JENNIFER BACKHAUS

Newport Beach, CA

Artistic Director, Backhausdance
Full-Time Faculty, Chapman University
MFA, Hollins/ADF University

Jennifer Backhaus is Founder and Artistic Director of Backhausdance, Orange County’s award-winning contemporary dance company. She was featured in “OC Metro’s” 40 Under 40 in 2009 and honored by Chapman University as Alumni of the Year in 2007 for her artistic leadership of Backhausdance. As a choreographer, Jennifer’s works have been commissioned and produced by Brigham Young University, Chapman University, Los Angeles Ballet, McCallum Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, TDC of the Bay Area and Utah Regional Ballet, among others.

Many of Jennifer’s works have been honored by Regional Dance America, and her piece Disintegration was selected for national performances with the American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For Backhausdance, she has created numerous works, three of which have received multiple Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography. At the McCallum Theatre’s Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival, Jennifer has been the recipient of three consecutive choreography awards for her work with Backhausdance.

Currently a full-time dance faculty member at Chapman University, Jennifer is also a teaching artist for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Education Programs, where she shares her love of dance and choreography with hundreds of students in public and private schools across Southern California. A life-long learner, Jenny holds a BFA in Communications and Dance from Chapman University, and received her MFA in Choreography from Hollins University and the ADF.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

BACKHAUSDANCE TECHNIQUE
(WEEKS 1, 2, & 3)

BD Technique will explore the fundamentals of Backhausdance technique. Physically demanding and original, the BD movement vocabulary requires a balance of fluidity and strength. Students will engage in a series of exercises and phrasework as they learn about movement dynamics, alignment, groundedness, moving in and out of the floor, inversion work and more. The principles explored in this class will prepare the dancers for the choreography learned and performed in the culmination performance.

KATE JEWETT

New York, NY

Shen Wei Dance Arts
Merce Cunningham Dance Company

BFA, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Kate attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, receiving her BFA in 2001. Soon after moving to New York she became a scholarship student and understudy with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 2002. While working with Mr. Cunningham she participated in the creation of Split Sides and Views on Stage. Kate joined Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2005 and participated in the creations of MAP, Re-I, Re-III, Connect Transfer II, Undivided Divided, Limited States, Collective Measures, In Black White and Gray and Neither. Kate was named rehearsal director of SWDA in 2009. She has conducted master classes and workshops as well as performed all over Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Kate staged Shen Wei’s Re-II for Les Grand Ballet, Rite of Spring for The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Behind Resonance for Rutgers University. As education director, she helped create a dance-in-education program for New York City public and private schools. Kate has implemented this education workshop at P.S. 218, P.S. 5, I.S. 311, The Columbia School and The Dalton School among others. Her own works have been performed at DeSales University, the United Nations, Park Avenue Armory, Milano Teatro Scuola Paolo Grassi, Fabbrica Europa, Performatica festivals and West Park Presbyterian Church. Kate is founder and co-curator of Watusi Regime, a site-specific collaborative performance series in NYC. She is currently working on a dance and live film project with Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

FLOW, PATTERNS, RHYTHM AND PLAY!
(WEEK 3)

Class is influenced by Kate’s experiences with Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development technique as well as her studies with Merce Cunningham. These movement principles compliment each other through the use of the center body, the opening of the chest and the articulation of the joints. As we explore the many ways to use the various parts of the spine and energy center, class will build in both dynamic expression and joyful flow. Students are given the possibilities of discovering new and innovative ways to move, culminating in phrases that push the boundaries of space and time. Qualities such as momentum, continuous energy, center shifting, floor work and breath give the dancer tools to better their movement vocabulary while approaching their dancing experience and choreography with fresh eyes.

