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:

BD TECHNIQUE
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 phrase work 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.

ADRIAN HOFFMAN

Seattle, WA

Company Dancer, Whim W'him

Adrian, born and raised in Cambridge, MA, began his training as a martial artist. After receiving his Black Belt, he transitioned to dance in high school. He graduated from The Ailey School/Fordham University, with a BFA in Dance and double minor in Philosophy/Math, while also pioneering a study abroad exchange with Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Adrian has been a guest dancer with Alvin Ailey, danced in music videos for Katy Perry and Justin Beiber among others, freelanced on stage and film and will appear as a principle dancer in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming remake of Little Women this December. He also regularly performs with Invertigo Dance Theater and as a guest with BODYTRAFFIC in Los Angeles.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPORARY PARTNERING
This class will focus on the range of choreographic possibilities that become available through weight sharing and an altered relationship to gravity and balance. The class will begin with a contemporary warm up in center that prepares both the lower and upper body to receive weight. The class will then build towards weight sharing exercises across the floor with an emphasis on utilizing our structural anatomy to disperse weight through the body and minimize pressure and strain on the arms and back.

CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE
The class will consist of a warm up that utilizes both the form of ballet with the freedom and full range of motion demanded by contemporary choreography. The class will move through across the floor exercises and culminate in phrase work that focuses on dynamic range and qualitative clarity.

I-LING LIU

New York, NY

Company Dancer, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

Residing in New York City, I­Ling Liu, originally from Taiwan, is the senior member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (New York, USA). Received BFA from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2005. She becomes one of the repetiteurs who re­stages BTJ/AZ’s works and enjoys sharing her skills as a performer. In 2018 she was a soloist in Luca Veggetti’s work and performed in Bologna, Italy. I­Ling has been searching a voice with creating and displaying her own works as well as collaborating with visual artists, photographers, music composer, directors and actors in theater and film. She was recipient of Dance in Queens Awardees: Space Exploration from Topaz Arts in 2012. Her works have been performed throughout New York City such as In­Sight Suite Summer Festival, Westfest Dance Festival, Queensboro Dance Festival, SoloDuo Festival by White Wave, Food for Thoughts by Danspace Project and Dances by Dancers at NYU Tisch School. In 2017 her solo work GENG was nominated by Taishin Arts Award in Taiwan. She formed Green Match Works in 2018 and became one of the recipient of 2019 Explore the Metropolis Choreographer + Composer Residency where she created new work “WANTED” in spring.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

THOUGHTFUL MOVING & HEARTFUL PERFORMING
The various styles of movement in this class will be a mixture of task­-oriented thinking including body control, energy flow, imagination and emotions. Within changes in modality we look forward to experiencing the technique that combines strength and fragility, a sensitivity of motion and stillness, a quality that wildness and refinement can co­exist.....as well as a whole world of grey area in between and the performing skills is therefore developed. A choreographed phrase will be learned and variations of games and compositional ideas will be proceeded from there.

JESSIE LEE THORNE

Los Angeles, CA

Freelance Dancer & Choreographer

Jessie Lee Thorne is a freelance dancer/choreographer based in Los Angeles. She started her training at The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and continued at The Boston Conservatory. After receiving her B.F.A in Dance and Choreography, Jessie spent two years in Italy touring with the Imperfect Dancers Company. She has traveled the world performing works by Walter Matteini, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Doug Varone, Robert Moses Kin’, Adam Barruch, and Micaela Taylor. Jessie currently dances for The TL Collective and Acts of Matter. She has taught classes and workshops for schools and companies nationally and internationally. Jessie has premiered her own choreography in festivals and colleges around the US, which led to the creation of her company, “Poets In Motion.”

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

ENERGETIC RELEASE
Energetic release is a high energy, physical floor-work class. It focuses on using our internal energy and momentum to fly and fall in and out of the floor. The class teaches us how to use gravity to our benefit, and incorporates different tools from release technique and martial arts. Throughout the class we slowly build our way from floor basics to advance floor-work “tricks.”

