Coming Together Through Dance
The Alabama Dance Theatre’s mission since its founding in 1986 has always included serving the community through dance through dance training, performances, and educational outreach programs like MPS On Their Toes and the Girl Scout Dance Badge program.
When Covid-19 imposed restrictions on theatre spaces and made it impossible to bring MPS students to live performances in 2020, ADT devised a new way to continue educational outreach to young people. “We have designed a completely new program: a community open house called “Coming Together Through Dance. Partnering with the City of Montgomery’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation, we are inviting young people from our community to try dance classes without the expense, commitment, and other normal barriers to entry to dance” said Artistic Director Kate Seale Smith.
Young people from age 8 to 19 from any dance experience level are invited to the Alabama Dance Theatre’s studios at the Armory Learning Arts Center to try a series of three classes, each an hour long, from 10am to 1:30pm. Classes will rotate by age group to take one class with each guest teacher; ADT faculty will be present to assist. A free t-shirt for the event will be given to each participant. Advance registration is required, but the day’s classes are free and open to any member of the community.
“This is the opposite of having students attend a full staged performance: this is a chance to be in the studio, where the work begins. We are thrilled to have Lauren Anderson, the first African-American principal ballerina of Houston Ballet, now program manager of Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement, visit us in Montgomery to offer, as she puts it, “A Chance to Dance!” said Emily Flowers, Director of Development and Public Relations. The other studios will be taught by special guest instructors Lance Washington, hip hop dancer, teacher, and award-winning choreographer, and ADT alum, professional dancer and choreographer Taylor Jordan of New York.
The Armory Learning Arts Center’s Covid-19 protocols will be in place for this event, with temperature checks at the door, masks, and spacing. Advanced registration is strongly suggested to secure a space. All participants will be placed according to age, and will be grouped Ages 8-11, 12-14, and 15-19 years. Class Attire should be clothing that allows freedom of movement with socks for footwear. Long hair should be secured. Jewelry and loose clothing should not be worn in class. Registration is FREE. Class sizes are limited and will be filled in the order that registration is received.
Community Day is planned to be held on a quarterly basis through 2021. Sponsors of 2021 Community Day events are the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery Foundation. The series is a partnership with the City of Montgomery’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Registration is now open!
Where: The Alabama Dance Theatre at the Armory Learning Arts Center
When: April 10 from 10:00AM to 1:30PM
Who: Ages 8-19
Attire: Clothing should allow freedom of movement
with socks for footwear. Long hair should be secured.
Jewelry and loose clothing should not be worn in class.
Registration: Registration is FREE. Please register
immediately by mailing this form. Class sizes are limited
and will be filled in the order that registration is received.
A native of Montgomery, AL, Liza Cardinal Simpler trained at the Alabama Dance Theatre from the age of three and was a company member from 2001-2008. She studied dance at the University of South Carolina and was a member of the USC Dance Company. She also worked as an adjudicator and student dance teacher in the Richland County School system in Columbia, South Carolina. She interned with Ballet Hispanico in New York City and the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina before earning her degree in Dance Education. After graduating, Liza worked for the New Orleans Ballet Association as a teaching artist. In the summer of 2014 she returned to Montgomery and continues to work as a Dance Educator in the Montgomery Public School system with the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts.
Lance Washington spent the past ten years as a principal dancer with the Patti Rutland Jazz company in Dothan, Alabama. He is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He received his professional hip-hop training from Maurice Fulkon in Chicago, Joshua Allen in Texas and Vincent Johnson from Atlanta. His professional credits include industrial television work in Chicago. National awards in choreography include, the Platinum Power Award from Platinum National Dance Competition, which also earned his crew the opportunity to be featured on the front cover for the Platinum Dance Convention brochure.
In 2011, Lance made it through to Vegas for the hit television series So You Think You Can Dance. Lance is also a teacher within the Patti Rutland Jazz Arts in Education Outreach program. This is the largest outreach program in the state that includes teaching over 6000 elementary and middle school children weekly. He taught /teaches at The Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Centre, The Dothan School of Dance, Enterprise School of Dance, and Panama City Dance Academy and A Time to Dance studio. Lance Washington has also taught for the 2015 and 2016 Jazz on Tap convention in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by Marcus Alford and Annie Day. Lance has also taught and danced along side of Rustin Matthew, Phillip "Pacman" Chbeeb, Rob Hoffman, Balta Monkiki, Nick Wilson, Nicole Kirkland,and Jimmy Locust.
He also works as a hip-hop choreographer for many other groups throughout the Southeast and has won numerous regional choreography awards this year. Lance is very excited about how his career is taking him to so many places where he is meeting more and more talented dancers, choreographers and friends.
Contemporary and Improvisation
Taylor Jordan began her dance training at Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet School in the 6th grade. She spent her high school years studying at Alabama Dance Theatre. After graduating high school she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to dance in the second company at Charlotte Ballet. Throughout her high school years Jordan also trained with Nederlands Dans Theater, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Portland Festival Ballet and Alabama Ballet on full scholarships. Jordan recently graduated from LINES Ballet Training Program. She has worked with choreographers including Sol Leon, Patricia McBride, John Magnus, Mark Diamond, Maurya Kerr, Gioconda Barbuto, Carmen Rozenstraten, Juan Rodriguez and Gregory Dawson. Taylor was honored to become a company member with dawsondancesf in 2018.
Special thanks to our incredible Sponsors
The Alabama Dance Theatre will continue to follow guidelines set forth by the CDC.
COVID-19 Protocols are still in place (masks are required) for all summer programs listed above until further notice.