ballet+

beyond technique

~ June 8-19, 2020 ~

ENROLL

Check back in October for the 2020 Ballet+ program details and earlybird pricing! Email us at balletplus@franciscogelladance.com if you have immediate questions.

2 Weeks.

80 Hours of Exceptional Training.

6 Expert Faculty-Mentors and Choreographers.

1 Unforgettable and Life-Changing Experience.

An in-depth,  two-week intensive (*option for one-week only) leading students to develop a strong technical foundation in ballet, modern, and jazz resulting in each student finding their own authentic voice.

We meet competitive and conservatory dancers where they are in their training journey. Our faculty travel through Ballet+ together with each individual student – honoring their uniqueness, encouraging growth, and challenging to realize their potential.

Frequently called a ‘breath of fresh air’ by students, parents, teachers and directors alike, every one of Francisco Gella’s programs delivers on a central commitment: To transform hardworking young adults into remarkable young artists regardless of body type or background, and instilling a belief in them that anything is possible with hard work, a sense of purpose, and a willingness to take risks.

*Space will be limited to 100 dancers per week. We expect that this will sell-out quickly.

About Ballet+ (beyond technique)

Highly-acclaimed choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella has introduced his revolutionary dance training technique and philosophy to thousands of dancers around the world through intensives, private instruction and master classes. Young dancers have the opportunity to spend a one or two-week intensive with him and his team through his innovative program called Ballet+(beyond technique) .

Ballet+ is more than a program, it’s a powerful idea and a life-changing experience. The program is based on Francisco’s extensive twenty-five year dance career and his background in gymnastics coaching. With an integrated teaching approach, he and his faculty teach the ‘whole student’ – developing dancers into well-rounded and versatile performers and most importantly, human beings.

Ballet+ (beyond technique) – The Miami Experience, accelerates the training of children, youth and pre-professionals and assists them in being fully prepared and motivated for a successful summer of dance experiences – whether going to an intensive, a national competition or staying at your home studio to train in preparation for a college dance program or professional audition.

With the guidance and knowledge of expert faculty mentors with years of experience dedicated to education, training, performance and choreography, young dancers will quickly become more aware of their own body and the mind’s connection to it.  Regardless of how long they’ve been dancing, participants will grow more than they knew they ever believed was possible and get closer to realizing their potential.

Ballet+ takes student dancers beyond technique to explore their limits as an artist, an athlete, and a technician.

ELIGIBILITY

Ballet+ Miami is limited to intermediate and advanced dancers ages 8-21 only due to the requirements of the program. For the purposes of this workshop, ‘Intermediate/Advanced’ is roughly defined as a competition or conservatory student  having danced for at least one year in a competition studio as a company member with a minimum of 1-2 ballet classes per week and 10 hours total weekly of dance classes, or enrolled in a conservatory setting with at least six hours of ballet a week and a minimum of 10 hours of total weekly dance classes. What is most important is that dancers come with a strong desire to be challenged and grow.

PARTICIPATION OPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS: Student Dancers may participate in either the first or the second week, or both. ALL dancers, regardless of which weeks they participate, will receive the best in training and inspiration from our faculty.

Two-Week Option: Dancers who participate in both weeks will receive a discounted tuition cost and will also be given priority for full participation in original choreography by Francisco Gella and others as well as repertory work from a world-renowned choreographer – reset by their repertoire. The work will be featured at a closing student demonstration on Friday evening, June 19th.

One-Week Option: Students who participate in the first week will learn some repertory, but will obviously not be able to participate in the final show on the19th. Students who participate in Week 2 only will have a limited opportunity to learn choreography and participate in the closing show.

Dancers MUST commit to the full schedule for each week. No exceptions for other commitments will be made. The schedule will run from 9am to 5 or 6pm daily. Saturday, June 13th will be a day-off.

CLASS SIZE

Every class will have a teaching assistant and all classes are limited to 50-55 dancers max.  Classes will be based on age group although faculty reserve the right to move a student to a different class if it is obvious they will benefit from the change.

Schedule

To help you prepare for the experience, here is a downloadable PDF of a previous years schedule as an example of what you can expect this year until we update the schedule closer to the program launch.

Please note that Sunday, June 14th is a day for Week 1 and Week 2 students to take classes together. It is strongly encouraged but optional for Week 1 students.

WEEK 1 *
Monday, June 10:  8am – 6pm
Tuesday, June 11 – Thursday, June 13:  9am – 6pm
Friday, June 14: 9am – 7:30pm
Saturday, June 15:  DAY OFF
Sunday, June 16:  8am – 3pm

WEEK 2*
Sunday, June 16:  8am – 3pm
Monday, June 17 – Thursday, June 20:  9am – 6pm
Friday, June 21:  9am – 7:30pm

*This is from 2019 – only as an example of what to expect.