DALE A. MERRILL

Fullerton, CA

Dean of the College of the Arts, CSU Fullerton
Founder, Spectrum Dance Theater
MFA in Dance, University of Washington

Dale A. Merrill was the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, WA, from 1985 to 2002. Under his direction, Spectrum grew from a community dance company to a repertory jazz company of national prominence performing works by Ann Reinking, Margo Sappington, Lou Conte, Lar Lubovitch, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Danny Buraczeski. Born in Richland, WA, he studies dance with Willam Christensen, Bruce Marks and Mattlyn Gavers at the University of Utah to augment his theatrical training. While in Utah, Dale performed with Ballet West, Pioneer Memorial Theater and The Utah Ballet Ensemble. In 1992, he became one of the first   graduates in the newly instated MFA in Dance at the University of Washington. As part of this nationally recognized program, he was actively involved in the education program of undergraduates, and performed contemporary masterworks of José Limon, Paul Taylor and Anna Sokolow, which added depth to his classical background.

Dale has more than 25 years of choreographic credits including numerous original works, musical theater production, and a Public Television special, Voices Across America, starring Paul and Mira Sorvino. In 1999, he became an Adjunct Faculty member for the University of Washington Dance Program and for the School of Drama’s Professional Actors Training Program. In addition to teaching full-time in Spectrum Dance Theater’s Educational Programs, Dale has been a guest teacher for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Washington Contemporary Ballet and University of Montana, to name a few. Dale currently serves as the Dean of the College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

COMPOSITION
Dancers will explore a wide range of approaches to the art of choreography. Students will be encouraged to find their own choreographic voice while using a number of tools and ideas presented.

CONTEMPORARY BALLET
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.

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
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.

CYRUS PARKER-JEANNETTE

Orange, CA

Dean of the College of the Arts, CSU Long Beach

Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, currently serving as Dean of the College of the Arts at CSULB, combines years of experience as a professional dancer and choreographer with works ranging from concert dance, movement for theatre, to gallery and site-specific performances. She has been an artist in residence in Taipei, Taiwan, at Jacksonville University in Florida, and Spelman College in Atlanta, and she serves as a master teacher at The Wooden Floor.  She received her BA in Theatre/Dance from California State University, Fullerton and her MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. With a particular interest in improvisational processes and the intersection of improvisation and choreography, Cyrus teaches internationally and has received several leadership and teaching awards during her academic career.  She was awarded the 2003 California Dance Educator of the Year presented by the California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) and the 2004 Director’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in Dance Education presented by California Dance and Movement. She has served as a pre-performance speaker at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts and the Carpenter Performing Arts Center and has given several lectures and presentations in the Southern California area.  She is an active member of the National Association of Schools of Dance, where she serves as an external evaluator for program review and accreditation on a national level. She loves teaching and creating, and lives in Orange with her husband Patrick, and their cat, KoKoNut who does tricks and loves to swing dance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

FINDING THE YOU IN THE ART OF DANCE
You will explore, create, revise, and find your own unique voice through dance improvisational practices moving into the art of choreography. Individual, small group, and large group activities will help you deepen your self awareness and celebrate your artistic voice.

DR. BROOKE WINDER

Orange County, CA

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
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.

INJURY PREVENTION & PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT FOR THE HIP IN DANCERS
This class will focus on self-care techniques, proper movement strategies, corrective exercises and performance enhancement techniques for the hip region. Dancers will learn preventative strengthening and mobility interventions to manage common demands on the hip joint, the related muscles and fascia, and how this interplays with other body regions.

PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES
Students will have access to physical therapy services on an as needed basis during the Intensive. These services are available at no cost to participants. Unlike some states, California does not require a referral for physical therapy from a licensed medical professional prior to treatment. However, Backhausdance requires a completed “Informed Consent and Waiver” and "Acknowledgement of Direct PT Services" form prior to providing physical therapy services. In order to sign up for services, a student must have a signed consent form on file. If a student is interested in scheduling a physical therapy session, they should contact the BD Student Liaison. Clinic hours are limited and vary week-to-week. Space is limited and will be prioritized based on severity of injury.

