Rhode Island Dance School News


  • The Tiverton branch of Rhode Island Ballet Academy will be available to sublet in September. Open times include all mornings, Sunday, and late afternoon and evening on Saturday, Mondays and Fridays. A perfect location for Yoga, exercise, Pilates, karate, ballroom and parent/child classes, the school has a raised wood floor with marley surface with a separate dressing room and waiting area and office. The dance space is approximately 25' x 35'. If you are interested or have more questions, contact Studio Director Nancy McAuliffe by email at or call her at 624-2283 or 847-5301.
    RI Ballet Arts Academy
    1719 Stafford Road
    Tiverton, RI 02878

  • To avoid confusion with K&S, the K&A dance is now Karin & Al's Ballroom Dance. The next dance is 630pm to 9pm on January 12 and there's a free Intermediate Samba lesson for early-birds from 6pm to 630pm.(Don't be late, they start right on time and move right along.)
    These dances serve a variety of tastes: practice your stuff, observe the wide range of styles and choreography- get help with a problem (Karin and Al are dance teachers) and just enjoy being with wonderful people!
    If good fuel is needed to run your car engine, good music is needed for inspired dancing! K&A DANCE is known for compelling 'fuel' so you can burn the floor to your heart's content! The floor is a really decent reactive hardwood floor about 40X80 and so you won't hurt yourself... as do those oh-so-hard concrete/wood floors. Dress is completely up to you.... dress to suit your particular mood and needs! Get there earlier and order dinner from the kitchen and the bar is open during the dance.
    Portugese American Club
    138 Narragansett Ave
    Jamestown RI
    Time: Lesson 6pm/Dance 630pm to 9pm
    Admission: $10.00
    Information: 401-884-8257 or email
    (Let them know you want to be on their mailing list for new dances and cancellation information.)

  • Groundwerx's dance school, Groundfloor, has had a name change by new owner, Perishable Theatre. (For more on Groundwerx, see Ahern Departs RI) As of November 1, the Groundwerx telephone number will no longer be in service, and the name Groundwerx will be officially taken off the third floor dance space. Perishable will continue to rent the space and anyone who is interested in renting or in taking classes (check riDance's Lesson Page first), should call Lauryn Sasso at 331-2695 x 100. The space will now be referred to as the "Third floor dance space at Perishable Theatre."
  • Perishable's rental prices for this space are more than reasonable. The enormous 30X40 foot sprung wood floor with a Marley surface rents for just $15.00/hour weekdays before 5 pm or $18.00/hour weeknights and weekends. The space has floor length mirrors and barre's and the bathroom includes a shower.
  • Lauryn Sasso
    Office Manager
    Perishable Theatre
    95 Empire Street
    Providence, R.I. 02903
    401-331-2695 x 100

  • Hoe Down Hounds (a division of Paws for Independence*) is a dog and human square dancing organization which visits hospitals, nursing homes and senior centers to provide some truly quality entertainment. There's good music and happy two and four footed animals enriching their own lives while they enrich others. HDH is looking for dog/human couples willing to learn do-se-do, allemand, grand square and lots of other exciting square dance steps. Well known square dance teacher, Joe Frisella teaches the dances. If you and your dog haven't been getting in much quality time lately or if your dog has been wanting to get out and meet people, call Kristina Johnson at 401-539-0947 or email For you free-style dance fans, Kristina also occassionally offers a class called Dancing With Your Dog To Music at Delmyra Kennels on Route 102 in Exeter.
    *A non-profit organization, Paws for Independence adopts suitable dogs from animal shelters and trains them to work with variously disabled people (aren't we all) including the deaf, epileptics and the wheel chair bound to name but a few. See more about this worthy organization at

  • Studios still need to realize that there's a large population of adults who would love to dance but need an absolute beginner class instead of being placed in classes with more experienced students.
  • Modern Jazz Dance Company Center for the Arts's director Elaine Colaneri has added Beginner Ballet, Tap, and Jazz classes to her schedule.
    Beginner Adult Tap is on Tuesdays from 730pm to 830pm
    Beginner Adult Jazz is on Tuesdays from 530pm to 630pm
    Introduction to Adult Ballet is on Wednesdays from 730pm to 830pm (instructor Adrien Michael Thorne has an impressive ballet background including professional dance experience)
    Call Elaine at 401-521-6226 or email her at with any questions.
  • Dance Forum in North Kingstown has just added a Beginner Ballet for Adults and Teens class to their Saturday schedule. This hour long class runs from 10am to 11am. In addition DF offers Beginner classes in Jazz (Tuesdays 615pm-715pm) and Ballet (Thursdays 630pm-8pm). Call 401-294-6611 or email
  • In January, the Learning Connection will be offering Absolute Beginner Ballet and Tap classes through the Bayside School of Dance in East Providence.
    Basic Ballet for Everyone
    4 weeks starting January 27, 2003
    Monday, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Cost $55 (LC Members $45)
    and Have You Always Wanted to Learn to Tap Dance?
    4 weeks starting January 27, 2003
    Monday, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Cost $55 (LC Members $45)
    For more information, call Learning Connection at 800-432-5520 or 401-274-9330 or email them at