IDO TADMOR

Tel Aviv, Israel

Former Artistic Director, Israeli Ballet
Batsheva Dance Company
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Bat Dor Dance Company
Scapino Ballet

Celebrated artist Ido Tadmor is the 2011 recipient of Israel’s highly respected Landau Prize for lifetime achievement. He was artistic director of the Israeli Ballet from 2014 to 2016, and led his own Tel Aviv-based company for 13 years, from 1995 to 2007. Today, he travels the world as a lead dancer, choreographer, judge in professional dance competitions, artistic advisor and artistic director of competitions and festivals. For the past three decades, Ido has represented the State of Israel worldwide as an Ambassador of Dance. He has been awarded several grants from numerous funding sources and foundations encouraging cultural activities in Israel. During his extensive performing career, Ido has been a principal dancer in companies including Bat Dor Dance Company, Bat Sheva Dance Company, Scapino  Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and many international collaborative projects.  Ido has worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Itzik Galili, Lar Lubovitch, Ohad Naharin, Robert North, Hans Van Mannen and Vladimir Vasiliev, to name a few.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

BALLET FOR CONTEMPORARY DANCERS
(WEEKS 1 & 2)

A ballet barre for contemporary dancers using physical transitions and shift of weight, followed by contemporary combinations based on Tadmor’s repertoire and the ballet technique.

SAMUEL WENTZ

Los Angeles, CA

Former Dancer, Trisha Brown Dance Company
BFA in Dance, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
MFA, Bennington College

Samuel Wentz, originally from North Dakota, started his professional training at Idyllwild Arts Academy (’06), received his BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts (’09), and was awarded the Teaching Fellowship as an MFA candidate at Bennington College (’16).  He has worked with the Trisha Brown Dance Company (2009-14), Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey, Mark Morris, Gerald Casel, Jmy James Kidd and Christopher Williams. He has taught master classes, nationally and internationally, in contemporary technique and repertory. He’s taught at places such as: P.A.R.T.S. (BE), U.W. Seattle, U.W. Milwaukee, U.C. Berkeley, U.A. Tucson, as well as teaching regular classes for the Trisha Brown Dance Company. His class is influenced by his studies with Barbara Mahler, Gerald Casel, and the work of Trisha Brown.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

GUEST MODERN ARTIST
(WEEK 2)

This contemporary technique class begins with simple, somatics-based exercises that allow us to locate, ground, and mobilize our parts into a coordinated whole. These newfound connections will be our groundwork for large moving phrases that require us to simplify and hone in on our own habitual movement patterns. Phrases are built upon the ideas of architecture, momentum, buoyancy and our relationship to gravity. Sam’s class is influenced by his studies of Alexander Technique, Klein Technique, Gerald Casel, and the body of Trisha Brown’s work.

BROOKE WINDER

Southern California

Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Physical Therapist, Sarton Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Southern California
BFA, Chapman University

Brooke possesses a diverse background as a dancer and performer that informs her unique perspective and passionate focus on dancer health, wellness and injury prevention. Originally a competitive gymnast, Brooke transitioned into training in modern and contemporary dance with foundations in Graham, Horton and release technique prior to her BFA studies. Brooke is a former company member with Backhausdance. Her great interest in learning more about injury prevention and movement science led her from her performance career into graduate study in physical therapy.

Brooke is currently a practicing physical therapist who has treated a wide variety of orthopedic patients, including dancers of all ages. She is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in Physical Therapy, having completed a rigorous post-professional residency in orthopedic physical therapy with the University of Southern California where she mentored with top physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons. Brooke also has specialized training in women’s and men’s pelvic rehabilitation and practices in the Orange County area in both orthopedics and pelvic health. She utilizes various perspectives drawn from training in advanced manual therapy, movement science, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization techniques, analysis of Movement Impairment Syndromes, Pilates-based exercise interventions, and Kinesiotaping to optimize injury prevention and rehabilitation for dancers. Brooke has maintained her Pilates Instructor Certification through Body Arts and Science International since 2005. She incorporates Pilates-based interventions into both fitness optimization and rehabilitation specific for dancers and other athletes. 

