"I see dance as glue for a community" - Twyla Tharp
Small group dance classes to keep freelance artists moving safely together during this uncertain time.
$15 In-Person Class
$10 Virtual Class
$10 Barre Only
Virtual options offered via Zoom; Link will be sent approximately 10 minutes prior to class.
Class sizes are currently limited to 8 students and 1 instructor for safety and social distancing.
Virtual offerings available through Zoom.
Masks are required while entering/exiting and moving in the space.
Hot House MPLS
2303 Kennedy St NE Suite 420
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Free parking is available on Kennedy Street or Summer Street, or in the Kennedy Building lot in back of building.
Enter through the main (south) doors on Kennedy Street, and take the stairs to the 4th floor.
Dancer, choreographer, educator, and writer Penelope Freeh dismantles antiquated modes of how ballet is taught, languaged, applied in research terms, and expressed physically, intellectually, performatively, and at the gut level. Through her practice of expanding the terms and exploding the tropes of ballet, she aims to meaningfully connect with a diversity of collaborators, colleagues, students, and audiences.
Her modern class offers a rigorous blend of foundational concepts and imageries. It begins on the floor with gentle stretching and yoga postures that warm up the spine, igniting the head-to-tail connection. On their feet, dancers move through an ever-changing series of skill building exercises that borrow from the Horton technique and Taylor style, establishing movement vocabulary and concepts that build as the class progresses. Across-the-floor exercises lead into sweeping, space-eating combinations that call for technical specificity inside of abandon. It is through letting go where discovery happens.
Freeh is a two-time McKnight Fellow for Choreographers, McKnight Fellow for Dancers, and Sage awardee for Outstanding Performer. Her work is in the repertoires of Alternative Motion Project, Gem City Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Zenon Dance Company among others. Residencies include the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.
Penelope danced for James Sewell Ballet for seventeen years, serving as Artistic Associate from 2007-11. She is faculty at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Ballet, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, TU Dance, and Zenon. She holds a Dance MFA from Hollins University.
performs, teaches, choreographs, writes, and advocates as a dance artist. She received two McKnight Fellowships for Dancers, a Sage Award for Outstanding Performer and was named Artist of the Year by CityPages. She co-founded James Sewell Ballet (JSB) in New York City in 1990, serving as its managing director and artistic associate throughout its move to Minneapolis in 1993. Since leaving JSB in 2014, Rousse’s site-specific work has taken dance off the tradition stage and featured artists who identify as LGBTTQ+, mature, disabled, female, BIPOC. As the Cowles Center’s first Artist in Residence, she engaged the local community through free workshops, art installations, tours, discussions, and the acclaimed promenade performance ICON SAM: Temple Dances (Best Performance of 2018, CityPages). Her choreography has been seen in both theatrical and commercial venues such as the Guthrie, Southern, and State Theaters; the Walker Art Center, MASS MoCA, the Cartoon Channel, and Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre. Rousse performed as a leading dancer with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and Ballet Chicago, dancing works by Maurice Béjart, Jiri Kylian, and over 75 new works created on her by contemporary and post-modern choreographers.
Da’Rius Malone, from Chicago, IL, began his training under the direction of August Tye at Hyde Park School of Dance. Da’Rius is a 2014 graduate of The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), where he won the award for Scholar-Artist and had the privilege to perform works from leading Chicago dance companies such as DanceWorks Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Muntu Dance Theater, and Joffrey Ballet. Da’Rius continued his training at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Da'Rius is a 2018
graduate with his BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an Emphasis in Ballet. After his time at The Boston Conservatory Da’Rius was asked to join Jon Lehrer on his European Tour as a guest artist. After, Da’Rius then became a company member at James Sewell Ballet. Da'Rius has performed works by Doug Varone, Joshua Manculich, Merce Cunningham, and Danny
Buraczeski. He has also danced in several world premieres of choreography by Gabrielle Lamb, MADBOOTS and Yury Yanowsky. Da’Rius has performed excerpts of Don Quixote and Raymonda restaged by former Boston Ballet principal dancer Adriana Suarez and Gianni DiMarco. Da'Rius has also trained with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (Israel), Hubbard Street Dance
Chicago, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and 10 Hairy Legs. Da’Rius wants to use his dance education and experience as a professional concert dancer to create a platform to make a positive impact in life.