FRANCISCO GELLA EQUITY DANCE SCHOLARSHIPS

A limited amount of scholarships are available for especially deserving dancers. Scholarships will be allocated according to the combined consideration of both merit and financial need. Decisions on scholarships will be made on a rolling basis and a limited amount of scholarship awards will be offered, so it is better to apply early.

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINES

2/1 – Early Deadline for Summer Programs

1st round review and priority in awarding scholarships

5/1 – Late Deadline for Summer Programs

2nd round review and awarded from any remaining scholarship funds

Please click HERE to learn more about this opportunity and to apply.

2019 Faculty Mentors

FRANCISCO GELLA, Director and Core Faculty

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv, Choreographer
Francisco Gella’s distinguished career as a professional dancer, choreographer, artistic director and dance educator in the genres of ballet, modern and contemporary dance, spans more than twenty-five years since he took his first ballet class at the University of Washington during his freshman year. Universities, schools, and companies seek after his award-winning innovative choreography, and highly effective inspirational teaching methods, across North America and around the globe. Francisco is the founding artistic director of Break The Floor’s ARIA Ballet Intensive, Ballet+ (beyond technique) Workshops,  and is the lead ballet faculty for the 24 Seven Dance Convention. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Mr. Gella immigrated to the United States at age eleven and now resides in Los Angeles, CA.

YUSHA MARIE SORZANO Core Faculty

Ballet, Modern, African-Based Movement, Contemporary, Choreographer
Yusha, Associate Director for Community Engagement at Francisco Gella Dance Works – Originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Sorzano received her primary instruction from New World School of the Arts, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and The Dance Theater of Harlem. In her senior year she  received an award for outstanding choreography from New World School of the Arts, as well as an award in dance from the National YoungArts Foundation. She went on to attend the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and in her junior year was invited to join Ailey II. Ms. Sorzano has been a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, BODYTRAFFIC, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She has also performed as a guest artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Ms. Sorzano has performed in principal roles with the Ailey company and in a wide variety of concert works, including works by noted choreographers Ulysses Dove, Maurice Béjart, Hofesh Shechter, Kyle Abraham, and Mauro Bigonzetti. Additionally, she has performed alongside recording artists Wynton Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Rihanna. Her theater, television, and film credits include being a guest artist on “Dancing with the Stars,” principal dancer in Chicago’s acclaimed Goodman Theater’s “Crowns,” and principal dancer in the independent film “You, Me & The Circus”.Deeply passionate about the powerful role that educators play in the lives of young artists, Ms. Sorzano enjoys teaching both nationally and internationally. From Trinidad to the United States and beyond, Ms. Sorzano has had the pleasure of teaching at esteemed educational institutions and festivals around the world, including the Ailey School, Lines Ballet/Dominican Universities BFA Program, TU Dance, Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, New World School of the Arts, The Windward School, Brasil’s Mostra Danca, and Italy’s Danzainfiera. Ms. Sorzano currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Schools Dallas summer intensive and as an Associate Director for Program Development with Francisco Gella Dance Works.

DIEGO SALTERINI

Jazz Technique and Theatre Dance
Diego, Founding Artistic Director, Dance NOW ! Miami, originally from Rome, Italy, moved to the U.S. in 1997 after an illustrious career as lead dancer and assistant choreographer for many popular Italian T.V. and theatre shows. In the United States he danced extensively with companies including Michael Uthoff Dance Theater. He trained with Maestro Roberto Salaorni who he considers his mentor, as well as Flavio Bennati (Teatro La Scala), Michelle Ellis (ABT), Mamy Raomeria (Maurice Bejart), Ranko Yokoyama (Luis Falco), Max Stone, Susie Taylor, Roger Dillhaunty, and Michelle Kadison. His choreography has been presented in nine states as well as Europe, Central and South America. His teaching career, spanning almost three decades, includes national and international organizations such as New World School of the Arts, FIU, Miami City Ballet School, Atlanta Ballet School, Mercyhurst College, Ballet Stadium (Sao Paulo) and I.A.L.S. (Rome), to name a few. Diego currently teaches at Conchita Espinoza Academy. Diego served as regional jazz dance adjudicator for Young Arts until 2012, served on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp for 15 years and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012 serving as master teacher and recruiter for both institutions Nationally and Internationally.

JEFFREY SMITH

Modern Technique
Jeffrey Smith is a Miami based choreographer, multimedia artist, and dance educator. He received his BFA from The Boston Conservatory and his MFA from Florida State University focusing on emerging collaborative relationships between dance and multimedia technology. In 2002 Jeffrey became a member of The Martha Graham Ensemble, touring domestically and performing classic Graham works such as Diversion of Angels, Acts of Light and El Penitente as well as teaching extensively throughout New York City’s five boroughs. In 2005 he became a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company touring internationally and performing in over 40 of Mr. Taylor’s masterworks. Jeffrey’s multimedia pieces, choreographic works, and films have been seen at various festivals and events. Most recently he’s made works for The Peter London Global Dance Company and Tulane’s Newcomb Dance Company in New Orleans where he also designed interactive projections for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Jeffrey is currently on the faculty at New World School of the Arts.

