The Intermediate/Advanced Fusion Session
In pursuit of the balanced attributes of refined technique, we will share a transnational fusion practice session that weighs strength, movement clarity, endurance, flexibility and artistry in equal measure. Donna respectfully requests that attendees be in regular, engaged dance practice; comfortable with cardiovascular challenge, layering, balances, speed work, turns and a full-body workout. As usual, Donna pledges the best music in the universe for our euphoric enjoyment!
Friday September 22, 6:30-9:30pm
How important is your core alignment and musculature to your dancing? It is unequivocally and absolutely critical to an intelligent and coherent approach to any movement in any genre of dance. Donna Mejia has managed to maintain an active dance practice through multiple abdominal surgeries, pregnancy and more… all through a focus on core abdominal strength. In this workshop, Donna offers an array of exercises and practices intended to raise the intelligence of your lower back/lumbar region and abdominal wall. Please note that we will be utilizing a yoga mat for these investigations. Donna will illustrate how to use other common household items to further your training anywhere, regardless of whether or not you have access to a gym or dance studio. The integration of breath is the final “Jedi training” clincher to these transformative practices. Our goal is not a flat stomach; it is a formidably strong core that will support your grandest and most virtuosic possibilities. The good news is that this training has beneficial applications beyond your dance practice, so please bring those notebooks and questions and let’s dig in deeply! Please bring a yoga mat.
Saturday September 23, 1:00-3:00pm
Movement Invention in Hip and Torso Work
After drilling foundation hip work and shimmies, we will plunge deeply into learning a variety of pelvic and torso articulations born from Donna’s adventurous imagination: wave-drops, whip-lash body undulations, quaking circles, black-ice slides, spiraling undulations, elastic vine drops, rebounding figure 8’s, and many more concoctions. This workshop is most beneficial for dancers with a confident and well-practiced foundation in hip work already. Please bring a yoga mat for warm-up.
Saturday September 23, 3:15-5:15pm
Upper Body + Helping Hands
Donna Mejia will offer a customized practice for increasing the ease and expressive capacity of the upper body. EXCEPTIONAL CLASS NOTE: participants are invited to please bring two cans (soup, vegetables, beans, etc.) that can be used as light weights for several key exercises. We will collect all cans at the end of class and donate them to a local charity of our sponsor’s choice. In this way, we can be powerful as a moving community, and literally expand our reach to uplift those beyond our community. Class will begin with an examination of the shoulder girdle > anatomy and alignment for different body types (because differences are to be celebrated). We will take a special focus on trouble-shooting common joint difficulties. The second chapter of our class will overview stretching and conditioning for healthy micro articulation of the arms, back/spine, chest and shoulders. The third chapter of class will be a practice session of poetic isolations, movements and accents for our newly pliable (but wonderfully stable) upper bodies. In addition to two canned goods, please bring a yoga mat, a tennis ball and your notebook.
Sunday September 24, 12:00-3:00pm
Being an Ally, Moving Beyond By-stander Syndrome and Having Courageous Conversations in the Midst of Cultural Collision
Despite the media’s portrayal of the world as a very polarized and damaged place, there are many extraordinary people quietly building a society that prizes inclusiveness. There is always room for more additions to this global family of healers, so please come join the conversation. We’ll be reviewing recent developments in anti-bias work and scholarship, and examining what we can do as individuals and a community to increase peaceful coexistence. Fusion dance was just the beginning of the important work we’ve started in the world as artists. Ally-ship takes many forms and is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Yet each courageous act of fellowship, no matter how large or small, is meaningful. Please don’t underestimate how your choices disrupt social bias and can tip the scales for a fellow human whom may feel demoralized and disenfranchised. Interestingly, you may find that you always get back more than you give. This workshop will explore definitive steps to move beyond “paralyzed empathy;” becomingeffective as a listener, and act thoughtfully in our support of comrades.
The inevitability of our global citizenship mandates we set a seat at our table for other world-views and voices. Do you really wish to make a difference? Please come join a conversation that is already in progress on an international level. Your contributions and thoughts will make it better for all.
Sunday September 24, 3:15-4:30pm