Rebekah Brown: Intergenerational Contemporary
Originally from the small town of Ashland, Ohio, Rebekah received a BFA in Dance Performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and while there, pioneered a study abroad program with the University of Chichester in England. She also holds an MFA in Choreography from Mills College. She is the Operations Manager for San Diego Dance Theater, as well as an Outreach Teaching Artist. Rebekah directs H2O Dance Company, a contemporary modern dance company founded in 2015. In addition, she co-curates Fresh Dances and ArtMOVES, the dance stage at ArtWalk San Diego.
Class: This contemporary modern class includes warm up, movement across the floor, and dance phrases with limited floor work. Inspired by Rebekah’s training in ballet, jazz, Cunningham, and Release technique, Intergenerational Contemporary offers a new perspective and a chance for multiple generations to experience movement together.
John Diaz: Aging Creatively Modern Dance
After completing his studies at CSU Fresno in Theater Arts/ Dance in 1989, San Diego-based movement artist John Diaz became a longtime associate of Jean Isaacs, functioning as a performer of her works, a demonstrator of her movement style, and an assistant in setting her choreography on San Diego Dance Theater, and other professional companies. His dance training spans classical Modern Dance Forms of Merce Cunningham, Jose Limoñ, Martha Graham, and Erick Hawkins, as well as Japanese movement forms of Butoh and Noh Theater, and RAD and Cecchetti styles of Ballet. His studies of Kinesiology, Anatomy, and Ideokinesis augment this training and direction in implementing performance and teaching movement. All of this is grounded by a foundation of an ongoing 42-year Hatha Yoga practice and a 35-year Pilates practice. He currently teaches classes for San Diego Dance Theater and private instruction.
Class: Centered around Cunningham Technique, the class offers fundamentals of dance, modifications when needed, and is structured in an upright format. Precision in simplicity versus complexity in combinations and the musical meter is built into this class. Choreographed sequences arise from the fundamentals explored during the class and improvised interaction. This is a physically safe yet mentally challenging class open to dancers at any level.
Yvonne Gagliardo: Aging Creatively Beginning/Intermediate Modern
Yvonne Gagliardo began her modern dance training at the University of California Santa Barbara then moved to San Diego and began dancing with Jean Isaacs as a graduate student at San Diego State University. Yvonne was a principle with 3’s Company & Dancers and has continued to study, teach and perform in various Trolley and studio projects for Isaac’s San Diego Dance Theater for over 25 years. In addition, she has taught and choreographed in numerous colleges, high schools, elementary schools and studios in San Diego County. With a Masters in PE/Exercise Physiology, Yvonne has also worked as a Health Educator for Sharp Mission Park Medical Group for 20 years and has an extensive knowledge of senior wellness.
Class: The movement style is influenced by Jean Isaacs, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Class material is structured upright and low intensity and incorporates classical and contemporary forms at a gentler pace. Using a variety of music genres, the class participates in an adaptive modern technique through strength, balance and traveling combinations. Class attendance and rehearsals offer opportunities for creative improvisation and performance.
Jean Isaacs: Open Level Modern Dance
Jean Isaacs is a critically acclaimed, award-winning choreographer whose work has been presented in Switzerland, Germany, China, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Poland, as well as on both coasts of the US. In 2002, the Village Voice called her “a warm, witty, and wise choreographer,” and the New York Times said of her dances, “…they were intelligent dances danced by sharp, speedy dancers.” Isaacs is the Artistic Director of the San Diego Dance Theater, the originator of the annual site-specific project Trolley Dances and the co-founder of the San Diego Dance Alliance, Three’s Company and Dancers, and Isaacs/McCaleb & Dancers. Her work has been commissioned by the San Diego Opera, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe Theater, Goodman Theater, The San Diego Repertory Theater, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Long Wharf Theater, and for the “New Wave” Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Class: This is a technique based modern dance class for all levels of dancer in which the core ideas of Isaacs’ unique way of moving are shared. Isaacs’ style is influenced by Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, and Martha Graham and whatever she could dream up after moving to San Diego, a place far removed from the constraints of New York City.
Minaqua McPherson: Advanced Modern Dance
Minaqua McPherson graduated from UCSD as a dance major. She is a performer, teacher, and choreographer. Her dance training spans a variety of forms including Jazz, African, Ballet, Tap, Butoh, and Modern dance. Minaqua was invited into the SDDT company of dancers in 2009. She currently works as a teacher in many communities for dance and fitness at multiple studios and schools throughout San Diego. She enjoys choreographing works for both pre-professional and professional movers that explore movements with technical structures and athletic compositions.