JANINE N. BECKLES

Modern and Contemporary Ballet
A native of New York City, Janine started dancing at the age of six at Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she stayed for eight years on scholarship. She then continued her training at La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts and the Ailey School (performing “Memoria,” “Hymn,” and “Revelations,”) both on fellowship scholarship. Janine received a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Sociology from southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Janine was a National Foundation of the Arts award recipient in Modern Dance in 2000. A former member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre for five years and a current member of Philadanco for the past eight years. Janine has been teaching over the past thirteen years with students ranging in age from 8-21 years old. She teaches beginner through intermediate Graham technique to students in Philadelphia and in other parts of the US. She conducts masterclasses while on tour and it has been the most rewarding part of my career. Teaching Classical Ballet, Horton and Graham has allowed her dancing to be free onstage. To have a better understanding of her body through each piece of choreography. She is also Philadanco’s 1st and 2nd Company Graham teacher. Teaching has always been a passion and cultivating the next group of young artists is something she looks forward to on a daily basis. She has taught at various institutions in New York, Pennsylvania, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Michigan, Honolulu, Arizona, and Nevada. She is so grateful to be chosen as one of SAB Visiting Teaching Fellowship recipient for 2018-2019.

HANNAH BAUMGARTEN

Modern and Contemporary Rep
Hannah, Founding Artistic Director, Dance NOW! Miami, grew up between Santa Cruz, California, and Jerusalem, Israel where she began her dance training. Hannah received a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in 1993 under the mentorship of Benjamin Harkarvy after attending the University of Utah Ballet Department under Conrad Ludlow, Bene Arnold and Janek Schergen. Hannah danced with Utah Ballet, Michael Uthoff DanceTheatre, Labyrinth Dance Theatre, William Adair and Dancers, Karen Peterson & Dancers, Momentum Dance Company, Giovanni Luquini & Dancers and Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. While at Juilliard, Hannah danced lead roles in the works of Master Choreographers such as Graham, Limon, Taylor, Sokolow, Harkarvy and Nikolais and had her choreography presented at several venues in Lincoln Center. She is a Florida Choreographic Fellow; her work has been presented internationally on three continents and nationally in 15 states and Baumgarten has taught throughout the US and abroad at institutions including Instituto de Danza del Teatro Colon, Joffrey Ballet School of NY, Mercyhurst University, Cincinnatti Conservatory, New World School of the Arts, and Interlochen Academy among others. She founded Dance NOW! Miami with Diego Salterini in 2000, and through Dance NOW! has toured the US from New York to Arizona, Mexico, Central, South America and Europe. Hannah was Director of Dance at Dillard Center for the Arts High School in Ft. Lauderdale for 10 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the Miami Arts Charter Middle and High Schools. Ms. Baumgarten is certified in Pilates through Core Dynamics and has served as a grant panelist for the State of Florida and Miami-Dade Departments of Cultural Affairs. Baumgarten served on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp for 15 years and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012 serving as master teacher and recruiter for both institutions Nationally and Internationally.

GRETCHEN WAGONER

Pilates
After taking her first class over 18 years ago, Gretchen instantly became hooked on the body, mind, and spirit connection of the Pilates Method. In 2008, she obtained her first certification in Mat Pilates under Teri Steele through Dance New Amsterdam in NYC. Gretchen went on to continue her education and received her Comprehensive Certification on all Pilates Apparatus through Polestar Pilates in Miami in 2010. Gretchen eventually had the opportunity to come back as an Instructor, shortly after she also became a Mentor to students going through the Comprehensive Series and then an Educator with Polestar Pilates. Gretchen has taken Advanced Teacher Training courses in Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Woman’s Health (including pre/post natal), Pilates for the Dancer, Pilates for Rotational Sports, and Pilates for Hip and Knee Replacements. Gretchen also holds a certificate for Pilates for MS™ & Neurological Conditions taught by Mariska Breland and has hosted Mariska at BREATHE twice to sold out courses of the same name. Gretchen has also completed level I, level II, and level III trainings for the CoreAlign® by Balanced Body, she is both certified by and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance. Most recently, Gretchen completed one of her most inspiring trainings to date, The Kathy Grant Heritage Training® (Kathy Grant was an original student of Joseph Pilates) led by renowned teacher and student of Kathy Grant, Cara Reeser.

