The class links existing dance-movement techniques (Horton, Dunham, flying-low, improvisation and African Diaspora dances) with my own choreography. Special focus is given on spiraling movements, sliding, rolling, movement initiation, jumping, clarity of intent and dancer’s relationship to the floor. Dancers perform movement phrases that involve speed and the release of energy throughout the body in order to activate the relationship between their center/core and other body parts. I cover strategies for moving in and out of the ground, and performing floor material more effectively. The warm-up emphasizes use of breath and energy, followed by combinations that underscore expansion, strength, release, weight and momentum. The goal is to develop confident, versatile dancers that can proficiently handle many dance techniques, and to cultivate dancers’ creativity and self-expression.
I teach Horton technique from the pedagogical approach of the late James Truitte. Mr. Truitte was a member of the Lester Horton Dance Theatre who came to be recognized as the world's leading exponent of the Horton Technique in its purest form. The Horton Technique is designed to ensure protection and maximum efficiency of the body. The dancer is developed without a discernible label and suited to many choreographic needs. Emphasis is on stretch, resiliency, range, strength, suppleness, precision, endurance, postural alignment, balance, isolations, coordination, and musical sensitivity. Lester Horton developed the technique in Los Angeles, CA between the 1930-50s, and it’s considered to be one of the pioneering techniques of American modern dance.
The class is a fusion of traditional African, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Caribbean dances with modern and jazz dance styles. African/Diaspora dances have rich cultural heritages that have been sources of self-knowledge, community cohesion, and spiritual communion. At the same time the class explores the functions of these dances in relationship to our contemporary lives. In this class I incorporate stretching, strengthening the upper and lower body, moving from core strength, flexibility, stamina, grounded-ness, rhythmic sensibility, floor-work, clarity of intent, and use of breath and energy.