Brooke conducts research on dance-related injuries and has presented work for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, the Performing Arts Medical Association, and published in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. She has served in leadership roles for the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the American Physical Therapy Association. Brooke presents lectures on injury prevention and wellness for dancers, dance teachers, fitness professionals and health care providers via workshop sessions at dance studios, summer intensives, and conferences regionally and nationally. 

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PILATES FOR DANCERS
(WEEKS 2 & 3)

Class will focus on Pilates conditioning exercises to optimize core stabilization, breath control, alignment awareness, and proximal strength and stability of the upper and lower extremities.  Exercises are drawn from traditional Pilates mat work with variations tailored to the specific needs of contemporary dancers.

PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING FOR DANCERS: INJURY PREVENTION & OPTIMIZING PERFORMANCE
(WEEK 2)

This class will educate dancers about the major principles of training that can assist in achieving maximum potential while preventing injury and burnout. Information about proper cross training, rest and recovery strategies, and overtraining syndrome will be addressed.

LIANE AUNG

Seattle, WA

Whim W'him Contemporary Dance

Born and raised in Southern California, Liane received her B.F.A. in Dance at the University of California, Irvine. At UCI, she became a member of Donald McKayle's Etude Ensemble and performed many of his legendary creations. Liane also attended summer intensives with Alvin Ailey and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance working closely with Alex Ketley, Summer Lee Rhatigan and Glenn Edgerton.

After UCI, Liane continued on to work professionally with contemporary modern dance company, Backhausdance under the artistic direction of Jennifer Backhaus for five seasons, while simultaneously a member of Entity Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Will Johnston and Marissa Osato for four seasons. Soon after, Liane moved to NYC where she worked with Yin Yue Dance Company and Erica Essner Performance Co-op. Through her experiences, Liane has performed nationally and internationally including: The Schrit_tmacher Festival in Germany, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Festival, venues in British Columbia, and has worked closely with artists such as: Penny Saunders, Larry Keigwin, MADBOOTS, Joseph Hernandez, Glenn Egerton, Lauren Edson, Yin Yue, Carlos Jones, Jodie Gates and Mike Esperanza. Soon after moving to NYC, Liane relocated to Seattle where she has performed independently with KT Neihoff and joined Seattle's renowned Whim W'him Contemporary Dance Company under the artistic direction of Olivier Wevers.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPLATIVE MOVEMENT EXPLORATION
(WEEK 3)

Movement will be explored with two ideas in mind, somatics and composition. More specifically, comparing and combining the techniques of design based preparation and personal experience/sensation techniques. 

JENN BASSAGE BONFIL

Long Beach, CA

Founding Company Member, Backhausdance
MA in Dance Education, University of Northern Colorado
Dance Education & Curriculum Specialist, The Wooden Floor

Jennifer Bassage Bonfil, originally from Washington State, is a southern California-based modern dancer and dance educator. She earned her MA in Dance Education through the University of Northern Colorado, her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University, her comprehensive Pilates certification at Body Arts & Science International, and an Arts Management & Dance Training certificate from the José Limón Dance Foundation. As a founding company member, Jenn danced professionally with Backhausdance for 13 years and served as their Educational Outreach Director for five. Driven by her passion for dance education, Jenn has taught at West Coast Conservatory of Ballet, Chapman University, California State University, Long Beach, Santa Ana College, and various elementary schools throughout Orange County. She joined the faculty at The Wooden Floor teaching ballet and modern in 2006, and was promoted to Dance Education & Curriculum Specialist in 2017. Jenn is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and the California Dance Education Association.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PILATES FOR DANCERS
(WEEKS 1, 2 & 3)

Class will focus on Pilates conditioning exercises to optimize core stabilization, breath control, alignment awareness, and proximal strength and stability of the upper and lower extremities.  Exercises are drawn from traditional Pilates mat work with variations tailored to the specific needs of contemporary dancers.

