Schedule & Classes



Full-time 6WS students must attend for all six weeks.  Full-time students take 3, two-hour classes of their choosing.  Classes meet on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays, Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays, 6WS students may broaden their schedule with WFSS (pronounced woofs) classes. 

Part-time Six Week School students may take one or two classes for the six weeks in the Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday schedule. Class registration for all students is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 21. The full 2017 6WS schedule will be available in the spring. 

Please note that the following 2017 6WS schedule is a draft. All 6WS students can create their schedules according to their own preferences and will receive a final schedule upon arrival at ADF. Click here for a list of 2017 faculty; please see below for a list of 2017 class offerings and descriptions. 



Class descriptions current as of spring 2017. Please keep checking back for updates!

Modern Technique

Charles Anderson

Anderson’s class focuses on combining elements of dance styles ranging from contemporary/modern dance to Pan-African techniques to dialogue about issues pertaining to the human spirit and identity in performance. The class includes a fusion of contemporary and African derived warm-up exercises, followed by a an extended combination fusing African and contemporary movement that focuses on discovering ways to color movement dynamic in an effort to challenge the dancer’s artistic landscape and approach to the art of dance.

Saar Harari

Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through your body. Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening your body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination. Gaga raises awareness of physical weaknesses, awakens numb areas, exposes physical fixations, and offers ways for their elimination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way, in a pleasant space, in comfortable clothes, accompanied by music, each person with himself and others.

“We become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. We explore multi-dimensional movement; we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones. We go beyond our familiar limits. We can be calm and alert at once.” – Ohad Naharin

kira blazek / joy davis

Countertechnique class prepares the the body for rehearsal and performance. Within a clear class structure, it provides tools for body and mind to deal with the demanding dance practice of the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body by focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. The goal is to enable dancers to move bigger, with fluidity, and spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible. Students will be introduced to the Toolbox: a framework from which ideas and principals of Countertechnique are accessed during an exercise. The priority is to experience clarity and enjoyment of movement. Dancers are encouraged to be pro-active in discovering connections and solutions, to be less concerned with judging themselves, and to work in a healthy way physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Gerri Houlihan 

Limon Influenced/Classic Modern
In this class, our emphasis will be on clarifying technical skills as well as performance skills. Grounded in the fundamentals of traditional modern technique, particularly the work of José Limon, the class focuses on the concepts of alignment, core strength, and efficiency in movement. Particular attention will be paid to musicality, phrasing, and the use of dynamics to develop a personal sense of expression, freedom, and ease of moving through space.

Shayla-vie Jenkins

This class aims to create a safe, yet rigorous, container that allows dancers to perform, explore, and extend themselves past limitations.  We will begin with floor work that encourages an intimate dialogue between breath and movement. Working with an internal focus we will deepen presence as we move, generate heat, align, and prepare our bodies for verticality.  Using center and traveling exercises, class will progress into movement ideas that liquefy the spine, find the weight of limbs, play with effort and specific body-part initiations, spiral in and out of the floor, and fall away from center.  These investigations will culminate into rich, grounded, detailed, and expressive phrase work.

nia love 

Modern Root [ED] Technique
Focuses on the ever-expanding ideas about “what is technique?” The interplay between crafting and facilitating a space where Africanist presence is understood as a [modern] movement. In this space we will create and negotiate  how to enter and exit a multiplicity of movement techniques from a non-binary historical ideology. Exhilarating crisp and sharp release, grounded pelvis, rounded drop-n-stack gestures, and agrarian movement sensibilities that partner with Afro-Beat, Blues, Butoh and Funk soundscapes. Urban identifiers that contextualize and implode the urban gait, grounded pulsations, flicks, ‘wack’ and head-bobbing gestures that craft underscore trans-global movement.

paul  matteson

An investigation of off-balanced yet precise multi-focused movement.   Classes begin by grounding and strengthening the core of the body while encouraging an alert presence.  From there, dancers progress through a series of buoyant and spiraling sequences that harness forces of momentum and demand intricate expressions of the limbs. 

jennifer nugent

Using improvisational and set warm-ups, we will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor and movement. Exercises that bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, allowing us to fall and suspend off center, simultaneously finding a grounded, flexible base of support. Using these physical tools, we will explore sensation, instinct, and the inherent musicality inside the body, phrasing. All the while dancing, we will work toward a more grounded and direct approach to movement.

