Children with Challenges

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    Student Summer Showcase, July 28

    Free Outdoor Presentation
    Friday, July 28
    Duluth Public Library Plaza

    Across from The Depot

    The School of the Minnesota Ballet showcases its upper-level students as they demonstrate ballet, modern, jazz, tap, character (European folk dance), musical theater dance, and their own works in progress created during the choreography class. Highlighting the presentation will be special works by two guest teacher/choreographers.

    Guest Choreographers

    Special Works by Guest Teachers/Choreographers
    Igor Burlak
    , who studied at the School of American Ballet, is a faculty member at the Boston Ballet School and former member of such companies as the Minnesota Ballet. His visit is funded in part by the John T. and Elizabeth C. Adams Arts Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

    Marco Carreon, dance faculty member at California State University Dominguez Hills, directs its resident dance company MOSAIC. In March he taught in the North-Central Region American Dance Association Conference, held at UMD.

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    Creative Dance for Children with
    Physical/Developmental Challenges

    Section I: 4–5 p.m. Tuesdays • Section II: 4–5 p.m. Thursdays
    September 2016–May 2017
    Grain Exchange Studio, 8th floor of Board of Trade Building

    Placement in Section I or II is by instructor.


    The Class…Beginnings
    Some years ago, Galynn White, a little girl who had been born with osteogenesis imperfecta, announced to her respite care provider, Jerry Hull, that she wanted to become a ballerina when she grew up. Jerry called the Ballet to see what could be done. Recognizing that the joy of dance should be for everyone, the Ballet was delighted in 1990 to establish a ballet class geared for children with physical or developmental challenges. Audiences look forward to seeing the class in the annual Student Performance in May at the DECC Auditorium.

    The Ballet now offers the class in two sections to better accommodate students’ range of experience and abilities.

    The Class…Activities
    The class begins with isolation exercises of the head, neck, shoulders, and hips, taking into account the mobility restrictions of each student. Stretches not only properly warm up muscles for the activities to come, but they increase flexibility. Once muscles are warmed up, then various exercises/activities build muscles and coordination.These stretching and strengthening exercises are adapted to the individual abilities of each student.

    Once students are properly warmed up, they begin dance instruction, including floor patterns, rhythm, and basic dance steps, again all tailored to the abilities of each student. The small class size allows each student to receive individual attention and encouragement.
    The main objective of the class is to expose students to the joy of movement. Other objectives include improving self-esteem, musicality, motor skills, and discipline. Accompanying music features a variety from Broadway musicals to the classics.

    The highlight of the school year is the opportunity to perform in the annual School of the Minnesota Ballet Student Performance, held at the DECC Symphony Hall. Students not only gain performing experience, but they show parents, friends, and the community the skills they have diligently worked on during the year.

    Financial aid is available.

    Click here to download the 2016 – 17 Creative Dance Brochure.

    Click here to download the 2016-17 Registration form.

    Click here to download the Financial aid application 2016-17.

    For more information

    School of the Minnesota Ballet
    301 West First Street, Suite 800
    Duluth, MN 55802-1613
    (218) 529-3742

    The Creative Dance Class Instructor…
    Suzie BaerSuzie Baer_0254
    Suzie Baer graduated from the School of the Minnesota Ballet, serves as an instructor in the School of the Minnesota Ballet, and dances as a member of the professional company. She has taught the Creative Dance class since 2010.

    A Stillwater native, Suzie trained for nine years at a local studio. She began study at the School of the Minnesota Ballet in the Summer Intensive 2003 and spent summers at the Joffrey Midwest program, and on scholarship at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in San Francisco and Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    For the Minnesota Ballet she has danced such memorable roles as Mirliton and Arabian dancer in The Nutcracker, as Housekeeper, Clara, and Dew Drop Fairy in The “Manhattan” Nutcracker, and as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    MN Ballet Nutcracker 2014 1237While she was an upper-level student, Suzie loved volunteering as a helper for the Creative Dance class. All week she looked forward to class days because she found the students so much fun to work with. Their positive energy was always infectious, and watching them mature in life as well as mature as dancers was very rewarding.

    Now as the Creative Dance instructor, Suzie knows what she wants for the class: “My goal is for students to leave the classroom with a sense of pride for what they’ve accomplished and a sense of joy that stems from friendship, music, and movement.”