TAWNY CHAPMAN

Cypress, CA

Company Dancer, Backhausdance
Commercial Dance Facilitator, Orange County School of the Arts
BFA in Dance Performance, Chapman University

Tawny Chapman, originally from Southern California, has worked for more than 15 years as an accomplished performer, innovative choreographer and influential educator. Currently performing in her 12th season as a veteran dancer with Orange County’s critically acclaimed Backhausdance, Tawny is a graduate of Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and an alumna of the Orange County School of the Arts’ Commercial Dance Conservatory. She has performed the choreographic work of Jennifer Backhaus, Dee Caspary, Jodie Gates, Sean Greene, Liz Imperio, and William Lu, among others. Tawny is currently on faculty at Impact Dance Center (Los Alamitos) and the Orange County School of the Arts’ Commercial Dance Conservatory, where she also serves as a program facilitator. In addition to performing and teaching, Tawny’s award-winning choreographic works have been performed at Pasadena Dance Festival, Backhausdance’s Platform, Encore Dance Festival, Studio A Dance’s DanceSpot, Hart Pulse Dance’s MixMatch Dance Festival, The Core Collective, and beyond.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

ONE WITH THE FLOOR
(WEEK 1, 2, & 3)

Shift, sweep, scoot and slide in this class focusing on moving in and out of the floor with grace and ease. Exercises and phrasework with focus on floorwork, transitions and inversions as dancers explore how to become one with the floor.

BD REPERTORY
(WEEK 1, 2, & 3)

Students will work alongside Backhausdance company members to recreate sections from signature choreographic works. Phrasework and partnering sequences will be explored from a diverse cross-section of Backhausdance repertory. For those participating in the culmination performance, daily attendance is mandatory.

AMIE LEE KILGORE

Los Angeles, CA

Company Dancer, Backhausdance
Performing Faculty, San Pedro City Ballet
BFA in Dance, University of Arizona

Amie Kilgore, originally from Tucson AZ, began her dance training at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Mary-Beth Cabana with Ballet Tucson. In 2014, Amie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona and was recognized as Outstanding Senior for the College of Fine Arts and Dance. While working toward her BFA in Dance, she was privileged to perform various featured roles by UA Dance Faculty, as well as world-renowned works such as Rubies, Allegro Brilliante and Tarantella by the legendary George Balanchine. Prior to graduation, Amie furthered her contemporary dance training and became a founding member of ConDanza, under the direction of Cesar Degollado Rubio. Currently, she is in her third year as a part-time performing faculty member with San Pedro City Ballet under the direction of Cindy and Patrick Bradley. This is Amie’s second season with Orange County’s critically acclaimed Backhausdance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PARTNERING
(WEEK 3)

This Partnering class will focus on the fundamentals of building trust, strength and support. We will explore the push and pull of a partnership and understand how to move together as one unit. During the duration of the intensive, we will start every class with strengthening exercises along with small improvisational exercises across the floor. Students will also be learning partnering phrases using the ideas and aesthetics behind the Backhausdance partnering techniques.

BD REPERTORY
(WEEK 1, 2, & 3)

Students will work alongside Backhausdance company members to recreate sections from signature choreographic works. Phrasework and partnering sequences will be explored from a diverse cross-section of Backhausdance repertory. For those participating in the culmination performance, daily attendance is mandatory.