Andrea's professional performing career spans over 25 years. A graduate from Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division, she has continued to evolve in contemporary and musical theater styles, in such productions as Celine Dion's "A New Day," Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis," and "Chicago the Musical" International tour. A current resident of Minneapolis MN, she has most recently performed at the Guthrie Theater ("West Side Story," "Guys and Dolls," "Cyrano de Bergerac"), Chanhassen Dinner Theaters ("Holiday Inn," "Music Man"), The Ordway ("Smokey Joe's Cafe"), and in several Collide Theatrical's original jazz dance musicals.
Andrea has choreographed for several regional theaters and studios across North America and has taught master classes internationally in ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, and Fosse technique (Broadway Across America). A personal movement coach, her focus is to guide a more efficient way of moving without involuntary tension with deeper understanding of technique in every style, for every mover.
Originally from Japan, and was trained under Mikiko Dei, Hideo Fukagawa and Jun Ishii, internationally recognized dancers, teachers and competition judges. She moved to the US in 2000 to continue her training in New York at the Joffrey Ballet School. Ms. Tokuda has danced professionally with USA Ballet, Peoria Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet and she was the principal dancer at Continental Ballet for 7 years. With diverse training in classical, contemporary, modern and jazz, she is an international guest dancer and collaborator with many companies, including Minnesota’s James Sewell Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theatre. While training in New York, Ms. Tokuda’s instructors included David Howard, John Prinz, Fabrice Herrault, and Michael Vernon. At Steps on Broadway in New York she was one of the first International Visa Program students. She has, also, trained with Boston Ballet and Connecticut Ballet. She has performed many principal roles, most notably in: Le Corsaire, Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Princess Aurora, Lilac Fairy and Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Coppelia, and the title roles in Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Tokuda is a faculty member at Minnesota Dance Theatre and a certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. She has taught many master classes in Japan and the US including at Cathedral Dance Festival and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Her choreography was chosen for Choreographer’s Evening at The Walker Arts Center and commissioned by Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, Woodale Church, Cerulean Fire, Japan America Society of Minnesota and Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. She is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board. She is the owner/designer of Yukitard, a custom dancewear company, as well as, the owner/instructor of Tokuda Ballet, a private ballet school.
Elayna Waxse, originally from Overland Park, KS, began her early ballet training with Alecia Good and the Kansas City Ballet School. Growing up, she attended summer programs at the School of American Ballet in NYC, Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, and at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. At the age of 16 she moved to Seattle to attend Pacific Northwest Ballet's Professional Division program, where she frequently performed with the company. Professionally, Elayna has danced with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Black Label Movement, and was a member of TU Dance from 2012-2019. Currently a Teaching Specialist in the dance department at the University of Minnesota, Elayna has previously been on faculty and taught workshops at many schools including the TU Dance Center, Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute, Zenon Dance School, Ballare Teatro, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts. In conjunction with the outreach program at TU Dance, she has taught master classes at the New Orleans Ballet Association, PerformaDance of Austin, TX, St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Mainstreet School of Performing Arts, and Perpich Center for Arts Education . Elayna is a recipient of a 2019 McKnight Fellowship for Dancers.
Helen Hatch is an independent dancer and choreographer based in the Twin Cities. Named as one of Minnesota Monthly’s “10 Artists to Watch” in 2012, Helen was a member of Minnesota Dance Theatre from 2011-2017, dancing an eclectic range of repertory while also creating her own work. Helen is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program where she was awarded Dance Departmental Honors. Her choreography has been presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival, 2014 MN Fringe Festival, The Southern Theater, The Cowles Center, throughout Mexico and Guatemala by the Juntos Collective, and commissioned by Minnesota Dance Theatre, Saint Paul Ballet, Penelope Freeh, Aveda, and Saint Paul Ballet. Helen is the Founder and Director of Hatch Dance, whose debut performance Isotope was named a “2018 Top Ten Twin Cities Dance Performance” by the Star Tribune. Helen has taught extensively throughout the Twin Cities and is currently on faculty at Saint Paul Ballet.