  • The October 17 Providence Journal reports that eleven schools have been recognized by the Rhode Island Alliance for Arts Education. Three North Kingstown schools - Forest Park, Quidnessett and Stony Lane Elementary Schools were given the Creative Ticket for Student Success Award for their committment to arts education at a presentation ceremony at PPAC on Thursday night. The three schools are part of the SmART program which integrates art with academics. Wickford Elementary School (also in North Kingstown) has become the latest school to join SmART. North Kingstown has actively been adding dance into its curriculum in addition to continuing with the very successful non-curriculum school dance program - Chance To Dance. Reynolds School in Bristol, which has a dance program, was also given an award fpr committment to the arts.
  • The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, the national organization, of which RIAAE is part, also awards schools but requires that competing schools have active programs in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts. The Journal reports that, "The only school in the state with all four programs is Mount Saint Charles Academy [a coeducational, Catholic, junior/senior high school in Woonsocket], which received a state award and was nominated for the national competition."
  • On January 8, President Bush signed into law the biggest overhaul of education law since passage of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The new act, titled No Child Left Behind, includes provisions long sought by arts education advocates and marks a major victory for arts learning, specifically a general definition of core academic subjects, which includes the arts. The arts were given equal billing with reading, math, science, and other disciplines in this definition representing a huge change in national educational policy. This means that the arts are now more likely to receive federal funds.
    You can see the No Child Left Behind Act at (This will take you off riDance).
    The most salient section is titled Title V, Section 55
    Assistance for Arts Education
    * To support systemic education reform by strengthening arts education as an integral part of the elementary school and secondary school curriculum
    * To help ensure that all students meet challenging state academic content standards and challenging state student academic achievement standards in the arts
    * To support the national effort to enable all students to demonstrate competence in the arts.
    "The authorization bill gives increasing authority to state education agencies to determine how federal funds are spent. Also, schools will now be required to test students in grades three through eight every year in math and reading, with low-performing schools facing serious penalties. The high-stakes emphasis on reading and math may create a challenge for arts educators. With these changes in place, it will be more important than ever that arts education advocates work with education policymakers at the local and state levels to take advantage of new federal opportunities." - Chiaroscuro The Newsletter of the Art Educators of New Jersey.

    Here's a wonderful chance to get modern dance training from two of New England's top choreographers/dancers! Bridgeman/Packer will be running an open dance company class at RIC's Melcer Dance Studio on November 3 from 10am-1130am and on November 4 thru 7 from 430pm to 6pm. The price is $6.00 a class and you should have a minimum of three years dance to feel comfortable.

    Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer have been choreographing and performing together since 1978. Known for their breathtaking partnering, they are recipients of six National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships and were chosen for the National Performance Network and the New England Foundation for the Arts New England Dance Project. They have been working with the RIC Dance Company who will perform Carried Away,a B/P dance, at RIC's Fall Concert

    Rhode Island College
    Roberts Hall
    600 Mt Pleasant Ave
    Providence RI 02908-1991
    To get to Melcer studio. Go in front doors, turn left, take the first hallway on your right, and then the next hallway on the left. Melcer Studio is the first door on the right.
    Bridgeman/Packer website...

    Petra Kuppers is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias Performance Research Projects, which investigates links between community and participatory art, identity politics, movement work and (new) media practice. For the past 14 years, she has worked as a community dance artist and teacher in Great Britain and the European continent, leading Laban-based movement, contact improvisation and dance theatre classes and workshops in many different settings, often from a wheelchair. She is a specialist in integrated dance work, performance work with physically disabled people, and with vulnerable people in mental health contexts. Her performance work and her publications are part of an international disability culture. (More about her work can be found at In 2001 Bryant College talked her into coming to the United States with promises of plenty of studio time and freedom to integrate her studio work into her cultural studies courses. Petra is now an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at Bryant.

    All this begs the question of "What exactly is going on at Bryant?" Bryant managed to get an internationally recognized expert in disabled dance which means they have the interest and the money to do so. Apparently this quiet little business college has been infiltrated by art people, but how this happened remains shrouded in mystery.

    Bryan Rourke wrote an excellent article about Petra in the October 8 Providence Journal (Lifebeat/Section G pages 1&3). (Originally Bryan had a byline of "Theatre and Dance Writer" - in this article he is listed as "Staff Writer".) Some of the juicier quotes from the article are:
    Disability doesn't preclude people from life pursuits, such as dance; it just provides a different perspective on them. Our view of life and art becomes broader if we have different perspectives

    Disability is like race, gender or age. It's just another aspect of being. It effects our expression of dance and our outlook on life, adding to our collective and varied sense of humanity.

    Everyone is a dancer, once they understand what dance is. It's a creative expression where you use your body to communicate. You don't have to adhere to just one language.

    Dance is not about doing things that no one else can do, but, rather, merely doing what you can, making whatever movement conveys your emotion or message.

    A quadriplegic can be a dancer. You can make a motion with just your chin. If the audience focuses on just your chin, the clarity is there.*

    A movement can be made firmly or softly, with simplicity or flourish. The art is in the act, which comes from creating not conforming.

    *Tamin Ansary relayed the following antedote in reference to the attitude of the Afghanistan people in My Return To Kabul (Parade Magazine September 8, 2002 page 8), "Another night, a fellow named Qadruddin invited us for dinner. He has a reputation as a dancer, so after the meal, some guests urged him to perform. But his legs were damaged from the war. 'Nowadays,' he said, 'I can only dance with my eyes.' And he proceeded to do just that, moving his eyes in time with the music, hitting the beat so perfectly we all began to clap along."

The Dance Connection will be having their Open House on Saturday, August 10th from 10am to 3 pm. The Junior and Senior Dance Companies will perform and mini- classes will be held for younger dancers, ages 3 thru 9, at no charge along with games, prizes and refreshments. If you have a dance student (or a potential student) in your house, this is a great way to see a studio and get a good idea about what they offer and if it's right for your dancer. By the way, Dance Connection offers classes for adults and they are invited to the Open House too. They're located at 1232 Hartford Avenue in Johnston, Rhode Island. Call 401-351-3410 or email for more information.

Dance Connection will have Fall registration (and store hours) from 12noon to 4pm on August 26, 27, 28 and 29. They are open during the summer with classes for all ages. See DC's full summer listing at Summer Camps.