JENNIFER OLIVAS

Collinsville, IL

Diavolo Dance Theater, Lehrer Dance
BFA in Dance, Webster University
Dance Faculty, Webster University
Dance Faculty, Southern Illinois University

Jennifer Olivas is from the small town of Festus, Missouri. She attended Webster University in St. Louis where she received a BFA in dance. As a professional, Jennifer has performed all across Europe and The United States, in China, Korea and Australia. She has performed with distinguished groups such as David Dorfman’s Dance out of Seasons, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal’s The Nutcracker, Paul Taylor 2 in Esplanade, Inaside Chicago Dance Company, MusicalFare's American Rhapsody and Neglia Ballet's The Nutcracker. Jennifer was a founding company member of Buffalo’s Lehrer Dance and toured for three years, before she moved to Los Angeles to perform with Diavolo Dance Theater for four seasons. Jennifer's teaching credits include teaching master classes all over the world and setting works on several universities. She now resides closer to home where she currently teaches at two universities, Webster University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PARTNERING
(WEEKS 1 & 2)

Starting with trust building exercises, the dancers will explore the movement possibilities through the use of weight sharing and counter balance. The dancers will also learn how to give their weight and receive the weight of others. We will break the habit of moving on your own and instead learn to move through your partner.

OMAR OLIVAS

Collinsville, IL

Diavolo Dance Theater
Backhausdance
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company

MA in Kinesiology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
BFA in Dance, University of California, Irvine
Dance Faculty,
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Omar was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. He began his training at Saint Joseph Ballet under the artistic supervision of director, Beth Burns. Omar graduated as a Haggerty and William Gillespie Scholar (BFA Dance) from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a dancer with Donald Mckayle’s student repertory dance company, Etudes. As a professional, Omar has performed with such distinguished groups as BackhausDance, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Santa Clarita Ballet and Neglia Ballet. Omar premiered Donald Mckayle’s Minstrel Man at the Conservatoire in Paris, France and Tammy L. Wong’s ”About Last Night" for the Esplanade’s Da:ns Festival Singapore in 2006. He was a member of Diavolo Dance Theater, based out of Los Angeles California, from 2009-2014, where he toured nationally and internationally.  Aside from dancing, Omar has been teaching dance for about 8 years. He was invited by La Salle College of the Arts, in Singapore, to set a piece for The Esplanade's Da:ns Festival in 2008. In 2011 he paired with his wife Jennifer Huffman Olivas, to co- teach master classes and set brand new works of their own across the country. Omar has just completed his Masters in Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he is also on faculty teaching for the dance department.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PARTNERING
(WEEKS 1 & 2)

Starting with trust building exercises, the dancers will explore the movement possibilities through the use of weight sharing and counter balance. The dancers will also learn how to give their weight and receive the weight of others. We will break the habit of moving on your own and instead learn to move through your partner.

KIM OLMOS

Mission Viejo, CA

Ballet Mistress, Backhausdance
Instructor, Chapman University
South Bay Ballet, Ballet Pacifica

BA in Dance, CSU Long Beach

Kim Olmos was born in El Paso, Texas and began her studies in Torrance, California with Diane Lauridsen. She was a member of South Bay Ballet, where she danced leading roles in original works by Charles Maple, John Christafori and Terri Lewis. Kim also studied with Gloria Newman, Gus Soloman and Rebecca Wright while earning her B.A. in Dance from California State University, Long Beach. She retired from Ballet Pacifica in 1994, where she had performed ballets by Peter Pucci, Anne Marie DeAngelo, Choo-San Goh, Lynn Taylor-Corbett and Molly Lynch. Kim was on the conservatory faculty for eight years and assumed the position of Ballet Pacifica Conservatory Registrar in 2004. Ms. Olmos is an Instructor of Ballet at Chapman University. She is currently the Ballet Mistress and rehearsal assistant for Backhausdance, Orange County's award-winning contemporary dance company. Kim is also on the faculty at the Maple Conservatory of Dance in Irvine where she serves as Director of Student Management. 

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPORARY BALLET
(WEEK 3)

Contemporary ballet meshes classical ballet technique with the principles learned in the BD Technique classes. Incorporating the concepts of momentum, movement efficiency and expansive moving, this class will challenge the dancer to apply his or her kinesthetic awareness and gained knowledge within the structure of a ballet-based vocabulary.

