From time to time, MMPAC offers workshops and master classes taught by guest artists who introduce new styles and genres to students. These are terrific opportunities for our dancers to expand their knowledge, experience new teachers, and and learn about kinds of dance with which they may be less familiar.
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February 20, 2016
Shannon Giles Master Class
Shannon is a native of Falling Waters, West Virginia where he began studying dance at Extreme Dance, formally known as Academy of Dance. Shannon went on to attend the pre-professional dance program at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland. Shannon has trained at Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Professional Semester program in New York City, and as a scholarship student at the New York Joffrey Ballet School and Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago. Shannon holds a BFA in dance performance and choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory. While at Shenandoah, he had the opportunity to perform many works of resident faculty as well as guest artists including Jon Lehrer, Mike Esperanza, Stephanie Martinez, and Eddy Ocampo. Shannon was assistant choreographer for the collegiate premiere of American Idiot and served as the choreographic mentor for the composition courses taught at Shenandoah. Shannon has been a guest teacher at PAM Danza Teatro in Guayaquil, Ecuador and other local dance studios in the DC region. Shannon was last seen at Cedar Point Amusement Park where he was dance captain for Cedar Fair’s largest dance production show, Luminosity. Most recently, Shannon will be joining Celebrity Cruise Productions dancing aboard the Celebrity Infinity in March of 2016.
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March 19, 2016
Bob Boross Master Class
Bob is a master teacher in many forms of theatrical dance. A selected list of his teaching invitations include the Boris Eifman Dance Academy and Kannon Dance House in St. Petersburg, Russia; Studio Harmonic and the 3rd International Jazz Dance Forum in Paris, France; Millennium Dance 2000 in London, England; the University of Tampere, Finland; the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm Sweden; La Bella Vita Arts and Pro Danza Italia in Italy; and the First Congress on Dance in Monterrey, Mexico. In NYC Bob has given classes at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, DanceSpace, Dance New Amsterdam, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, and STEPS. Universities inviting Bob for residences include Carnegie-Mellon, Northwestern, and Hunter College, and he's been a faculty member at Illinois State University, Western Kentucky University, the University of California Irvine (head of jazz dance), Stephens College (department chair), Radford University, and Shenandoah Conservatory. Bob has taught for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and the Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey. In addition, Bob has served on the Advisory Board to Dance Teacher magazine since 2003.
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Erin Puskar, originally from Allentown, PA, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Education from Shenandoah University Conservatory in Winchester, VA in May 2015. Erin began dancing at age four at Steps In Time Academy for Dance Studies, where she danced and competed with Inner Rhythms Dance Company. She graduated from the Lehigh Charter High School for the Arts in Bethlehem, PA with a concentration in dance. Throughout high school, she also studied with the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, with whom she performed numerous roles in The Nutcracker and other classical productions.
During her college career, Erin has had the opportunity to perform in both faculty and guest artist pieces in various dance genres for 16 main stage dance productions. Faculty ensembles include Tiffanie Carson, Linda Miller, Maurice Fraga (Ekilbre Dance Company), Alan Arnett, Erica Helm, Bob Boross, and Ting-Yu Chen (Flying Lions Dance Company); guest artist ensembles include Jon Lehrer (LehrerDance) and Mike Esperanza (BARE Dance Company) and Katie Vickers/Albert Quesada. In addition, Erin worked under the direction of Jonathan Flom as an ensemble member in two main stage musicals at Shenandoah—All Shook Up (also served as associate choreographer) and the collegiate premiere of American Idiot, which she had a blast performing in Fall 2014.
Erin has participated in numerous dance workshops and intensives, recently studying with Alejandro Cerrudo, Christopher K. Morgan & Artists in the Washington D.C. area and Amalgamate Dance Company in New York City, NY. In March 2015, Erin was selected to present her group choreograph, Homines in Machina, at the American College Dance Association Festival at Towson University. She also performed as a featured dancer in Maurice Fraga’s Quartetto at the festival.
During her time at Shenandoah University, Erin has served the community through dance education in multiple ways. In Spring 2015, she served as a 7-week student teacher in both a primary and a secondary school, earning her K-12 dance teaching certification. She choreographed two high school productions—Hairspray and Godspell—in Inwood, WV; teaches jazz and tap dance at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy; and choreographed for Handley High School’s show choir in Winchester, VA. In Summer 2015, Erin served as a teaching assistant and administrative intern in the Youth Program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Erin will graduate with a master’s degree in Performing Arts Leadership and Management from Shenandoah University in May 2016.
Erin’s experiences abroad have helped to shape her as a person and artist. In 2013, Erin traveled to Nepal with Shenandoah’s Global Citizenship Project. In 2014, she participated in La Bella Vita, a three-week dance intensive in Livorno, Italy, where she was able to teach dance, take various classes, and perform. This spring, she will study dance and musical theatre in Sweden. Her goal is to continue with international arts experiences throughout her career.