Narragansett Performing Arts Dance Centre is holding their OPEN HOUSE on Saturday August 10, 2002 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Come in and register for classes, sample some of our dancers' great baked goods, and enjoy performances by our own Terpsichore Dance Company at 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm. There is also a FREE 1/2 hour hip hop class for children and adults scheduled for 1:00 pm. We have a few other fun surprises in store, including a chance to win two FREE one month dance scholarships worth $40.00 each, and a great NPAC dance bag! We'll be giving away NPAC bumper stickers! Everyone is invited to attend and to bring a friend! Don't miss out on a great day of fun with NPAC! Hope to you see you there!
148 Boon Street
Narragansett RI
Phone 401-789-5080

  • NPAC's Fall schedule is online at riDance's Lesson Page. (This page has gotten way too big, please wait a moment for it to load)

    Free your mind, unleash your inner gypsy, connect with others and let your spirit soar in a supportive environment filled with the sounds of ancient rhythms.
    American Gypsy Dance:
    This new exciting class blends the synchronicity of American Tribal, the spice of Middle Eastern Dance, and the enthusiasm of the Gypsies. Classes begin Saturday, August 3, from 11 - 12:30 at Dance Oasis, 1707 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889. No prior dance experience is required. Cost per class is $15 for drop-ins or $13 if you purchase a block of six classes in advance. Class size is limited for personalized attention, so please call 737-4713 to insure your space. Please wear comfortable clothing that offers free movement. Hip scarves and baring your belly are optional.

    Beyond Beginner Belly Dance:
    This class is for the student who has already learned basic the steps of belly dance and wants more of a challenge. The focus is on technique, posture, layering, combinations, and incorporating zills and veils into the dance. Classes are on Thursdays from 6:30 - 7:45 at Dance Oasis, 1707 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889. Cost per class is $13 for drop-ins or $10 if you purchase a block of six classes in advance. Class size is limited for personalized attention, so please call 737-4713 to insure your space.

    If you're a serious student, enrolled in the beyond-beginner class, and want to learn a complete dance, Talia offers a choreography class for an additional $5 at Dance Oasis on Thursdays from 7:45 to 8:15. If you are interested in taking this class, you will need to learn the steps that other students have learned - this can be done by taking a private class or if there is enough interest, Talia with create a special catch-up class for new students. ($10 for a one hour class of 2 or more students; $25 for a private class). Questions? Talia can be reached at

    SUNDAY 15 JULY 2002
    Long time student of the great jazz dance teacher, Matt Mattox, Swiss dancer, Erja Fisher is in town for July and is teaching an advanced Mattox Jazz class as well as Mid-level classes at DanceArt Forum in Wickford. The beginner to intermediate classes are Monday from 9am to 1030am (15.00) and from 615pm to 715pm on Tuesdays (price $12.00). The Advanced class is on Wednesdays (price $15.00) from 630pm to 8pm. DanceArt Forum is located at 685 Boston Neck Road (1A) in North Kingstown. Call 294-6611 for more information or just show up!

    A gifted teacher, Erja Fischer is available for workshops at other studios. You may reach her at 401-294-6611.

    Matt Mattox was a ballet and theatrical dancer who became an ardent student of Jack Cole, the father of jazz dance. Cole used a number of different dance influences including lindy and classical indian dance to fashion what we know as jazz dance. Although Cole developed the technique and taught it to many famous dancers, he never codified the style or developed a technique to readily transmit that style. Many professional dancers were unable to learn his difficult complicated movements or expressed frustration at their slow learning curves. In response Matt Mattox developed a set of exercises that include the isolation exercises done in almost every jazz class in the world. Now in his 80's and still teaching at his wife's dance studio in Perpignan France and at numerous workshops around the world (most recently at Jacob's Pillow), he is a testament to the strength and pliability conferred by proper jazz dance technique.

    Ms Fischer worked on Mattox technique in Finland for two years before studying intensively with Mattox for four months in Paris in 1980. She has trained with him since then in Germany, Switzerland and, most often, in France. At a 1995 class in France, he exhorted her to start another school (she had decided to focus on her dance career and had closed her first school). "You have to have a school. You must pass on my technique." Upon her return to the U.S., she re-founded the DanceArt Forum in Wickford (it had been in Narragansett). The studio was named in honor of Mattox who at one time called his style JazzArt.

    SUNDAY 15 JULY 2002
    A little known fact is that the well known dance school, Hop to the Beat got its start right here in Rhode Island. In 1993 (or thereabouts) swing dancer, Andrea Krida found Tony and Aurelie Tye dancing up a storm in Boston and dragged them down to teach eager RI swing dancers the lindy hop. Classes were held in Providence, originally at the Music School using space generously provided by Sarah Sloane of Hepcats and later at Moses Brown and Groundwerx (where they will be this time). They taught here for several years before returning to Boston to start Hop To The Beat and run their world famous Beantown Lindy Hop Summer Camp.

    Now they're back in Providence with Monday evening hip hop classes with instructor David Liberge - an accomplished Hip Hop dancer, choreographer and member of the Street Hop team whose Hip Hop Lindy routine won the Cabaret Division of the 1999 American Lindy Hop Championships. Classes emphasize body isolations and movement while learning a fun routine, and will be taught in 3 week sessions, with each session working on a different routine. They are non-partner, no experience is required and you can start with either session. Social dancers may find that Hip Hop classes help them improve their body control which will help in partner dancing and they're not a bad way to pick up a feel for the pulsing movement in lindy hop. Hop to the Beat Dance Studio also offers Hip Hop and other dance styles in Massachusetts with locations in Newton Centre (summer only) and Cambridge.

