STEVENSVILLE — More than 50 dancers gathered on stage at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College Nov. 12 for a “Day of Dance,” sponsored by the Carole Cascio Fund for Mind Movement Dance Connections.
Melinda Blomquist, artistic director of the Community College of Baltimore Dance Program & Dance Company, taught a Modern Dance class. Ballet was taught Kristie Shaffner, associate director of CCBC Dance Company. Hip Hop was taught by Adrienne Kraus Latanishen, a professional choreographer and dancer from Baltimore, along with Peter Pucci, the executive director of the Carole Cascio Fund. Pucci taught a partnering/choreography workshop. Pianist and accompanist Lydia Bobes was also on hand to play live on stage for both the Modern and Ballet classes.
Dancers came from all over the Eastern Shore, and Chesapeake College was represented, as well as: the Mid Shore Dance Academy in Centreville, To The Pointe Studio in Ridgely, New Motions Dance Center in Cambridge, Ballet Theatre of Maryland in Annapolis, Eastern Shore Dance Academy in Cambridge, Queen Anne’s County High School dancers, and the student Dance Club from Washington College.
It was a fun and action-packed day with classes beginning in the morning and lasting throughout the afternoon. At mid-day, dancers, parents and studio directors participated in a lively and informative question-and-answer session with the guest artist instructors, while enjoying a snack break provided by the Carole Cascio Fund.
Blomquist provided a traditional modern dance class that was free-flowing, and it challenged dancers to move off balance and explore new movement that she created spontaneously.
Shaffner taught a classical ballet class at the ballet barre that stressed proper alignment, connectivity and encouraged the dancers to move lyrically and boldly through the space.
Kraus Latanishen moved passionately and energetically as she led her students through complex hip-hop routine to a wide variety of rhythmic and current hip-hop tunes.
Peter Pucci, executive director of the Carole Cascio Fund, said, “This was so much fun to watch and participate in!”
Pucci, a former principal dancer with the renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater also shared his partnering expertise with dancers as they explored counter balances and weight transfer exercises with partners and in small groups. He also explored with them elements of choreography as the students created their own short dances to an impressive variety of instrumental music.
In the week preceding the 12th, the Carole Cascio Fund provided several free dance classes taught by Pucci and Kraus Latanishen. They started the week at Queen Anne’s High School with a masterclass for theatre and dance students. Then on to Chesapeake College to teach a few hip-hop classes and a movement class for acting students in the Theater Program. They finished their week at Kent Island High School teaching three classes for athletes, cheerleaders, dancers and a large group of visiting ninth graders and Play Production theatre students.
Stay tuned for future Carole Cascio Fund Events including the Arts Fair at Chesapeake College April 21-23, 2023.
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