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February 25, 2020 6:00–8:00 pm
The Ark Dance Studio
Special Topics

Ballet Barre For All Bodies

Taught by Alyah Baker

About the Workshop

Ballet Barre For All Bodies re-imagines the dance class as a radically inclusive and supportive environment for a diverse range of movers. In the workshop, we will center the joy of dancing as we explore the traditional principles of ballet technique in a fun and affirming environment. Participants will have the opportunity to stretch, bend, balance, twirl, and soar while discovering the inner and outer strength and grace that ballet cultivates.

A variety of modifications will be offered to adapt class combinations for a wide range of abilities. Movers of all levels, backgrounds, and identities are welcome and encouraged to join. Participants should wear comfortable clothes, bare feet, socks or flat dance shoes.

DISCLAIMER: This program involves physical exertion and movement through and across space, so before beginning ensure you have adequate clear, safe space free of obstacles to move and are wearing appropriate footwear for the floor surface. If more than one person will be participating, ensure adequate space to avoid contact with other participants. It is your responsibility to use personal judgment concerning the degree of your participation in the activities, and to determine that you are in proper physical condition to participate in such activities.

About the Instructor

As a dancer, entrepreneur, and community activator, Alyah Baker leads a multifaceted life that exists at the intersection of art, activism, and social justice. In 2003 she received a B.A. in sociology with a dance minor from Duke University. After graduation, she relocated to the Bay Area where she performed with Oakland Ballet, Dance Through Time, and ABD Productions, among others. Additionally, she has worked as a freelance performer and teacher, taking her educational series Ballet for Black and Brown Bodies to studios throughout Northern California.

Last August, Alyah returned to Duke as part of the inaugural MFA in dance cohort. While at Duke she plans to develop alternative pedagogical approaches to ballet technique that honors the embodied knowledge of “othered bodies,” specifically those of BIPOC, queer, and gender-fluid folks. Her research will explore paths to move the form away from the social constructs of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

About the Location

This workshop will meet in the Ark Dance Studio on East Campus: get directions

About DukeCreate

DukeCreate is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help Duke students, staff, and faculty develop a variety of creative skills. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most take place in the Duke Arts Annex or the Rubenstein Arts Center and are typically held weeknights 6-8pm.

Workshops are free to all Duke students and staff, with priority given to students. Class size is limited. Students must sign up in advance. Online enrollment for Duke staff opens on the day of the workshop. Staff can also show up 10 minutes prior to a workshop in case a slot becomes available. Walk-ins will only be accommodated on a space-available basis.

DukeCreate is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (DukeArts) and University Center Activities and Events (UCAE).