    Two Sessions
    July 15-29, 2002
    August 5-19, 2002
    Time: 7:30-9:00pm
    95 Empire St (3rd floor)
    Providence RI
    More information, on-line registration and directions are available at: HOP TO THE BEAT (will take you off riDance) or email Tony and Aurelie at

    SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2002
    Polka lessons are few and far between, but the Hollywood Dance Studio will be teaching a beginner class on Mondays starting July 1st at 830pm. The rollicking polka is still danced by middle Europeans and their American descendants at large family gatherings, but this dance deserves a wider audience. It's aerobic, easy to learn and the most fun dance you'll ever set foot to. HDS is at 2178 Broad Street in Cranston. Call 401-780-8871 for more information or visit riDance's Social Dance page
    SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2002
    Johnston-based Dance Connection performed at the NDEO Student Concert on June 26th at Providence College and participated in Rhode Island's Tap Dance Day on Saturday June 29th in front of Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence. DC will be at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on August 11th to benefit the Webber Foundation of Helping Hands sponsored by the Warwick-based studio, Dance Artistry.
    FRIDAY 21 JUNE 2002
    Rhode Island's top Middle Eastern dance teacher and performer, Sabra Jamal suffered a neck injury in a recent car accident. With an advanced student demonstrating the movements, Sabra was able to finish up her popular Groundwerx classes on June 25th. She will recuperate through the summer and classes should resume in September.
    The Rhode Island Ballroom dance community lost two wonderful women this year to breast cancer. As a tribute to Christina Cryan and Adrianne Beretta, on May 31st at Bobby's Banquet Hall in Pawtucket, there will be a Ballroom Dance & Silent Auction to benefit the American Cancer Society. K&S Music will be providing their fabulous music and the Brown University Ballroom Dance Team will perform in honor of Christina. It's only a $10.00 donation but more will not be refused!. If you can't go, but would like to donate send a check made out to The American Cancer Society to Sue Hill at P.O. Box 642 Norton MA 02766 or contact Kimberly Cryan at or Sue Hill at
    THURSDAY 23 MAY 2002
    Well-known swing teacher, Fred Gliottone of Swing Newport has announced that he will be taking a two-year hiatus from teaching sequential classes. In a brief interview on Wednesday May 22, he told riDance that the combination of a new house and a new day job along with his desire to spend more time honing his own dancing skills has resulted in his decision to take a break. Swing Newport's very popular Swing Latin and Waltz dances will continue to run at the Portugese American Club in Jamestown with the next one slated for Saturday June 1st. And Fred will still be out and about teaching the occassional class including the July 18 swing dance at the Narragansett Towers featuring Bombay Jim and the Swinging Sapphires.

    TUESDAY 20 MAY 2002
    School children from around Rhode Island got out their dance shoes and showed their stuff this week at the Providence Performing Arts Center for the annual Chance To Dance Spring Concert. Performances were on Tuesday, May 21 at 630pm and Wednesday, May 22 at 12noon and 630pm. Tickets were available at the door.

    Dance Alliance-run Chance to Dance is a state-wide program providing dance education in public, private and parochial grade schools. The program focuses on the integration of movement with music and the development of choreography skills as well as the discipline required to put a dance together. This year, twenty five schools have had Chance To Dance integrating dance into their curricula. If your school would like to be a part of this program or if you would like to know more, call 401-885-6073.

    Chance To Dance is looking for teachers, and they will train (you should have some dance background). These part-time paid positions require plenty of enthusiasm and a desire to work with children. For more information, check out riDance's Job Page.

    THURSDAY 09 MAY 2002
    Hip-hop/Jazz Choreographer, Glenn Packard will be teaching a master class at Festival Ballet Providence on Thursday, May 9th at 600pm. Glenn has choreographed music videos and concerts for many popular artists including Pink, Whitney Houston, Mya, Destiny's Child and Usher. In 2001, he choreographed Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Concert and has performed on The MTV Music Awards, Saturday Night Live and The Today Show. He runs a talent agency for dancers and works with Entertainment Producer, Louis Pearlman (N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, O-Town). The class is $15.00 and will run from 6pm to 730pm. Festival Ballet is located at 825 Hope Street in Providence. The class is open to teens and adults over the age of 12. No shoes that have been worn outside will be allowed in the studio. For more information on this wonderful opportunity, contact Festival Ballet at 401-353-1129 or Derek Perry at
    Derek Perry reports that over 50 people attended with "dancers from all different dance companies taking the class together, (Dance Planet, Fusion at Brown, Off The Curb, Studio 34) and cheering each other on". (See more at STUDIO 34 AT GLENN PACHARD'S MASTER CLASS.)

    04 MAY 2002
    Two members of Lasandhi Dance Theater, Elaine Fong and Tara Ahmed, will be teaching a tandem workshop in Classical Indian Dance and Japanese Taiko Drumming at Groundwerx Saturday May 4th from 3pm to 5pm. This may sounds like a bit of an odd combination, but Lasandhi recently performed at the Carriage House in Providence where they stopped the show. The Providence Journal praised them for their "wit, grace and raw power". Come to this special first-time event and spread the word among fellow dance and music enthusiasts. To register call 617-864-5323 or email
    03 MAY 2002
    (The Yoga & Indian dance weekend was cancelled which was too bad because it looked great. Maybe next year.)
    The art of Bharat Natyam is a vibrant dance form from India using symbolic hand gestures, percussive footwork and eye & neck movements. Noted Boston-based classical Indian dancer & teacher, Tara Ahmed and Colleen Webb, director and teacher at 4Corners Yoga in Woburn Massachusetts are holding a dance and yoga retreat on Cape Cod from Friday May 3rd through Sunday May 5th. Come for a weekend of beginner classical dance workshops, mixed-level yoga classes, meditation, and demonstration. This event is limited to 10 people so all students will receive individual attention. For more information, call 617-864-5323 or email Registration deadline is April 15th.
    Boston-based classical Indian dancer & teacher, Tara Ahmed and Colleen Webb, director and teacher at 4Corners Yoga in Woburn Massachusetts are holding a dance and yoga retreat on Cape Cod from Friday May 3rd through Sunday May 5th.
    Come for a weekend of beginner classical dance workshops, mixed-level yoga classes, meditation, and demonstration.
    In concentrating on these two complementary Indian arts, they will focus on dance technique one day and beginning choreography the next. Yoga workshops will enhance and enrich the learning process.
    This event is limited to 10 people so that all students will receive individual attention. The retreat will be held at a lovely house in Brewster (check it out at Vegetarian meals will be prepared by an Indian cook, both Indian and American cuisines.
    Tuition is $400, or $350 if you register by April 15. As this is a special first-time event, the first person to register will get $50 cash back. Make checks out to Colleen Webb; send to Colleen Webb, 4Corners Yoga, 23 Howard Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Registration deadline is April 15th.
    For more information, call 617-864-5323 or email
    25 APRIL2002
    Creative Dance is a natural approach to the art of body movement pioneered by Barbara Mettler (a student of Mary Wigman in the early 30's). Join instructor, Doug Victor, for Creative Dance: a moving weekend on April 27 & 28 at the Providence Zen Center. The weekend will enhance your ability for movement expressions. The cost is $50.00 for Saturday or $95.00 for Saturday and Sunday. Call 401-521-0546 or email (To learn more about Creative Dance, see their website at
    20 APRIL2002
    The University of Rhode Islands Dance Club has their annual recital on Sunday April 21 at 3pm in Kingston. Guest companies, Flavor Unit (hip hop) and DanceArt Company (jazz) join in with students to showcase almost all current performance dance styles. The three dollar price for admission can't be beat.