Heather Cadigan Brockman
Heather Brockman has been dancing since the sweet age of seven. Originally from Colorado, she is a graduate of Macalester College. Heather had the privilege of studying, dancing and performing with Myron Johnson and his Ballet of the Dolls company for nearly 20 years. Additionally, her local training includes Ballet Arts, Minnesota Dance Theater, TU Dance, and James Sewell Ballet. Over the years she has performed locally with companies and independent artists such as Zhauna Franks, Alyce Finwall’s Dance Theater, Metropolitan Ballet, DanceCo, and Out On A Limb Dance Theater Company and School, where she is also a faculty member and co-instructor for the Performing Arts Ensemble program. In 2016 she joined Regina Peluso’s Collide Theatrical Dance Company, where she has enjoyed performing as a company member as well creating choreography and direction for various productions and events. She is grateful for the numerous training, performing and teaching opportunities that she has encountered in her long career here in the Twin Cities. As always, she thanks her husband John and her girl gang (three daughters) for their constant love and support.
Amanda Sachs, currently based in Minneapolis, MN has spent the last three years of her professional career as a company member of TU Dance (under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands). In her time with the company, she has acquired new repertoire by Marcus J Willis and Stefanie Batten Bland, while also performing notable works such as “Walking with Pearl: Africa Diaries” by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, “Night Creature” by Alvin Ailey, and the solo work “Witness” by Alvin Ailey. In addition, Amanda was also one of the founding dancers of “Come Through” - an evening length collaboration between TU Dance and the Grammy award winning band, Bon Iver.
Prior to joining TU Dance, Amanda danced with The Francesca Harper Project in New York City. Under Ms. Harper’s direction, Amanda performed at locations such as the Joyce Theatre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as having had the honor to perform an improvisational solo at Bryant Park. Amanda also served as assistant to Ms. Harper’s choreographic residencies with Dance Theatre of Harlem and TU Dance.
Additional credits include the Metamorphosis International Dance Residency under the direction of Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich, and traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, and Barcelona for month long choreographic residencies and performances.
Originally from New Jersey, her training began at The Academy of Dance Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey under the direction of Jennifer James Church and later Nicolas and Shayne Mishoe. She continued her training in San Francisco, California at the Alonzo King Lines Training Program. By the completion of the program, Amanda had performed works by Iratxe Ansa, Sidra Bell, Maurya Kerr, Gregory Dawson, Erik Wagner, Kara Davis, Keelan Whitmore, and Sandrine Cassini as well as excerpts of Alonzo King’s "Rasa" and "Ocean."
Native to St. Paul, MN, Berit Ahlgren trained at Minnesota Dance Theater and was a founding company member of TU Dance, performing between the years of 2006—2016. Receiving Metropolitan Regional Art Council’s Next Step Grant in 2011, Ahlgren studied the Gaga Movement Language in Tel Aviv, and shortly thereafter moved to Israel to pursue an intensive, yearlong teacher certification. Ahlgren transitioned to New York City in 2014 to obtain her MFA in Dance from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, developing ties in the community while teaching Gaga at both Gibney and Mark Morris Dance Centers. Returning to Minnesota late 2016, Ahlgren has been working as dance educator, performer, choreographer, and collaborator across the U.S. and abroad, using her relationship with Gaga as a lens to define her artistic process. Ahlgren established the organization HoneyWorks in 2020 to house her creative work.
Brittany Keefe is currently a freelance dancer and teacher in the Twin Cities. Most recently she was a company member for the James Sewell ballet and as a teacher she was an adjunct faculty professor at Northern Illinois University and the school coordinator of the Rockford Dance Company. Brittany has danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Terpsicorps Dance Theater, Terra Firma Dance Company, Chamber Dance Project, at the National Choreographers' Initiative, and with Morphoses. She performed in a solo improvisation show in Germany and Italy under the direction of Luca Veggetti, and was selected to be an American ambassador at the international dance festival in Cali, Columbia. Brittany is certified in the GYROTONIC® exercise system and has served as the chair of the dancer council for Dance/USA. Brittany is the proud wife of Matthew Keefe, with whom she is now raising --and trying to keep up with-- their daughter. She is excited to help keep people moving through this challenging time!