KAITLIN REGAN

Irvine, CA

Company Dancer, Education Director, Backhausdance
BFA in Dance Performance, Chapman University

Kaitlin Regan discovered her love of dance at the age of three in Phoenix, AZ. She continued her dance training, going on to study ballet, jazz and lyrical, tap and hip hop. For 10 years, she was a member of Dance Motion, performing featured roles in classics and original works. While a member of its elite competition team, Kaitlin received awards and recognition at various competitions and conventions. In 2004, she moved to Orange, CA, to attend Chapman University. There she met and studied with Jennifer Backhaus, in addition to a long list of OC’s top ballet, contemporary jazz and modern dance teachers. She’s performed works by Nancy Dickson-Lewis, Mike Esperanza, Sean Greene, Dale Merrill and Amy Nakamura. A well-known dance teacher in Southern California, Kaitlin helped develop a dance program for students with special needs that she’s been teaching since 2010. She is currently a teaching artist for Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ ESCAPE research grant, helping English language learners understand science concepts through dance. She also in on faculty at Avanti Dance Company in Costa Mesa, CA, and Dancecapade in Walnut, CA. Kaitlin has been a member of Backhausdance since 2010.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPORARY BALLET
(WEEKS 1 & 2)

Contemporary ballet meshes classical ballet technique with the principles learned in the BD Technique classes. Incorporating the concepts of momentum, movement efficiency and expansive moving, this class will challenge the dancer to apply his or her kinesthetic awareness and gained knowledge within the structure of a ballet-based vocabulary.

PARTNERING
(WEEK 3)

This Partnering class will focus on the fundamentals of building trust, strength and support. We will explore the push and pull of a partnership and understand how to move together as one unit. During the duration of the intensive, we will start every class with strengthening exercises along with small improvisational exercises across the floor. Students will also be learning partnering phrases using the ideas and aesthetics behind the Backhausdance partnering techniques.

BD REPERTORY
(WEEK 1, 2, & 3)

Students will work alongside Backhausdance company members to recreate sections from signature choreographic works. Phrasework and partnering sequences will be explored from a diverse cross-section of Backhausdance repertory. For those participating in the culmination performance, daily attendance is mandatory.

CHIHIRO SANO

Lakewood, CA

Company Dancer, Backhausdance

Chihiro Sano, originally from Japan, began her modern dance training at the age of seven under the direction of Akiko Ishii. She joined Backhausdance as an apprentice and has been a full company member since 2010. Chihiro has worked as an assistant to Artistic Director Jennifer Backhaus on freelance projects such as the Irvine Valley College Faculty Dance Concert, the East Valley Dance Project/Studio Project in Palm Desert, and the Temecula Community Theater Dance Project. A certified yoga instructor, Chihiro is passionate about sharing her love of dance and yoga with people of all ages.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

YOGA FOR DANCERS
(WEEK 1, 2, & 3)

Yoga for Dancers is designed to help students gain strength, flexibility, and the body awareness necessary to maintain a healthy physical structure. Incorporating challenging and dynamic Vinyasa-style flows and stretches, the class will focus on correct breathing techniques and proper alignment and execution in postures and stretches.

AMANDA KAY WHITE

Tustin, CA

Founding Company Member, Backhausdance
MFA in Choreography, Jacksonville University
BFA in Dance Performance, BA in Communication Arts, Chapman University

Amanda Kay White is a founding/current member of Orange County, California’s critically acclaimed dance company Backhausdance. She is an alumna of Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Advertising. Amanda recently graduated with a Master’s of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University. Her inventive works have been showcased at Pasadena Dance Festival, American Celebration, The Core Collective, Epilepsy Network Benefit Concert, Chapman Touring Company, American College Dance Festival, and MixMatch Dance Festival. Amanda is currently on faculty at Chapman University, Orange County School of the Arts, and South Coast Conservatory. Along with teaching at SCC, she is the executive advisor to their national award winning dance team and managing director of the jazz department. In 2009 she founded Compass Dance Company, a pre-professional contemporary dance company for emerging artists ages 14 and up. By engaging, expressing, and innovating Compass Dance Company reaches out to the community through dance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPORARY JAZZ
(WEEK 1)

Contemporary Jazz will fuse the concepts and fundamental principles of BD Technique with a jazz dance vocabulary. A variety of dynamics and movement initiations will be explored. Class activities and phrasework will emphasize the development of performance quality and storytelling techniques.