    Bryant's Rhythm & Pride Dance Team hosts six dance teams from studios and companies at their recital on Sunday at 730pm. Its at the MAC on the Bryant Campus 1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield. Admission is free. For more information email
    31 MARCH 2002
    ARTHURMURRAY.COM has a coupon good for one private lesson, one group lesson & a dance session. You must be an adult who has not previously been to an Arthur Murray Studio. The coupon is valid for one single or one couple. See riDance's Dance Discount Page for more information.
    24 MARCH 2002
    Dawn Porter has been dancing since she was a tiny child. She was a member of the Deaf Dance Ensemble at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, and danced with the Carolyn Dutra School performing with them when they toured Austria and Czechoslovakia. In 1995 she was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Gallaudet University in Washington DC from which she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Elementary Education and Developmental Drama with a minor in Dance. She was a member of the Gallaudet Dance Company and taught in the Children's Dance Program. Now a teacher of dance and drama at the RI School for the Deaf, she recently added ballroom dance to her wide array of interests studying with Barry Lawton at the Paris Academy of Ballroom Dance in Taunton.
    Last fall, she won the Miss Deaf Rhode Island Pageant. To raise money for Dawn's July run for Miss Deaf USA, Kathy and Brian Soscia of K&S Music have put together a Fundraiser Ballroom Dance which will be held Sunday March 24th at the Crown Plaza in Warwick. There will be plenty of social dance with performances by jazz and ballroom dancers including a performance by Dawn and Barry. Please check out the riDance Fundraiser Ballroom Dance listing or call 401-821-4108 if you would like tickets or to donate to Dawn's fund.
    24 MARCH 2002
    RIBT will also hold a Master Class with Alexandra Koltun, formerly of the Kirov and Boston Ballets and now with Festival Ballet, on Sunday, March 24 at 3 PM at the studio of Rhode Island Ballet Arts Academy, 7610 Post Road, North Kingstown. The Master Class is open to all interested intermediate to advanced level dancers. The fee is $25. Call 401-847-5301 for information.
    21 MARCH 2002
    Dante Sciarra teaches one mean jazz workshop. He starts with a Mattox warm-up, followed by an across the floor building to a routine that anyone with a little dance background can do and intermediate/advanced level dancers can really shine in. Everyone gets the glorious feeling of pulling off a dance. The Studio in Narragansett has a Thursday March 21st jazz workshop for adults from 630pm to 830pm and a Saturday March 23rd workshop for teens (12-17) from 130pm-330pm. Call 401-789-3029 for more information. The workshops are $20.00 each.
    Rhode Island's best known jazz dancer and Broadway Baby, Dante Sciarra is available to teach his high energy Master Classes in studios throughout Rhode Island and New England until April 22, 2002 (when he decamps for Philadelphia to perform in Damn Yankees). For more information, reach him at 401-965-0731 or at 212-636-9406.