Genevieve Waterbury is a performing artist new to the Twin Cities. Originally from Colorado, she grew up in the mountains and in the ballet studio at Boulder Ballet, eventually studying dance at Colorado State University. Genevieve joined Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas where she performed works by James Canfield and George Balanchine, and collaborated annually with Cirque du Soleil. At NBT she deepened her interest in acting and dance theater prompting her move to New York City. In New York, Genevieve had opportunities to work across many genres including a Butoh Residency at Kaatsbaan with Joan Laage, a lead dancing role in the original cast of RED, a New Musical by Lawrence Dandridge, dancing in New York Fashion Week for JAHNKOYxPUMA, and several seasons as a company member with nathantrice/RITUALS. Genevieve enjoys writing poetry as another dimension to her choreography and most recently shared her work at the River’s Edge series hosted by Sher Demeter. Genevieve is a certified instructor of The GYROTONIC® Expansion System. She believes the method inspired a connection within her between body and nature that dance had not yet forged, providing space to recognize and confront habits, to breathe, to find presence in her body and freedom in her movement. This is what she aims to bring to her contemporary classes. She currently teaches private and duet GYROTONIC® sessions at Embody Minneapolis, and is a ballet teaching artist at Ballet Co.Laboratory and Ballare Teatro.
Darrius Strong is a Twin Cities based dancer, choreographer, and instructor. His dance company, STRONGmovement uses the universal language of dance, blending styles such as Hip hop, Ballet, Modern, and West African to tell stories related to society and humanity. Strong is a graduate of University of Minnesota (BFA 2015) and is currently faculty at University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Macalester College, St. Paul Conservatory Performing Arts High School and the TU Dance Center where he focuses on teaching dancers how to connect their identity to movement.
Using his passion for youth and bringing communities together, Strong performs and speaks as a guest artist in schools across Minnesota including the Anoka Middle School for the Performing Arts and as a director of the hip-hop program at Eleve Performing Arts Center. His creative work has been chosen for the Walker Art Center’s Choreographers Evening, and Rhythmically Speaking. He was featured in the 2015 New Griots Festival as well as an American Standard Billboard advertisement in NYC Time Square in 2016. Strong has created works for Threads Dance Project, Flying Foot Forum, Alternative Motion Projects, and James Sewell Ballet and TU Dance.Darrius Strong is a grateful recipient of a 2017 Momentum New Works Award and 2019 Jerome Hill Fellowship.
Erinn Liebhard (MFA University of Colorado, BFA University of Minnesota) is a dance artist making opportunities for people to experience the reflective and connective power of groove through performance and education. Having grown up dancing socially at her dad’s rock band’s gigs in the Midwestern region of the United States, she discovered young the exhilaration of playfully experiencing groove alongside others. Guided by this inspiration and a fondness for jazz and American social dance ideas, she's worked with creatives as varied as hip-hop dance theater artists Rennie Harris and the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers Appalachian clogging company. In performance, she makes and performs new staged works and presents those of others through her company Rhythmically Speaking, is a member of Afro-Brazilian contemporary company Contempo Physical Dance, and performs as self-created character “Nerdette” for St. Paul Saints Baseball’s Entertainment Team. She also creates new works for universities and professional and youth dance and theater companies. Her creative works emphasize groove, interaction and improvisation, and are inspired by both social and concert dance movement while often driven by jazz music. In education, she works as a Teaching Artist for the Cowles Center and serves as a member of their Advisory Council, and is faculty at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Winona State University and Zenon Dance School. She's driven to help connect people to themselves, one another and the moment through rooted and innovative embodiment of groove.
Community Movement Collective (Co.Mo.Collective) is the result of an unprecedented need during a very unprecedented time. As Covid-19 quickly brought the world to a standstill in spring 2020, artists found themselves without work overnight. For independent artists, contract workers and freelance performers that meant the loss of their community, financial stability and physical space to work within. Amazingly, artists are incredibly resilient and all over the world dancers have been creating new and unique ways to connect to their art form and audiences.
Community Movement Collective hopes to use this moment in history to facilitate
using space and
generating ideas to support artists,
so we can continue to bring our important work to the world.
Creator & Founder: Hannah Benditt
Hannah Benditt graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance earning her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a dual emphasis in Ballet and Modern. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hannah began dancing at Minnesota Dance Theatre (formerly Ballet Arts Minnesota). As a student Hannah trained at American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Washington Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Milwaukee Ballet summer intensives. Upon graduating from UMKC, Hannah joined Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company in St. Louis, MO. She continued performing with Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, Kansas City Ballet and artists throughout Missouri.
In 2015, Hannah moved back to the Twin Cities to dance with St. Paul Ballet. Now Benditt is a freelance dancer working most recently with Minnesota Opera, An Opera Theatre, DanceCo and numerous choreographers in the Twin Cities.
The idea for Co.Mo.Collective was inspired by Hannah's experience as a freelance artist in the Twin Cities.