The Workhouse Arts Center is expanding its dance program by launching more kids’ and adults’ classes. It held a Dance Open House on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, where people could visit the studios, meet the instructors, sample the “taster” mini-classes and find out what’s new for ages 2 to adults. They have something for everyone – from Children’s (Keiki) Hula to Ballroom Dancing to Ballet.
According to Elizabeth “Mimi” Glass, Audience Development Coordinator: “We’re launching kids’ classes here. So, we’ll be having everyone from 2-years-old all the way up to 12 for our kids’ classes. That’s everything from hula to belly dance to ballet, tap, and modern. We want to be a well-rounded dance program, and we’re hoping to grow into a full-blown dance academy in the years to come.”
She added: “For our adult dance classes, we have ballroom, hula, belly dance, a modern company class with Next Reflex Dance Collective, and that’s free every Sunday. So, we really want to be a place where the beginner can come all the way up to the advanced level and have something for them to explore and create and grow.”
She said the cost averages $15 per class; and the age ranges from 2-12 for kids; and 16 and above for adults. They will be adding a teen-centered program in the future but for now they’re starting slow and growing steadily. Visitors can drop in and do trial classes with free vouchers for anyone who wants to just drop. The classes last from 6-8 weeks.
BALLROOM DANCE INSTRUCTOR Alan Golombek teaches both beginners and intermediate classes, for ages 16-90. “We teach beginners that have basically little or no experience and we teach the ballroom dances like waltz, tango and foxtrot, cha-cha, rhumba and swing,” he said. No partner is needed and it’s for people who’ve never danced before and want to learn some social skills and dancing and get enough confidence to go on the dance floor.
“We love to teach people how to dance and introduce them to the fun and exciting world of ballroom dancing,” said Golombek, who with his wife Thuyle are the Virginia State Dancesport Ballroom Champions.
“I find belly dancing to be a very empowering dance for women; it’s very ancient,” said belly dance instructor Sonia Monson, who has been dancing for 30 years. “What I do is basically teach the basics of belly dance. My course that I’m teaching now starts out with the warmup and we do the slower movements, drill through those and drill through the faster movements and then we work on choreography.” She started the belly dance program with the City of Norfolk, with the Norfolk Parks and Rec, and taught 20 years there.
Hula instructor Cherry Nutting added: “Hula is the embodiment of Hawaiian culture. In my hula class, you not only learn the dance routines, you learn the culture, the language, the Hawaiian crafts and most important, you gain sisterhood between hula sisters. I promote each other’s achievements.”
Modern Dance teacher Roxann Morgan Rowley runs the Next Reflex Dance Collective on Sundays, and specializes in teaching ages 2 to adults. “I’m also teaching some of the kids’ classes here – I’m teaching a 4-year-old Creative Movement class along with a Pre-Ballet class for 5-year-olds and a Dance with Me class for moms and kids,” she said. “I’m excited to be starting a program here with the Workhouse folks, so it should be great.”
Added Joseph Wallen, Director of Performing Arts at Workhouse Arts Center: “At the Performing Arts Department we have offered dance classes historically for the past several years but with the new hire, Mimi -- Elizabeth Glass -- we now have the capacity to offer a more robust schedule, more offerings for a wider age group, particularly for youth, which we have not been able to offer in the past.”
WORKHOUSE ARTS CENTER is located at 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton. For more dance info, visit www.workhousearts.org. Click on Classes and Tickets link, then Dance. Call 703-584-2900.