    Three studios have opened their jazz master classes with Dante to any dancer who wants to be part of the fun. The Studio in Narragansett has a Thursday March 21st workshop for adults from 630pm to 830pm and a Saturday March 23rd workshop for teens (12-17) from 130pm-330pm. Call 401-789-3029 for more information. Dante will be teaching an adult class at DanceArt Forum in Wickford on Saturday March 30th from 12noon to 2pm. To register and for more information, call 401-294-6611. The workshops at both studios are $20.00 each. On April 12 from 530pm to 730pm, Dante will be teaching a hip hop class (530pm) and a modern jazz class (630pm) at The Dance Connection in Johnston. Anyone with at least five years of dance experience and who is 12 years or older is welcome to come. ach class is $10.00. Call 401-351-3410 for more information.
    20 MARCH 2002
    Classes in Intermediate level Milonguero Tango are starting this Wednesday, March 20, at Providence Tango. Instructor Willie Feuer is a professor of Dance at Wesleyan University and teaches Argentine Tango at Dance Manhattan in New York City. Call 401-273-2855 for more information.
    20 MARCH 2002
    March 20th, Rhode Island College presents JazzDance. Their artistic director Danny Buraczeski has been called the country's most sophisticated jazz dance maker. If you have always thought jazz dance was about Las Vegas or MTV dancing, come see what it really is - an incredibly exciting creative dance form. For more information, call 401-865-2206.
    19 MARCH 2002
    Swing Newport's Intermediate Swing class (Tuesdays from 730pm to 830pm) has the rare problem of too many leaders. If you are a follower, for once you wouldn't have to wait for a partner. If interested, email them at or call 401-943-4692.
    18 MARCH 2002
    On Monday 18, the Providence College Theatre, Dance and Film Department will host a panel discussion on Tradition and Innovation in Jazz Dance. The panel will look at the history and nature of jazz in this country with a particular focus on Jack Cole and Danny Buraczeski, two of the great innovators of jazz dance as a theatrical form. Jazz dance scholar and Choreographer Constance Valis Hill will be the keynote speaker. Fellow panelists will include RIC's Dr Kathryn Kalinak, PC's Dr. Christopher Kelton and the aforementioned Danny Buraczeski who has been in a multi-school residency this winter at RIC. (His company, JazzDance, is scheduled to perform at RIC on March 20th.) There will be a discussion period following the panel presentation. The event runs from 730pm to 900pm in the Providence College Feinstein Academic Center (4th floor). For more information, call 401-865-2206.
    16 MARCH 2002
    Combine your interests! Visit the Home Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center this weekend and see some of RI's finest Irish step dancers. The Goulding School of Irish Dance will perform at 130pm on Saturday March 16 and at 1230pm on Sunday. Director, Deidre Goulding started dancing at four and she includes a stint in Riverdance on her resume.
    09 MARCH 2002
    PB&J are offering their second series of Ballroom Formation Dance Classes March 9th Saturday 1130pm-1230pm at Groundwerx in Providence. The formation dances will be samba and rumba. Beginners are welcome, but you must have a partner. Call 401-245-1119 to hold your plance in the class.
    09 MARCH 2002
    Modern dance isn't weird and serious and all about rolling around like a bug on the floor. Want Proof? Principal Dancer and Associate Director of the Randy James Dance Works, Elizabeth Spatz will be teaching a workshop in Modern Dance Technique at DanceArt Forum in Wickford from 12noon to 2pm on Saturday, March 9th. For the price of $20.00 you'll get a full, physical warm-up and a combination that will make you glad you're a dancer. Call 294-6611 or email for more information.
    07 MARCH 2002
    Magnolia fiddler and well-known dance teacher Michelle Kaminsky will be teaching cajun and zydeco dance styles in Providence starting this coming Thursday March 7th. Call 401-246-2720 to register (required). These classes usually sell out so register soon. Too shy for group classes, cher? Michelle also offers private.
    04 MARCH 2002
    On Monday, March 4th Providence Ballet II moved into a brand new studio at 3355 South Country Trail in East Greenwich. The large studio has 40 feet of mirrors and a beautiful dance floor The building they are in also houses a large gym, a preschool, a cafe, and a pro shop. Providence Ballet II offers ballet classes for children with a dance camp slated for this summer.
    If you would like more information, call Eva Marie Pacheco at 401-861-4842.
    04 MARCH 2002
    Two dance schools in Rhode Island routinely offer group classes in the elegant Argentine Tango. Hepcats has a four week introductory session starting on March 8th at the Central Congregational Church in Providence. Sarah Sloane is one of the best teachers around for explaining how to do the footwork and possibly more importantly the leads. To register or for more information, call 401-727-3385.

    Ellen Mayer runs Providence Tango which is devoted to Argentine Tango. She regularly brings in tango teachers from all over New England and has workshops as well as classes. The next six week session of introductory tango (as well as a higher level beginner class) is starting on March 4th, and on Wednesday the 5th, Willie Feuer will teach an intermediate level class - Milonguero-style Tango. PT hosts milongas (argentine social dances), and the next one is on March 9th. Call 401-273-2855 for more information.

    Long-time dance teacher and writer Jeff Allen has studied and trained in Argentine Tango since 1985 and gives private lessons for the beginner to advanced student in Argentine dance in the three major styles - Tango, Milonga, and Vals Cruzado (Tango Waltz) at a social or performance level. Jeff is available to do seminars or coaching for groups at studios or schools in Argentine tango or in any of the ballroom dances. You can contact him at 401-823-9093. A dancer for more than thirty years, Jeff is the author of the popular Quickstart to Dance books including Quickstart to Social Dancing, the best selling social dance book in the U.S. His latest book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ballroom Dancing, to be released on April 6 with a price of $19.95, includes a CD of ballroom music (which Jeff produced). Ordering the book now from, will get you a pre-publication discount price of $13.50.
    04 MARCH 2002
    In the same issue of Dance Magazine, there is a picture of Sean Curran (page 64), who has managed to become famous without being a Rhode Islander but can often be found teaching and choreographing dance at Roger Williams University. In fact, most of their dance concerts (they're great and its your loss if you haven't gone) feature a Sean Curran dance.
    02 MARCH 2002
    On March 2nd, The American Dance Legacy Institute will host Winter Mini-Fest 2002 in the Brown University campus. The Mini-Fest includes classes, workshops (for children and adults) and seminars on American dance legends Talley Beatty, Sophie Maslow, Jose Limon and Jack Cole. The day will culminate in a concert of classic and contemporary works performed by dancers ranging from 15 to 60. The classes and workshops are free and open to the public. Tickets for the concert are $10.00 or $5.00 for students and seniors. You must make reservations (401-863-7596) and especially for the concert - It always sells out. For the schedule of events, visit riDance's Winter Mini-Fest 2002 page.
    01 MARCH 2002
    The March 2002 issue of WGBH's (Channel 2 in Boston) Magazine has a story about disco dancing and Rhode Island's own Randy Deats (complete with a picture of a bearded Mr.Deats). With a headline of You Should Be Dancing it says, "In 1978, a year after a certain gyrating young man in a white polyester suit brought disco to the movie-going masses, it occurred to some bright minds at 'GBH that disco might be something to teach. (And who better to do that than the station that first introduced how-to television to American viewers?) Julia Child meet Randy Deats. The host of the Emmy-winning, WGBH-produced Dancing Disco led wanna-be Travoltas nationwide through the spins of the Hustle and offered tips on what to wear at big-city and suburban discos from New York to California."

