Modern dancers get chance to improve | SteamboatToday.com

Modern dancers get chance to improve

Autumn Phillips

Dance audiences that reg–ularly attend the annual Steam–boat Dance Theatre concert in spring will be surprised to hear there are no modern dance classes offered in Steamboat Springs.

The lack of modern dance classes is surprising simply because, if the annual concert is any indication, there are many modern dancers in Steamboat.

Recognizing the gap, the Steamboat Dance Theatre is bringing two modern dance instructors — Judy Bejarano and Lisa Morgan — to Steamboat for the weekend to teach three days of intensive master classes.

Although it’s been years since the last master class, providing these kind of learning opportunities is one of the missions of Steamboat Dance Theatre, said SDT vice president Wendy Smith Mikelsons.

With new energy on the board of directors, some grant funding and a newly acquired nonprofit status, master classes now should be offered more often, she said.

Bejarano is the artistic director of Impact Dance Company at Colorado State University. She also is a guest instructor for the Desperate Figures Dance Theatre in Weisbaden, Germany.

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Many of Bejarano’s pieces focus on social and emotional issues — including a dance interpretation about one woman’s healing journey after a rape and the piece “Gender Speak,” which deals with men and women’s struggles with communication.

Morgan worked for years as an artistic director and dance instructor in Jackson, Wyo. She now lives in Fort Collins, where she teaches modern dance and leads creative movement classes for children.

Dance audiences may rem–ember her piece “Pockets,” which has been performed twice by Steamboat Dance Theatre.

“The whole piece is about how people use their pockets,” Smith Mikelsons said. “There is one dancer wearing a jacket with big pockets. Everyone else has no pockets, and they are awkward without them.

“It was a very well-liked piece.”

Both instructors will offer classes for all levels of dancers.

“This is a chance to study with a new teacher from outside Steamboat,” Smith Mikelsons said. “It’s a chance to experience a different teaching style and be exposed to some different ideas.”

Steamboat Dance Theatre members will be given a discount for this weekend’s master classes, but the public also is welcome to attend. SDT membership is $10 a person.

Modern Dance Weekend Workshop

n Beginning Modern with Lisa Morgan When: 7 to 8:15 p.m. today; 4 to 5:15 p.m. Saturday

n Intermediate Modern with Judy Bejarano When: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday

n Advanced Modern with Judy Bejarano When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday

n Cost: $8 per class for SDT members; $15 per class for non-SDT members

n Call: 736-1005