Ray ELIOT SChwartz

Contact Improvisation: Foundational Practices
Founded 45 years ago, Contact Improvisation proposed an approach to dance partnering, in which two or more people generated a physical duologue through improvised movement and touch. The foundational practices of CI developed around sensitizing participants to kinesthetic input, proprioceptive awareness, and equilibrium responses and primed the reflexive body to respond safely and creatively to unpredictable moments of surprise in the dancing.  As much as CI has evolved, the foundational practices still serve as an important introduction to the form and remain relevant, as well, for more experienced practitioners. This class will honor those practices; developing strategies for warming up, and introducing scores and principles designed to encourage solos, duets, trios, group forms, weight sharing, momentum, attention to space, ensemble practices and the states that may arise from them.

Andrea Weber

My modern technique class is a traditional Cunningham class, based on the structure and exercises that Merce Cunningham used in his class the last decades of his life. The class begins with a series of back exercises that we will build on and use throughout the class. The warm up moves through leg work much like a ballet class but also includes torso movements, spatial awareness and tempo changes. I pull from Cunningham repertory to inspire the center and across the floor work, concentrating on moving boldly and finding rhythmical clarity. This class is highly technical and is a great way for dancers to improve their chops. 

jesse zaritt

Each class begins with practices that activate a sense of availability. We find ways to let go of tension, fixed habits and perceptual/intellectual rigidity. Improvisational and choreographed exercises help us to find openness, clarity, and length in our bodies. Pleasure is linked to effort, power and strength as the class progresses and as the choreographed exercises become more complex. Phrase work allows us to research how to utilize physical states and forces such as continuous motion, spiral/rotation, sequential articulation and momentum. Throughout the class, we will encourage each other to embrace and extend our physical capacities as empowered, confident movers. Technique class will also be a place of critical thinking. The material we study exists to nourish our creative bodies/minds, challenging us to re-articulate/re-imagine our relationships to codified movement systems. 

COMPOSITION and creative process

Charles anderson

This course is an introduction to a process of learning the art, theory and practice of choreography called kinetic storytelling. The body carries history and is burdened and inscribed with meaning.  Issues of civil and racial inequality, gender identity and rights, war and aggression have a long and vivid history in dance. Historically, choreographers have tackled controversial issues through dance in many ways guided by the underlying belief in the art form’s unique ability to stimulate debate, draw people together, and ultimately initiate changes in outlook and perspective.   With this in mind, Kinetic Storytelling is defined in this course as a mode of devising dance-based theater that is at once highly structured compositional improvisation (or precision choreography), lyrical word-weaving, graceful, poetic and explicitly informed by Africanist aesthetics. Influenced by the compelling issues of our day, by leaders and instigators of change and revolution, we will explore how to speak through our art approaching dance-making as a practice of social justice. The creative art of choreography is the transformation of felt experience into externalized forms.  The process of organizing movement and evaluating the choices made within that organization is the development of the craft of choreography also known as composition.  Assignments will encourage the well-being of the whole person through the physical, intellectual, and affective activity of self-expression and group interaction that occurs through dance- making and building a dance-making community. Methods of learning include guided improvisations, solo and small group presentations, written assignments, performance viewings (live and video), observation, and class discussion.  Artists will develop an understanding of the choreographic/creative process and its relevance to other areas of study.

Saar Harari

We will connect our daily physical research to the act of composition.
We will invest in clarifying our research, to generate fresh dance materials.
We will listen to our process and research to understand what we made and what we try to express. 
We will make sure the process is pleasurable, using the language to play, edit and experiment with the solos into duets, trios, quartets and group work.

Nia Love

Class description coming soon!


The definition of choreography has expanded in the recent decade to include a range of practices not limited to the creation of movement material.  This class will look instead to the arrangement of space and the placement of the viewer as essential choreographic elements.Spectacular investigates choreographic processes and philosophies, questioning how a dance can be made and what it can communicate through different structures of viewing.  Recognizing that ALL work is site-specific, regardless of the chosen site, we will focus on the choreography of the audience.  Rather than what is being seen, Spectacular will examine how the work is being seen.  The course will not focus on technical skill building, but instead on conceptual creativity. We will consider traditional ways of viewing and understand why we may chose that for certain works, but also open that up to see what else is possible.  How can dance be something other than what we know it to be?  How can we show it to a new audience in a new way?  What does that do to the meaning and the experience of a dance?  What does our work need, and what do we need from our work?  What do spectators expect?  What is spectacle and how can it be spectacular?