    WGBH has long been a friend to dance. Annually they show the Ohio Star Ballroom Dance Competitions (although sadly not this year due to budget constraints). And coming up this March, they will offer viewers a biography on Gene Kelly (3/6 at 8pm, 3/10 at 6pm & 3/16 at 2pm), the Nuevo Flamenco Espanol dance group performing Fury (3/7 at 9pm), as well as Egg (an exiting half hour of every possible art form) and Greater Boston Arts which in the past year has shown a story on the puppet masters at AS220 and featured Indian dancer (and frequent Groundwerx teacher) Tara Ahmed. Membership to WGBH brings you their magazine with a listing of programs, provides you with many discounts including dance and, of course, keeps WGBH on the air. To see what dance benefits you can get in Rhode Island with your WGBH card , see Dance Discounts. To join call 800-492-1111 or visit WGBH ON THE WEB (this will take you off riDance).
    28 FEBRUARY 2002
    Providence Circus School and the French-American School of Rhode Island are offering Circus Arts for Teachers guiding teachers and any interested adult beginning February 28. Interested dancers are invited to join. To register for this class or for more information call Judith Plotz at 401-351-9211.
    10 FEBRUARY 2002
    February 10 at 1230pm, Providence Tango offered an Argentine Tango workshop with Atlanta-based tango teacher - Jim Hudson.
    12:30 - 2:00 BASICS/ TECHNIQUE
    1:15 - 2:45 INTERMEDIATE TANGO
    3:00 - 4:30 TANGO WALTZ
    FEES: 1 class - 20.00/2 classes - 30.00/3 classes - 40.00
    Phone 401-273-2855 for information and to reserve a place.
    08 FEBRUARY 2002
    On February 8th thru 10th 2002, Brown University hosted the Africanist Weekend - three nights and two days of dance and music performances, celebrations and workshops in West African drumming, lectures on dance and culture by leading scholars, and artists from West Africa. Details can be found on riDance at Africanist Weekend 2002.
    RHODE ISLAND BALLROOM DANCE MOURNS THE LOSS OF A BELOVED DANCER, TEACHER AND PROMOTER Long-time Rhode Island ballroom promoter, coach and dance teacher Christina Cryan lost her fight with breast cancer February 4, 2002 at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. (more)

    03 FEBRUARY 2002
    Festival Ballet will be performing King Arthur and the Knights of the Square Table on Sunday February 03 (two matinees). Go to riDance's King Arthur page to find out more about this production (for instance, the music is by the guy who did the outrageous music for Beetlejuice!)

    FEBRUARY 2002
    • On Saturday February 16, PB&J hosts an International Waltz workshop with Istvan Cserven and Judit Gaspar. It's at 1130am at Groundwerx. To fully benefit from this workshop, you should know some international style waltz. Call 401-245-1119 to register.
    • Swing Newport will be teaching a Beginners and Intermediate Charleston Workshop in Newport on Friday February 22nd. The doors open at 700pm, and there will be hot apple cider and pastry if you make it to 1000pm. The cost is $10.00 per person. Call 401-943-4692 to register or for more information.
    • Principal dancer Elizabeth Spatz will be teaching a Workshop on the relationship of music to dance in ballet on February 9th from 12noon to 2pm at DanceArt Forum in Wickford. For more information go to Ballet Workshop. Enrollment is limited. Call 401-294-6611 or email to register.
    • The Blackstone Theatre is offering an eight week beginner Irish step dancing and ceili dance class for adults (16 up) with dancer/instructor Kieran Jordan. It starts 07 February. If you are interested, Call 401-725-9272 and reserve your place ASAP; all previous sessions of this class have sold out before the start date.
    • Also on 07 February, Beverly Parsons is teaching an Absolute Beginner 4 week Tap Class in East Providence through the Learning Connection. The hour-long class meets at 730pm and the series costs 55.00 for non-members (members are $45.00). You must register in advance. Call 800-432-5520, or register on-line at
    • In Narragansett, The Studio has just started an Absolute Beginner Adult Tap Class taught by Chamoni Mossa-Simone. It's not too late to join this class! Call 401-789-3029 for more information.
    • Noted Indian dancer and choreographer Tara Ahmed will be teaching a workshop in Classical Indian dance at Groundwerx on February 10th from 11am to 1245pm. Call 617-864-5323 to register. By the way, her dance company Lasya will be presenting a performance at Brooks Concert Hall at Holy Cross College in Worcester Massachusetts at 8pm on Saturday, January 26th. Last year at The Carriage House, Ms Ahmed danced an excerpt of this work which was a technically strong lusciously sinuous melding of modern and indian dance.
    • Also on February 10, Providence Tango is hosting an Argentine Tango workshop with Atlanta-based tango teacher - Jim Hudson. Call 401-273-2855 for information and to reserve your place. Two of the classes are for beginners; one is for intermediate level students.
    • Twirl The Girl has well known New York teacher and dancer Erik Novea teaching two Intermediate level Workshops on Saturday February 02 followed by their swing and ballroom dance.
    • Modern dance choreographers Sarah McCormick and Beth Easterly will be teaching an Art & Choreography workshop (for the next two Saturdays 02 & 09Feb). The workshop explores the use of visual art as a source of choreographic material. To register call The Learning Connection at 401-274-9330.
    • Studio 34 has added another Intermediate adult jazz class. Studio owner Debbie Brzozowy teaches it on Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30pm. Call 401-253-0334 for more information.

    04 FEBRUARY 2002
    The best dance deal in Rhode Island was Philadanco at URI's Will Theatre on Monday 04 February. You can get two tickets for the price of one with a WGBH card at any of URI's Great Performances shows. The theatre looked to be about 95% sold.

