The Santa Monica College (SMC) Dance Department continues its Masters of Dance series of master classes and learning workshops on March 11 with “Ballet for Utility and Effective Storytelling,” presented by award-winning dancer Charlie Neshyba Hodges. The series offers a unique opportunity to experience the SMC dance studios in a small-group setting.

The Masters of Dance events are free, and the public is invited to attend as participants or as observers. Unless otherwise noted, classes and talks are held in the SMC Core Performance Center (CPC) on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis.

The spring 2020 Masters of Dance lineup is:

• March 11 at 10:15 a.m. (CPC 304 & 308): Charlie Neshyba Hodges: “Ballet for Utility and Effective Storytelling.” Award-winning international dancer Charlie Neshyba Hodges will apply his design knowledge to introduce an alternate point of view of ballet that replaces “beautiful” and “correct” with effective and useful. He teaches dance at the California Institute of the Arts, has collaborated with Twyla Tharp and Benjamin Millepied. He is also a renowned product designer who contracts with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and has been awarded the 2018 IDSA Gold, the 2019 IDesign Awards Gold, the Denhart Prize for Sustainability, and the Spark Finalist for Social Impact. If participating, dancers should wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

• April 22 at 10:15 a.m. (CPC 304 & 308): Virginia Horne: “Gyrokinesis®.” A founding member of Thomas/Ortiz Dance and a certified Gyrotonic® instructor, Virginia Horne will teach a class in Gyrokinesis®, an expansion system that emphasizes decompression of the spine, space for the joints, and a fluidity of movement. The method helps prevent injuries, allows the body to recover from injuries, and improves the quality of movement. Horne has danced with a number of ballet companies, and performed in the national tours of 42nd St. The Musical and West Side Story, and with Jean Ann Ryan Productions. International projects include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and MTV Italia (Rome). If participating, dancers should wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

• May 14 at 12:30 p.m. (CPC 304 & 308): Genna Moroni: “Guided Movement Inspired by Gaga.” Commitment, effort, and sense of humor are the key elements for Gaga. Dancer/choreographer Genna Moroni, a founding member of Ate9 Dance Company and recently commissioned by Ballet Florida to premiere a new work at the Kravis Center, will lead a class rooted in the dynamic physicality of Gaga to inspire students to recognize their individual voices and value as movers, encourage them to open up and learn from others in the room, and understand their ability to balance strength and vulnerability as they explore a healthy balance of ambition and passion. If participating, dancers should wear appropriate black on black dancewear.

The Masters of Dance series is sponsored by the SMC Associates (, a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on the Santa Monica College campus. Additional support for the series is provided by the SMC Dance Department.

More information is available at or by calling 310-434-4100 or 310-434-3467.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith

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