ELLEN AKASHI

Fountain Valley, CA

Company Dancer

Ellen Akashi, a native of Southern California, began studying dance at Southland Ballet Academy under the direction of Salwa Rizkalla. She has attended numerous dance programs including those of Axis Connect, BODYTRAFFIC, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LINES, and Springboard Danse Montréal. In 2013, Ellen received a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University, where she performed an excerpt of Jiří Kylián's Falling Angels and a Merce Cunningham MinEvent. She furthered her modern dance training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance's year-round program with director Summer Lee Rhatigan and artists Christian Burns, Tristan Ching, Alex Ketley, and Doug Letheren. Since returning to Southern California, Ellen has performed with the San Diego Opera in Nixon in China; Dave Keuning’s music video for “Ruptured”; and four seasons with LA-based Clairobscur Dance Company, founded by artistic director and resident choreographer Laurie Sefton. This is Ellen’s second season with Backhausdance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PARTNERING
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.

SPECIAL STUDIES: CREATIVE METHODS
This class will examine varying approaches to teaching choreography based on the true methods of known professionals. Students will be able to experience the styles of a few different choreographers and the way they run a class or rehearsal, focusing on their methods of teaching movement as well as how they emphasize different aspects of dance. We will concentrate on the challenge of jumping into varying techniques to gain understanding of the mindset and versatility required to work in a repertoire company such as Backhausdance.

KIRA BARTOLI

Orange County, CA

Company Dancer, Backhausdance

Kira Bartoli, a Southern California native, began her dance training at the age of four at Carousel Dance Studio. She furthered her studies at Chapman University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Business Administration. At Chapman, she received multiple awards for her performance and choreography. Her most recent choreographic endeavors have been music videos for JORDY and Cyrus Reynolds. Kira has also performed in multiple Disneyland parades, and now serves as the Dance Manager and a current performer at Teatro Martini Dinner Cabaret Show. Kira has participated in various intensives and workshops including those of BODYTRAFFIC, American Dance Festival (ADF), Jacob Jonas the Company (JJTC), Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC), and Strictly Seattle. As a certified Balanced Body Pilates instructor, Kira is passionate about sharing her love of movement. This is Kira’s first season as an apprentice with Backhausdance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

BD TECHNIQUE (ASSISTANT)
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.

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. She joined the faculty at The Wooden Floor teaching ballet and modern in 2006, and was promoted to Dance Education & Curriculum Specialist in 2017. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and the California Dance Education Association

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PILATES FOR DANCERS
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 14th 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, Dwight Rhoden, Ido Tadmor 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:

COMPOSITION
Dancers will explore a wide range of approaches to the art of choreography. Students will be encouraged to find their own choreographic voice while using a number of tools and ideas presented.

BD REPERTORY
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.

SAMUEL DEANGELO

Yorba Linda, CA

Company Dancer, Backhausdance

Samuel DeAngelo, from Yorba Linda, CA, began dancing at the age of 18 at Santiago Canyon College. After discovering his deep passion for dance, he trained at Santa Ana College, and then transferred to Chapman University. In 2016, he graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and was awarded multiple awards for both performance, as well as choreography. After graduation, he has worked with companies such as Anaheim Ballet, Ponybox Dance Theater, Shieldwall Dance Company, Disney Cruise Line, where he was a part of the opening cast of Beauty and The Beast, and most recently, has joined FUSE Dance Company under the direction of Joshua Estrada-Romero. He has worked with choreographers such as Jennifer Backhaus, Ido Tadmor, Yin Yue, Amanda Kay White, Sean Greene, Andrea Guise, Leann Alduenda, and Connor Gallagher. Additionally, he has also participated in notable intensives and workshops, including Backhausdance’s Summer Intensive, BODYTRAFFIC, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC), and Jacob Jonas the Company (JJTC). Samuel joined Backhausdance as an apprentice, and became a full company member in 2017. This is Samuel’s third season with Backhausdance.

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

BD REPERTORY
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.

PARTNERING
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.

AMIE LEE KILGORE

Los Angeles, CA

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

Amie Lee 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 fourth 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 fourth season with Orange County’s critically acclaimed Backhausdance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PARTNERING
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.