METHODS OF PRACTICE
(WEEK 1)

Delve into ways in which you can curate your performance quality and enhance your expressiveness by activating your attention and intention.

UNCHOREOGRAPHING
(WEEK 2)

Discover new movement patterns, tempos and range of motion by first finding, then breaking habitual modes of creation.

PARTNERING
(WEEK 3)

This Partnering class will focus on the fundamentals of building trust, strength and support. We will explore the push and pull of a partnership and understand how to move together as one unit. During the duration of the intensive, we will start every class with strengthening exercises along with small improvisational exercises across the floor. Students will also be learning partnering phrases using the ideas and aesthetics behind the Backhausdance partnering techniques.

CRAIG SHIELDS

Los Angeles, CA

Percussionist, Cuñao

Craig Shields is a percussionist, dance collaborator, member of the Latin alternative folk band Cuñao, and an adjunct percussion faculty member at Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. Prior training includes extensive work in contemporary chamber music, musical theatre, orchestral percussion, and a brief stint with Blue Man Group. In addition to the band Cuñao, Craig regularly performs with the flamenco group Duende Flamenco and at various special events throughout the year, including Oktoberfest at the Pomona Fairplex and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Craig has appeared with a variety of groups in past years, including the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Efflorescence, The Rock Collection, and Eighteen-Squared. Recent dance collaborators include Chelsea Asman, Jeremy Hahn, Rayven Armijo, and Alexx Shilling. Craig provides live music for modern and ballet dance classes at CSU Fullerton and The Wooden Floor, and has previously accompanied for Chapman University, Backhausdance, Ledges and Bones, and the Contemporary Modern Dance Collective. He holds degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Education from Chapman University.

BRIAN WOOD

Orange, CA

Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Improviser, Songwriter & Healer

Brian Wood is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, songwriter, and healer. He uses music and sound to help connect people into deep experiences with their bodies, emotions, and environments and assists people in bringing out their own authentic voice. He is a Radical Aliveness/ Core Energetics practitioner with a private practice and he currently accompanies modern and improvisation dance classes at Chapman University, Cal State Long Beach, The Wooden Floor and OCC. He has composed for dance, video, film, and multimedia performance, including collaborations with artists in Japan and all over Southern California. He composed for the Internet documentary series "Group," and has composed and accompanied live for theater productions in Los Angeles. He holds a degree in music composition from UCSB's college of creative studies. Examples of his songs and dance compositions can be found at brianwood.bandcamp.com

SAMMI WAUGH

Orange, CA

2017 Student Liaison
BFA Student at Chapman University

Sammi Waugh was born in Austin, TX, and trained for 15 years in the styles of Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop at various studios in and out of Austin, including 620 Dance Centre, Ballet Austin, the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, and Eastern Connecticut Ballet. She then moved to California to further her dance education, and is currently in her third year at Chapman University pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance. During her time at Chapman, Sammi has had the privilege of performing works choreographed by faculty, students, and guest artists, including Ido Tadmor and Sean Greene, and has had the opportunity to present four of her own original choreographic works. Over the years, Sammi has also had the chance to work and perform with Sling Dance Project in Austin, TX, and perform with Backhausdance as part of the 2016 Backhausdance Summer Intensive. She is excited to see where the rest of her time at Chapman takes her, and looks forward to expanding her experience and knowledge as an artist.