Having had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of clients, including Cirque du Soleil performers and octogenarians, Gretchen enjoys assessing her client’s abilities and then helping them achieve their goals, and expectations. She finds great reward and pleasure in being able to guide them through their Pilates practice and help them get in touch with their bodies and minds through the teachings of Joseph Pilates. Having a Bachelor’s degree and background in Fine Art, Gretchen always is looking for creative ways to facilitate movement and to design fun and interesting classes.​

COLLEEN FARNUM

Yoga
Upon graduating in dance from the Jefferson Performing Arts High School in Portland, Oregon, Ms. Farnum was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City.   She received her BFA in Dance & Performing Arts at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. At NYU she had the honor of studying Pilates with Kathy Grant one of only two students who was actually certified to teach Pilates by Joseph Pilates.   Colleen danced professionally with the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She has also danced in the choreographies of Amanda Miller, Bob Fosse, Ann Reinking, David Dorfman and DavidParsons. Ms. Farnum toured the United States with the Horde Festival, choreographing and dancing for the bands Phish, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors.

In Miami, she was the principal dancer, choreographer and assistant director of Dance Now! Miami  for seven years. For nine years she was a dancer, the rehearsal director, and Assistant Artistic Director of Miami Contemporary Dance Company (MCDC). MCDC toured both nationally and internationally during her time with the company.  She is now the director of Atma Yogadance. Ms. Farnum has served on the faculty of the Miami City Ballet and on the summer intensive faculty of the Joffrey Ballet.  As a dedicated Pilates instructor and yoga practitioner Colleen had many opportunities to study with elders even traveling to Mysore, India to study under the tutelage of Sri K. Patthabi Jois, the creator of Ashtanga yoga.

Over the last 25 years, she has taught students from toddlers to adults in many diverse settings.  Ms. Farnum approaches teaching enthusiastically with the philosophy that dance and yoga provide opportunities for participants to build self-confidence that in-turn produces positive change in attitudes and behavior.  She believes that the disciplines of modern dance, yoga postures, centering techniques and meditation help balance the body and mind to inform the dancer and creative choreography process.

In 2011, Ms. Farnum created a new technique combining her passion for yoga, dance and Pilates – the YogaDance Method™.  This method is exhibited in the choreography of her Atma Yogadance Company.  The combination of dance, yoga and the discipline of Pilates creates a form of movement that can be experienced in both professional performances and in workshops and classes. 

Atma Yogadance focuses on both education and performance.  The company has performed at some of Miami’s most prestigious venues: Daniel Lewis Sampler 2014 – 2017; Art Basel 2012 – 2016, at Open Stage at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, and at the historic North Miami Beach Bandshell 2012 -2017. Workshops have been conducted at the Miami Performing Arts Network, Girl Power Rocks, Miami and the Gang Alternatives Program in Miami, Florida.

In addition, Ms. Farnum created a dance film based on the concept of the myth of Sisyphus.  The Myth (co-directed by Gina Cunningham and Peter Eves) premiered at Art Basel 2013 in conjunction with a multimedia dance and music performance choreographed and directed by Ms. Farnum. The film has been screened at two international screenings. The first of these is the Fesval Internacional de Videodanza DV Danza Habana Movimiento y Ciudad in Havana, Cuba. The second is an international exchange residency program at the Barim Institute in Gwangju, Korea, where the company performed and Ms. Farnum taught the YogaDance Method.

TEACHING ASSISTANT

Fiona Dorr, BFA Student, Florida State University

*More faculty will be announced soon!

Program Facilities

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center provides a world-class, multi-disciplinary cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. The Center plays a key role in the economic and cultural development of the area and opened on October 1, 2011.In addition to providing a diverse range of quality entertainment to people from all backgrounds and ages, the Center’s mission includes an emphasis on educational and outreach activities in partnership with community groups. The Center’s multiple rehearsal and performing spaces also offers accessible state-of-the-art facilities to the Miami-Dade artistic community, presenters and audiences throughout South Florida.

SMDCAC is located at 10950 SW 211th St., Miami, FL  33189.

Housing

We arranged for a limited number of discounted hotel rooms for dancers and their families traveling from a distance.  You’ll want to make your reservation early since there is a limited number. Please check back closer to the program dates for details.

CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up forty-five days prior to the start of the program.  An exception will be made for documented medical or health reasons due to an unforeseen injury or illness. For dancers with an injury or illness, 100% of the tuition will be refunded up to thirty days prior to the start of the program. If the illness or injury reported to the program director under 30 days, a 50% refund will be issued by check no more than five business days after the completion of the program and the other 50% may be used as a credit for another program in the next twelve months that is produced and owned by Francisco Gella Dance Works. In the case of any injury or illness, a documented note or letter from a licensed physician must be submitted before a refund will be considered.

Feel free to contact us at balletplus@franciscogelladance.com if you have any questions.