    27 JANUARY 2002
    Festival Ballet performed King Arthur and the Knights of the Square Table on Sunday January 27 (two matinees). Go to riDance's King Arthur promotional page to find out more about this production (for instance, the music is by the guy who did the outrageous music for Beetlejuice!)

    15 JANUARY 2002
    Brian Jones has been tapped by Rhode Island College to put together the lead dance for the RIC Dance Company's Spring Concert. He has the daunting but enviable task of choreographing, directing, set-designing, costuming and producing the number for the entire company.
    13 JANUARY 2002
    Barrington High School has become Rhode Island's first public high school to have their own ballroom dance club. Founded by senior Xachem Khamsyvoravong and PB&J's artistic director, Nelia Lawton, the club boasts more than 50 members and plans on first increasing dance skills and then will perform and compete. In conjunction with the BHS jazz team , the Dance Team put on their first dance (a fund raiser) called Swing Fling on Thursday January 31 from 7pm to 10pm with a admission of only 30 cents. Donations were accepted.

    JANUARY 2002
    • Festival Ballet Providence is offering a month-long course in Flamenco which will be held Fridays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm January 25 (this Friday) through March 29. This beginner technique class for adults and teens will focus on Brazeo (armwork), Taconeo (heel work) and Compaz (timing). Students will also learn the different Cantes (songs) of flamenco and their specific rhythms. Women are required to wear a comfortable top (preferably a leotard), a loose fitting skirt and character shoes. Men should wear a tee-shirt, sweat pants and shoes with a heel (in flamenco, men's shoes are similar to boots with a two-inch heel). No previous dance experience is required. Flamenco will be taught by Sabrina Aviles, a guest faculty member at the Center for Dance Education. Sabrina began her study of Spanish folkloric dance in 1978 in her mother's native Dominican Republic and has been teaching flamenco since 1990.
    • Youth Broadway Jazz is a jazz technique class with a focus on Broadway choreography which will be taught at Festival Ballet Providence. The class is offered for children ages 10 to 12 with a minimum of two years of jazz or ballet experience. Classes will meet Fridays from 530pm to 6:30pm January 25 (this Friday) through March 29. Ballroom Dancers, if you hanker to do something with your dance lessons besides social dance, but don't want to compete, why not consider taking dance formation classes? These classes result in a group routine and usually culminate in an actual performance. This lesson format is becoming quite popular. Twirl That Girl has just started a West Coast Swing team. The URI Ballroom Dance Club has a formation team with classes open to the public starting on January 30th. Hollywood Dance Studio puts together a dance team which performs every Fall. And now The Providence Theatrical Ballroom and Jazz Project is starting a class on January 5 which runs for 8 weeks. None of these classes require that you be advanced, just a little ballroom (or swing) dance background will get you in. However, you must be willing to commit to all the lessons since the formations and your team depend on it. Some classes require that you come with a partner, but if you are a single, call anyway as they may have a list of other people without partners wanting to join.
    • Providence Circus School starts its Winter session at Groundwerx on Sunday January 13. They are offering classes for ages 10 to 16 in Mime and Acrobatics. Call Providence Circus School Director, Judith Plotz at 401-351-9211 for registration information.
    • Hollywood Dance Studio has a Samba Workshop on Saturday January 12th. If you can do a little samba or if you can do more, this workshop will hone your skills and add new moves to your repetoire. Call 401-780-8871 to register.
    • Istvan Cserven and Judit Gaspar from the Boston and Norwood Fred Astaire Dance Studios and dancers with PB&J Dance Company will be teaching an International style waltz workshop at Groundwerx (Providence) on Saturday January 19th at 1130am. The workshop is open to amateurs and professionals. Please call 401-245-1119 to register.
    • Christina Cryan's Ballroom dance classes starts January 22 Tuesday at St Martin's Church in Providence, and then on Friday January 22 at Varnum Memorial Armory in East Greenwich. One of RI's best and most popular ballroom teachers, she has been sidelined by chemotherapy and her friend, fellow instructor Russell Monk, will replace her for this semester. Well-wishers may send cards to 152 Virginia Avenue,Attleboro Falls,Massachusetts 02763. We wish her a speedy recovery.
    • One of the best deals around is Dance Fitness at the The Peacedale Guild in South Kingstown. For $50.00 (or $40.00 for SK residents) you can take up to five classes a week for eight weeks. Evening classes start January 14; morning classes start January 15, and they are all taught by Andrea Aschenbrenner who is celebrating her 20th year teaching Dance Fitness at the Guild.

    JANUARY 2002
      Although most adult dance classes are on weeknights, that does not always work for non-nine-to-fivers. For these people, there are three dance studios that offer weekday morning classes and a few more that offer weekend classes. You can see all the adult ballet schedules posted with riDance on the Adult Ballet page, and if you know of any other classes, please email us with the name of the studio.
    • The Studio in Narragansett has Intermediate Ballet (minimum - 6 months of ballet) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1030am, and Saturdays from 9am to 11am.
    • DanceArt Forum in Wickford has Open Adult Ballet classes (minimum - 6 months of ballet) on Monday and Tuesdays from 930am to 11am. (They also have Modern classes on Wednesday and Friday 930am to 11am.)
    • Brae Crest School of Classical Ballet in Lincoln has morning classes for intermediate level adults (minimum of 1 1/2 years of recent ballet) on Monday and Wednesday from 11am to noon.
    • In Wakefield, Shoreline Dance has a Saturday 1015am to 12noon intermediate class (followed by pointe 12noon to 1225pm). This series just started on 05Jan02.
    • Also on Saturdays, Providence Ballet has an Intermediate class (taught by Eva Marie Pacheco) from 12noon to 130pm.
    • Donald Acevedo teaches an open intermediate class on Sundays at Providence Ballet from 10am to 1130am and then a beginner class (6 months minimum) from 12noon to 130pm.

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