Herald Tribune | Arts Sarasota

Arts Sarasota | Herald Tribune

[Originally published by Carrie Siedman in the Herald Tribune - Arts Sarasota on November 15, 2013 ]

Young Dancers Workshop exposes students to a variety of styles


For more than 15 years, the Florida Dance Association has offered an annual weekend workshop in Gainesville specifically geared toward young dancers, from middle to high school age. Now students in the Sarasota-Bradenton area can benefit from the same opportunity.

In January, for the first time, the Gulfcoast chapter of the FDA will offer a Young Dancers Workshop in Bradenton. The two-day event will take place Jan. 18and 19 at Electa Lee Middle School and will offer a variety of classes and styles, as well as in a student showcase performance.

“Our hope is to expose young dancers to a range of styles and a group of skilled, as well as diverse, teachers during the two day intensive,” said Leymis Bolanos-Wilmott, chapter president and founder of Sarasota’s Fuzion Dance Artists.

Jennifer Archibald / Courtesy photo

The featured guest instructor will be Jennifer Archibald, the New York-based founder and artistic director of Arch Dance company. Archibald graduated from the Alvin Ailey School, performs across the U.S., Canada and Europe and has staged off-Broadway shows and choreographed musicals for professional theater companies. She currently serves on the faculty at Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Bates Dance Festival and the Florida Dance Festival.

Other instructors include Micheal Foley, a professor of dance at the University of South Florida; Kristin O’Neal, a professor of dance at the University of Florida; Octavio Martin, Artistic Director of the Brandon Ballet; Valerie Barreiro, Dance Director of Miami Arts Charter, and area favorites Carolina Garcia and Jahrel Thompson of Fuzion, who will teach Cuban rumba and salsa. Other styles featured include ballet, partnering, modern, Broadway jazz, Latin jazz and improvisation.

The weekend kicks off Saturday the 18th, with a student showcase performance at Bayshore High School featuring selected works from participating dance schools. On Sunday, the 19th, Archibald will hold an audition to select students for  her ARCHCORE40 Summer Dance Intensive, which will take place in New York City during the summer of 2014. There will also be opportunities for summer scholarships to the Florida Dance Festival in Gainesville.

New York City-based Jennifer Archibald will teach hip hop and contemporary classes, as well as audition students for her summer intensive workshop. / Courtesy photo

The school/institutional fee is $50 for FDA members and $150 for non-members; student registration is $90 per student for those affiliated with an attending school or $100 for those unaffiliated. The fee includes all classes, the showcase performance and the audition class. Videos of the showcase performance can also be secured in advance with a $25 fee. Each registered student will receive one ticket for showcase admission.

Registrations must be postmarked by January 7, 2014 and checks, payable to Florida Dance Association, whould be sent to Fuzion Dance Artists, 8437 Tuttle Ave. #160, Sarasota, FL 34243. Registration forms are available by email to or at

GULFCOAST YOUNG DANCERS WORKSHOP, Jan. 18-19, 2014 at Electa Lee Middle School in Bradenton. For registration forms and more information go to or email

Nov 18, 2013