists for fun and approachable classes which will guide students through the fundamentals, and continue to build on work from previous sessions. For best progression, a minimum of two classes per week is recommended.

Beginning/Intermediate Adult Ballet
Mon/Wed/Fri 10am

Teachers: Valerie Harmon, Mengjun Chen 
These classes are geared toward adult dancers with some prior dance experience. Those looking for a greater challenge than beginner-level classes can sign up for this class, which focuses on fundamental Ballet technique through barre work followed by a short (small space) center practice.

Intermediate Adult Ballet
Mon/Wed 6pm, Sat 1pm

Teachers: Terez Dean Orr, Brennan Wall, Tess Lane
These classes will focus on continuing to strengthen technique with barre, and some center work. The Wednesday class will include time to learn excerpts from repertoire from long-time Smuin dancer Terez Dean Orr.

Dance Variety

Versatility and excellence in a wide range of dance styles is a trademark of Smuin and its multi-talented artists. Students are invited to try one class, sample a variety of styles, or enroll in a series.

Beginning Hip Hop (Beginning/Intermediate)

Mon 4pm

Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood

Adults who have always wanted to find their Hip Hop rhythm can join Needham-Wood, who will teach a variety of new moves during a quick warm-up, followed by a fun and original combo.

Musical Theater (Beginning/Intermediate)

Sun 4pm, Tues 4pm (except Aug 11)

Teacher: Weston Krukow

Smuin alum Krukow has spent his time post-Smuin on national and international tours of Broadway’s “An American in Paris.” Students can join in the fun and bring a dance story to life with a class that brings Broadway style straight to their homes. A second class on Tuesdays has been added that will be a continuation of the material begun on Sundays.

Tap/Soft-Shoe (Beginning/Intermediate)

Thurs 4pm, Sat 2:30pm

Teacher: Tessa Barbour

With or without the shoes, students can “tap” into their inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, learning fun new rhythms and dance steps from Smuin’s resident tapper extraordinaire.

Contemporary (Beginning/Intermediate)

Thurs 5:30pm

Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood, Brennan Wall

Combining elements of modern dance, ballet, jazz and cultural dance, Contemporary is a movement style where every creative outcome is possible.

Contemporary (Intermediate/Advanced, with Choreography)

Fri 2pm, Sun 10:30am

Teacher: Cassidy Isaacson

The first half of this class will include a thorough warm-up designed to stretch and strengthen, with the second half of class devoted to creating and developing contemporary choreography. Material started in the Friday classes will be expanded on Sundays. Though dancers are free to join at any time, material will build over this three-week workshop. At the end, a virtual performance opportunity will be available for those who choose to participate.


Sat 10am (Aug 15 & 29)

Teacher: Lauren Pschirrer

This Pilates-based exercise and full body stretching class to strengthen and lengthen is a great way to augment any style of dance. Modifications to these exercises for strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility are available for all levels of experience.

Stretch & Strengthen (All Levels)

Wed 11:30am, 10am Sat (Aug 22)

Teacher: Valerie Harmon

This Pilates-based exercise and full body stretching class to strengthen and lengthen is a great way to augment any style of dance. Modifications to these exercises for strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility are available for all levels of experience.

Pointe & Therabands

Tues 5:30pm

Teacher: Tessa Barbour

Back by popular demand, these classes begin with strengthening and stabilizing exercises followed by pointe work, structured to safely continue pointe training at home. This class is for dancers 13 years and older with at least two years of previous pointe training and will require use of a Theraband or similar exercise band.

Fri-Yay! Dance Break (All Levels)

Fri 12pm

Teacher: Ben Needham-Wood

This energetic new class offers fun for the whole family. All ages are welcome to get their bodies moving and their spirit energized in a joyful hour of dance appropriate for “any body.” A great way to end the week with a smile and start the weekend off on the right (or left) foot.

For more information or to register, the public may visit www.smuinclasses.org.

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Photo caption: Hip Hop: Smuin dancer Ben Needham-Wood (pictured) will lead "Fri-Yay! Dance Break" events in addition to continuing to teach "Beginning Adult Hip Hop" as part of Smuin's Virtual Classes. Lessons will continue through September 4, 2020.

(Photo credit: Maggie Carey)


TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: The Marsh Unveils New Daily Programming on Marshstream

The Air Force’s Future Tanker Planes Could Be Autonomous

Army Takes First Step Toward Equipping Tactical, Combat Vehicles with Electric Engines

USS Tripoli Arrives in San Diego, Will Carry Marine Corps' New Age Fighting Aircraft

Changes Are Coming for Marines’ Deployments to the Pacific

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Presents Four-Part Virtual Event “The Muse Hour”

Coast Guard Crew Stamps Out Fire Aboard Cutter Waesche

In First, Marine Corps F-35 Fighters Deploy Aboard British Aircraft Carrier