jesse zaritt

“Solo Studies” (by application only)
_GH15671The solo studies project tests the possibilities of solo performance. Each participant will be guided through the creation of 2-5 minutes of dense movement vocabulary, forming the raw material for a solo. All movement will be made through research on the particularities of our identities. We will ask: What practices and ideologies form and sustain a sense of self? What practices and ideologies enable our participation in society and at what cost? Can we renegotiate the terms of our belonging within a given culture? In what ways might dance engage our bodies to discover multiple critical and ethical modes of participation in social and political life? We will write in response to these questions, and source movement from the resultant texts. Each solo, with its distinct formation of movements, will became a vocabulary of the self. Each participant will then be guided to apply their vocabulary of the self in different contexts: we will perform our solos as graffiti, as a form of “therapy” for our viewers, as site-responsive dances, in group improvisations, and we will make them into short films. In every instance of performance, our solos will be re-made/re-authored through a dialogue with something or someone other to us. In each new encounter, we will be challenged to figure out how our movement could make change in our bodies, in the bodies of our viewers, and in the body of space (both physical and filmic). Central to this work will be learning how to allow the solo material – the vocabulary of the self – to be radically responsive to each new context. 



Charles Anderson

With the understanding that the body carries history and is burdened and inscribed with meaning, Anderson’s repertory class will work with him to create (Re)Current Unrest: In D’Nile.  The second installment in his latest project with his company, Charles O. Anderson Dance Projects, (Re)Current Unrest: In D’Nile explores the kinesthetic state of unrest-the condition of unease, discontent, and social disturbance through Anderson’s choreographic process of kinetic storytelling. This physical state of agitation is kinesthetic metaphor for ‘staying woke.’ To stay woke refers to an intangible level of awareness about community issues and social justice, but the specific meaning changes depending on the speaker. Kinetic Storytelling is is defined as a mode of devising dance-based theater that is at once formal choreography, lyrical word-weaving, and explicitly informed by Africanist aesthetics. Influenced by the compelling issues of our day, by leaders and instigators of change and revolution, we will explore how to speak through our art approaching dance-making as a practice of social justice and a metaphor for testimony. 

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane company repertory
taught by shayla-vie jenkins

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company repertory class will draw inspiration from the intricate integration of speech and movement embodied in the company’s current work, Analogy/Dora:Tramontane.   A main focus of class will be delving into our own imaginative interplay of text and movement. We will research interviews by inspired figures of today to source and create a spoken text framework.  Within this framework, we will learn repertory and generate movement language that engages the company’s values of rigor, sensitivity, musicality, partnering work, and dynamic phrasing.  Class will culminate in a performance showing of our unique version of Analogy.

Cunningham Repertory
taught by Andrea Weber

The Cunningham Repertory class will delve into the complexity and vast range of Merce’s work throughout the decades. In six weeks we will learn excerpts of choreography that explore space and time, rhythmical footwork, clarity of line, and stillness.  At the end of the Intensive we will show an “Event”, the excerpts put together in a new order just for this occasion. “Events are Cunningham’s signature, site-specific choreographic collages that incorporate excerpts from past and current repertory works, and are often created for unconventional performance spaces such as museums and galleries.”


_GH449706WS students will have the opportunity to audition for ADF’s Footprints program. Students chosen to perform in a Footprints piece will have the chance to study intensively with a choreographer for the full 6 weeks. Footprints will give students a chance to experience working within a professional dance company environment. They will also have the rare opportunity to perform on ADF’s main stage as a fully produced part of the ADF performance series during the last week of the festival. The 2017 Footprints choreographers include: 

  • Two of Scripps/ADF award winner Lucinda Childs’ minimalist works, 2013’s Kilar and 1993’s Concerto, will be performed.
  • After making his ADF debut in 2015 with his co-created Awkward Magic, Gregory Dolbashian returns. Dolbashian’s choreography has been described as “fluidly inventive” by the The New York Times.
  • Canada’s Shay Kuebler’s work crosses the boundaries of martial arts, theater, and dance and strives to discover new, compelling, and challenging forms of physical art.
  • Gesel Mason’s pieces seek to create meaningful, relevant, and compelling art events as a way to encourage compassion and inquiry.