MCKELL LEMON

Boise, ID

Company Dancer, Backhausdance

McKell Lemon, originally from Boise, Idaho, discovered her passion for dance at the early age of 3. To continue pursuing her love of movement, she furthered her dance training at Chapman University in Orange, California, where she recently graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Integrated Educational Studies. While at Chapman, she had the privilege to train with and perform works by Ido Tadmor, Jennifer Backhaus, Sean Greene, Alicia Guy and Brandee Lara. Additionally, McKell had the opportunity to present five of her own original choreographic works and received multiple awards for her achievements in performance, choreography, and academics. Alongside her training at Chapman, she has attended Holly Johnston’s SummerLAB intensive, the Backhausdance Summer Intensive, and the American Dance Festival, where she was selected to perform a work choreographed by Gregory Dolbashian for the ADF Footprints Concert. Professionally, McKell has performed at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, as well as multiple performances with companies in the Southern California area. She recently has worked professionally with choreographers Jess Harper, Kindra Windish and Jennifer Backhaus, and is currently in her second season as a company apprentice with Backhausdance.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

PILATES FOR DANCERS
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.

KATIE NATWICK

Long Beach, CA

Company Dancer

Katie Natwick began dancing at the age of 11 in her hometown of Escondido, CA. Having discovered a deep passion for movement, she furthered her training at Chapman University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance. Throughout her career, Katie has had the opportunity to perform with companies such as DANCE AEGIS, Kairos Dance Company and Nickerson-Rossi Dance, as well as choreographers including Robin Conrad, Sean Greene, Jess Harper and Dale Merrill. A multi-faceted artist, she also teaches various dance styles at Hills Academy of Music, Art and Dance in Torrance, CA. This is Katie’s second season as a company member of Backhausdance.

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

BD TECHNIQUE (ASSISTANT)
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.

KAITLIN REGAN

Irvine, CA

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

Kaitlin Regan is currently performing in her 8th season with Orange County’s critically acclaimed dance company Backhausdance, where she also serves as Educational Outreach Director. She is an alumni of Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Kaitlin has performed the works of Jennifer Backhaus, Dale Merrill, Sean Greene, Mike Esperanza, Yin Yue, Ido Tadmor and others. As an influential dance educator in Southern California for the past 12 years, Kaitlin helped develop an adaptive dance program for students with special needs. She is also on faculty at Avanti Dance Company (Costa Mesa, CA) and Impact Dance Center (Cypress, CA). She was chosen to be dance teaching artist for ESCAPE; a research grant designed to examine the impact of learning science concepts through dance and visual arts, in addition to classroom studies, for ESL students. In addition, Kaitlin has developed STEAM assemblies and residencies for the company coinciding with the Next Generation Science Standards.

 

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

CONTEMPORARY JAZZ
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 phrase work will emphasize the development of performance quality and storytelling techniques.

BD REPERTORY
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, the Temecula Community Theater Dance Project and Trolley Dances Riverside. 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
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.

BD REPERTORY
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.

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 in April of 2016. As an extension of her thesis work she traveled to Finland to partake in the inaugural Dance Hack, where new differing avenues of technology converged with the moving human form. Additionally, her written thesis was accepted into the prestigious International Academic Forum on the City in Barcelona, Spain. Her inventive choreographic works have been showcased at Highways Performance Space, 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 Santa Ana College, 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:

COMPOSITION
Dancers will explore a wide range of approaches to the art of choreography. Students will be encouraged to find their own choreographic voice while using a number of tools and ideas presented.

CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE
Description coming soon.

BD REPERTORY
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.

SAMMI WAUGH

Orange, CA

2019 Student Liaison
Company Dancer, Backhausdance
BFA in Dance, Chapman University

Sammi Waugh is a dance artist located in Southern California. Born in Austin, TX, she trained for 15 years in various styles before moving to California to further her dance education. She graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and an Interdisciplinary Honors minor. She has worked with and performed works choreographed by many notable artists, such as Dwight Rhoden, Ido Tadmor, Jennifer Backhaus, Sean Greene, and Amanda White. She has also presented many of her own thoughtful choreographic works and conducted and presented research on healthy movement practices and movement theory. Passionate about dance education, she has taught both locally at various studios and a nearby elementary school and globally in small villages in Cambodia. Sammi has performed with Backhausdance in Orange, CA and Sling Dance Project in Austin, TX and is excited to continue to use her many platforms to expose the art of movement to a wider audience.