University of Rochester

EVENT: inspireDANCE Festival Brings Master Classes, Performances to Rochester Campus

January 20, 2012

Dance lovers of all levels and experiences will find there is something for everyone at the annual inspireDANCE Festival, organized through the Program of Dance and Movement at the University of Rochester. The five-day festival, which runs from Tuesday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 18, aims to introduce the community to the burgeoning dance scene, both at the University and the greater Rochester area.

"The dance community at Rochester has been growing and flourishing," said Missy Pfohl Smith, director of the Program of Dance and Movement. "The inspireDANCE Festival is one way to share the creativity of our students and the depth of our program with the larger community."

The festival was launched last year by Arielle Friedlander '11, as a part of her Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year project. Now in its second year, the week has expanded, bringing local, regional, and national guest artists and master teachers who will conduct more than 25 classes and workshops. From beginner to advanced, participants will have their pick of contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, West African, Jamaican, Middle Eastern, Capoeira, T'ai Chi, Qi Gong, and more. A full schedule of dance classes and workshops can be found here.

Additionally, critically acclaimed New York City dancer and choreographer Heidi Latsky will bring her teaching philosophy to Rochester during a master workshop on Thursday, Feb. 16. Based on her recent innovative methods of choreographing for both dancers with and without physical disabilities, Latsky will offer a master class titled The Beauty and Complexity of Simplicity in Choreography. Building on a simple task, Latsky will direct the participants through a series of directives to come up with a short piece of choreography that participants will perform for each other. All dance levels are welcome at participate. Latsky, who is the founder of the modern dance company Heidi Latsky Dance, also will bring the intensity, passion, and emotion she is known for to the stage, performing in Spurrier Dance Studio on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Festival Class Passes, which allow participants to attend any of the classes, workshops, or performances, are $16 and will go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Common Market in Wilson Commons. Festival Class Passes purchased after Tuesday, Feb. 14, are $20, sold at the door. Separate tickets for Heidi Latksy's performance are $7 for students and $10 for the general public, available at the Common Market. For ticket and registration inquiries or more information, call 585.273.5150 or 585.201.1002 or email or

inspireDANCE Festival Highlights:

inspireDANCE Kick-Off Event
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Hirst Lounge, Wilson Commons
The festival kicks off with performances by the University of Rochester's student dance groups, including D'motions, the Ballet Performance Group, Sihir, Indulgence, and students from the dance program.

West African Dance Forms I
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., MAC, Goergen Athletic Center
University of Rochester professor of dance and movement Kerfala "Fana" Bangoura takes students through the movements of West African dance forms.

Capoeira: Brazilian Art Movement
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 4:50 to 6:20 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio
Immerse yourself in Brazilian culture by learning about the country's popular art form that mixes elements of martial arts with dance. Those familiar with Capoeira can take an advanced class from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in Spurrier Dance Studio.

Master Class with Heidi Latsky: The Beauty and Complexity of Simplicity in Choreography
Thursday, Feb. 16, 5 to 6:25 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio
In this master class, New York City dancer and choreographer Heidi Latsky will introduce simple but profound tools to aid the creative process.

Special Performance: Heidi Latsky
Friday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio

Swing Dance
Saturday, Feb. 18, 11 to 12:20 p.m., MAC, Goergen Athletic Center
Learn the Lindy Hop and swing dance steps from members of Rochester dance company Groove Juice Swing.

Choreography Workshop
Thursday, Feb. 16, 11:05 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio
Missy Pfohl Smith, University of Rochester dance program director and BIODANCE artistic director, will guide participants to experiment with various methods of dance-making and focus on examining craft in the service of choreographic expression.

Jamaican Dance
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio
Adjunct professor at Robert Wesleyan College and Genesee Community College, Kelly Kavanaugh teaches a workshop on Jamaican Dance, drawing on her experiences as a student at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.

Raas Indian Dance
Saturday, Feb. 18, 3:45 to 5:15 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio
University of Rochester dance group RAAS will lead a class on traditional forms of Indian dance.