Advanced Forsythe Ballet
This ballet class begins with a pre-barre warm-up and ends with a grande allegro and phrase work drawn from William Forsythe’s contemporary ballet repertory. At the barre we’ll take our time to work on getting grounded and connected, warmed-up and aligned, and we’ll repeat most of the combinations at the barre twice. In the center we’ll continue reinforcing information introduced at the barre with emphasis on breath and release as we explore a wide spectrum of ballet vocabulary and syntax which prepare us for the Forsythe phrase work we will be exploring. Areas of focus include; clarity of direction in the body and in space, differentiation in movement qualities, rhythm, focus and fun! Click here for more information

Beginner Ballet/ Forsythe
This Beginner Ballet/Forsythe class could also be looked at as an exploration in re-thinking ballet and re-writing Forsythe. We will begin with a pre-barre warm-up and progress through basic ballet barre exercises aimed at organizing directions in the body and in space, the rhythm of the movements, and focus. These ideas will carry through to the center work where we will also explore Forsythe phrase work. The class will follow a classical ballet framework but will also be wide-ranging; sometimes unconventional, somewhat more in the style of coaching, and informed through the lens of William Forsythe’s improvisation technologies and elements of his creative processes.

james sutton

The classes are in a contemporary ballet style based on a blending of Russian, French and Danish traditions and current influences, emphasizing placement, strength, musicality, clarity of execution, economy of motion, and a model of anatomical integrity and geometric simplicity. 

Improvisation And Partnering

Kira Blazek/Joy Davis

Improvisation for Performance Presence 
Countertechnique is a movement system developed to help the dancer think about the dancing body by focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Utilizing the tools and theory from Anouk van Dijk’s Countertechnique, this improvisation class is designed to explore the tools in more detail with a different focus each day. The explorations cultivate availability in the body, develop agility in making choices on stage, and refine skills for dynamic performance presence. We will experience the tools through an exchange in partnering situations and improvisational tasks. While being less concerned with the mental cacophony of judging, we can open towards conscious opportunities to connect.

paul matteson

Partnering Possibilities
A toolbox of methods for partnering. We’ll explore negative space, responses to touch, and various ways of harnessing momentum. By a quick bridging of improvisation into set work—followed by imaginative reconstruction steps—we’ll develop dances that both honor and challenge compositional and performance standards. 

jennifer nugent

Improvisation: Imaginative-Sensitive-Articulate
We will spend the six weeks immersed in a movement dialogue while dancing in solo, duet, trio, and group forms.  Fine tuning our subtleties of moving and being moved, choice making, and composing in the moment, we will problem solve and deepen the relationship we have to our bodies; becoming more attuned to sensation, instinctual choices, our desires, likes and dislikes in movement and making.



Hip Hop

E. Moncell “ill Kozby” Durden

Hip Hop is the expression of… your socio-cultural experience.  This class will experience first-hand its rhythms, moods, dynamics, creative expression, and improvisation. Exploring its roots in the social fabric of Afro-diasporic retentions and their re-inventions from vernac_GH17014ular jazz to present day. Each perspective of movement will be taught using basic B.E.AT.S. principles of body, emotion, attitude, time, and space.  Exercises and combinations using isolated/integrated counter-flow, polyrhythmic/polycentric exercises, call-and-response, with intermediate rhythmic synchronization and coordination. Prepare to be exhausted, challenged, enlightened, opened, exhilarated, and transformed!

Otto “Aquaboogy” Vazquez

A course that dives into Hip Hop social dances and Street Styles with a focus on Popping & Locking.

Performance practices

Jillian Pena

Mediating the Body: Video Art and Dance
Starting with the big question (what is dance?), this seminar will work to break down how and why we make dances and transpose our work to video.  This process will help to distinguish concepts versus tools, and to clarify our intentions through using a new medium. The space of video can be similar to a stage, but with infinite possibilities.  We’ll start by investigating the moving body on screen, and switch to exploring a moving camera.  Can video dance?  Emphasis will be on production, using in-camera editing and Final Cut Pro.  Weekly critiques of class assignments will help us develop a vocabulary that spans both video and dance.  The class will culminate in a collaboratively produced screening open to the festival.


On Wednesdays, Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays, 6WS students may broaden their schedule with WFSS (pronounced woofs) classes. This rotating and fluid schedule allows students the opportunity to explore individualized interests, cross train in various body therapies and somatic work, participate in special repertory projects, and have the opportunity to study with the extensive roster of 6WS teachers as well as world-renowned guest artists, choreographers, and performers.

2017 WFSS classes MAY include:

Alexander Technique
Business of Dance
Company Auditions 
Company Masterclasses
Contact Improvisation
Creative Process
Dances of West Africa
Forsythe Improvisation Technologies
Healing Techniques
Hip Hop
Improv Jams
Injury Prevention
Lectures, Panels, Discussions
Modern Technique
Music Workshops
Open Forum
Technical Theater

… and many, many more!!

Meet gesel mason!


meet ray schwartz