World Dance Education for the Youth

Tribute to Nawal

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on November 9, 2012

On Friday October 26th DanceVersity staff and students, in collaboration with Shoshanna Rose and Ya Habibi Dance Company from Humboldt County, performed for an international audience of an estimated 1200, including international dignitaries and press, for the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame Gala event in the Yerba Buena ballroom of San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis hotel.

Founded in 1982, the International Women’s Forum advances leadership across careers, cultures, and continents.  Each year they recognize the accomplishments of trail-blazing women by inducting them into the International Hall of Fame.  Former honorees include Isabel Allende, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Margaret Thatcher, Maria Tallchief, Betty Ford, Betty Friedan, and Barbara Walters, Sally Ride, and Mary Robinson.

This year IWF honored Nawal El Moutawakel, the first Olympic Gold Medalist from Morocco and the first woman Gold Medalist from all of Africa.  More about Nawal

Also honored were  Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House and first woman in American history to lead a major political party in Congress, and Patricia Summitt, the all time top winning coach in NCAA basketball history.

DanceVersity and Ya Habibi Dance Company backstage Nawal El Moutawakel and Moroccan Ambassador Asma Chaabi

We were honored to be asked to come pay tribute to Nawal El Moutawakel and her Moroccan heritage, and were pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate our love for the culture to Moroccan Ambassador Asma Chaabi, who was also in attendance.   The performers that evening included the U.C. Berkeley symphony orchestra, playing the Star Wars theme among others, and Beach Blanket Babylon, both in tribute to Nancy Pelosi and her hometown of San Francisco.


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Click on this link to access more information on session 2 of our Fall classes, Haitian dance with Portsha Jefferson.

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on October 19, 2010

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Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on October 19, 2010

New Haitian series with Portsha Jefferson starts Monday Oct 25th.  Registrations are still open.  Click on link below.

Check out my @constantcontact newsletter.

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Cultural Explorations Through Dance

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on September 11, 2010

Now the popular DanceVersity Summer Camp  is extended throughout the year!

DanceVersity presents Cultural Exploration through Dance
6-week sessions on Afro-Haitian, Flamenco, Persian, West African and Ethno-Contemporary with a foundational technique in Contemporary Jazz.
Begins Monday, September 13th
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center 1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA.
Youth Classes (ages 7-11), 3:30 – 5:00,
Teen Classes (ages 12 – 16), 5:00- 6:30.  Class size limited.
ONLINE REGISTRATION is now open for the fall 2010 sessions!

Cultural Exploration Through Dance
Nowhere else in Northern California will you find a more innovative and integrated curriculum of world dance, music, costuming and cultural study for your child or teen.  Taught by premiere dance instructors and world dance performers, each 6-week session steps your child/teen into a different cultural experience. We’ll explore the origins of contemporary and traditional folk dances, as well as the people and culture where they originate.  At the end of the session, dancers will be given an opportunity to perform in a Bay Area cultural venue.

Students who participate in all 6 sessions (36 weeks total) will be invited to share their knowledge as a teaching assistant at our popular DanceVersity summer camp, now in its 6th year.

Session 1: Contemporary Jazz ~ September 13 – October 18
Contemporary Jazz feels the influence of multiple ethnicities and cultures.  It builds a foundation of footwork and technique that helps students more easily move into the rhythms of different dance styles.  Taught by Holly Shaw (3:30-5), director and choreographer of  Elixir of Youth dance company, and Tom Mayock (5-6:30), a seasoned educator and performer of classical, contemporary and indigenous dance, this is a perfect start to the continuing dance journey.

Session 2: Afro-Haitian ~ October 25th – October 29th
Engaging and spirited, Afro-Haitian folkdances such as the Ra-Ra embody community celebration.  As students learn the traditional dances of this culture, they will easily recognize the steps that inspire contemporary jazz today. Portsha Jefferson, brings her wealth of performance experience, 10-years of teaching Haitian dance to Bay Area students, and passion for youth development to one of our most in-demand classes.

*Registrations are now open for sessions 1 & 2.
Session 3: Flamenco ~ January – February (dates TBA)
With its roots in East Indian, Arabic and European Gypsy, Flamenco is the ultimate multicultural mix.  In this session, students learn the emotional rhythms of a dance that endures over time as an expression of hope and protest. Instructor Clara Rodriguez, is a performer who appears regularly throughout California and on tour in Spain and Portugal.  For more than 20 years, she continued to study her passion, most recently in the place of Flamenco’s origins, Andalucia, Spain.

Session 4: Central Asian/Persian ~ February – March (dates TBA)
Through folk dances that speak the music and poetry of the Silk Road, dancers gain insights into the cultures of Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China and India.  Guiding students through the journey is Miriam Peretz, an artistic director and principal dancer at Ballet Afsaneh and previously on tour as principal dancer with Inbal Ethnic Dance Theater in Tel Aviv.

Session 5: West African ~ April – May (dates TBA)

Filled with expression and energy, West African dance is a way of understanding the life celebrations and complex relationships of a community.  In this session, a dynamic dancer and talented perfomer teaches traditional dances that reflect the culture of his native country.

Session 6: Ethno Contemporary ~ May – June (dates TBA)

This dance session fuses the multi-cultural rhythms and techniques of dance from around the globe into a contemporary forum.  By teaching students how to express what they have learned through an original contemporary dance, it is the completion of our world dance journey.  Jade Raybin, shares her talent as an ethno-contemporary dance expert and her rich artistic background in numerous world dance styles.

REGISTER NOW for sessions 1 & 2!

Tuition: $230 for the 12-week fall sessions.  This includes the performance fee.

A $50 discount will be applied if registration is received by September 6th.  ($180)

Classes will be held MONDAYS (September 13 – November 29) at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center.

Ages   7 – 11        3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Ages 12 – 16        5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

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‘Danceversity Faculty 2010!’

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on July 26, 2010


via ‘Danceversity Faculty 2010!’.

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‘DanceVersity Teen Summer Classes and World Dance Camp!’

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on June 11, 2010

‘DanceVersity Teen Summer Classes and World Dance Camp!’.

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DanceVersity Summer Camp montage compiled by Sarah Romanowsky

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on May 29, 2010

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Berkeley Earth Day

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on April 14, 2010

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‘Summer camp early registration period ends April 1st!’

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on March 26, 2010

‘Summer camp early registration period ends April 1st!’.

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Family Night for Haiti

Posted by DanceVersity World Dance for Youth on March 24, 2010

Come early for face-painting, to grab a seat or a “cushion”, and get a raffle ticket to win a chance for an entire week of FREE summer camp with DanceVersity!

Show starts promptly at 6:30PM.

Family Night for Haiti

Special Performance by Haitian dance troupe  Tou Limen Youth Ensemble under the direction of Portsha Jefferson

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