Class: This class is structured with layered movements and dynamic oppositions that challenge both the body and the mind. Movers are tasked with technical aesthetics, athletic floor work, alignment awareness, and dynamic phrase work. The class evolves through a warm-up, floor work with weight bearing practices, rhythmic across the floor patterns, and varied complementary sequences and mini phrases. The culmination of materials learned during class are reorganized and broken up for larger works with quick pick-up transitions repeated and explored to the end of the class.
Gail Mitchell: Aging Creatively Dance Fitness
Gail Mitchell graduated from the University of Texas, El Paso. She was a dance teacher at Sweetwater Union High School in National City, CA for 38 years. In 2015, Gail started a Dance Fitness class through San Diego Dance Theater’s Aging Creatively program at Liberty Station. “Dancing is the most fun I have all week long – I enjoy sharing the experience with all the dancers in my Tuesday class. The more the merrier.”
Class: Simple choreographed movement phrases that are easy to follow and fun to dance. Similar to a fitness class, you can practice the phrases multiple times throughout the songs. This class uses a variety of music genres and does not include any floor work.
Kathryn Scheidegger: Aging Creatively Intermediate Modern, GYROKINESIS ®
Kathryn trained in the modern techniques of Limon, Lewitzky, and Jean Isaacs, and extensively studied Dance Kinesiology and Body Mind Fitness. Kathryn earned her MFA in Dance at UCLA and her BFA in Dance at FSU. She spent the next 20 years as a dance artist performing, choreographing, and teaching in California and Europe. She is also a certified Instructor in Pilates, Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis and continues her work as a personal trainer in body mind fitness and teaching dance.
Class: Aging Creatively Modern Dance is a class designed for those returning to dance as well as fit seniors interested in expression through dance and moving at a gentle flowing pace. Kathryn teaches an expressive modern dance class influenced by the techniques of Limon, Lewitzky, and Jean Isaacs. The class begins with fundamental technique exercises that will warm up the whole body as well as increase strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Adapted movement patterns and traveling phrases will explore gestures, shifts of weight, swings and releases among many more qualities.
Class: Gyrokinesis® is a unique movement method for everyone. It works the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion and creating functional strength through rhythmic flowing movements sequences. Seated on stools or mats, the spiraling exercises coordinate movement, breath and focus and restore a sense of well-being and mental clarity.
Gina & Kyle Sorensen: SubtleBodyBigDance
Gina Bolles Sorensen and Kyle Sorensen are the Artistic Directors of somebodies dance theater and winners of the 2012 San Diego Young Choreographers Prize. As a company, their work has been presented to critical acclaim in San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Houston, Seattle-Tacoma, and Charlotte, as well as internationally in Tel Aviv, Israel and Tijuana, Mexico, among others. As founding members of the transcontinental dance collective, TRANSForm, they present work and teach workshops around the country. For more about Gina, Kyle, and somebodies dance theater, head to: somebodiesdancetheater.com.
Class: SubtleBodyBigDance is a contemporary modern technique class open to all levels. In the first half of class, instructors Gina Bolles Sorensen and Kyle Sorensen lead dancers through an imagery and sensation-based improvisation practice inspired by the Israeli movement language, Gaga, and somatic modalities. In the second half of class, imagery and sensation are put into context in dynamic choreography. Students will discover new freedom and textures in their movement as well as an invigorated sense of play.
Terry Wilson: Open Level Modern Dance
Terry Wilson is San Diego Dance Theater’s Associate Artistic Director and has been performing, choreographing and teaching for 28 years. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan and a BS in Psychology from SDSU. In 2000 Terry won the San Diego Dance Alliance Tommy Award for best female performer, and in 2015 she took first place for site-specific dance in the International Fringe Festival. Terry is also a Professor of Dance at San Diego City College and a Lecturer in Dance at UCSD.
Class: Classes are often laced with modalities, meditation and breathwork, leading toward more organic movement phrases. Heavily influenced by Limon and Muller techniques, there is often improvisation and movement styles reflecting the years dancing for Jean Isaacs. Terry uses her knowledge of anatomy and technique, along with metaphor, humor and prior knowledge to create space for all levels of dancers.
Robin Naughton: Tap
Originally from Boston, Robin moved to San Diego in 2009 for a warm and sunny place to recover from hip surgery resulting from years as a competitive gymnast and dancer. Her overuse injuries and chronic pain issues ultimately motivated her to pursue a career in exercise physiology, injury prevention and rehabilitation. Robin received her B.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Along with her education, Robin’s personal experiences have guided her in developing a holistic approach in treating musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction and helping her clients reach their fitness goals. Robin’s experiences have helped to craft an approach to fitness that is personalized and based on a sincere appreciation for the delicate balance of the human body.