SCD Summer Intensive

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summer intensive artist & Class Descriptions

July Intensive

Alyson Dolan

Alyson Dolan has been recognized by The Austin Chronicle as a “key modern mover” for the “stamina, concentration, and big jar of real that she brings to the potluck.” Her approach to making dances is motivated by a desire for deep listening in the choreographic process, with an interest in performance as a shared meditative or reflective experience. Dolan is on faculty at Cafe Dance, St Edward’s University and regularly works with McCallum Fine Arts Academy. She is in her 11th season with Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, is an original member of the Austin Soundpainting Collective directed by Andrea Ariel, and consistently presents her own work. Her most recent piece MAKING PURPLE was described as “choreography and performance for the twenty-first century” after a rich eight month process with six Austin dancers and composer Drew Silverman. Alyson was Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s inaugural Choreographer in Residence from 2012-2014, as well as a dancer with the company back in the Fuzión Dance Artists era. She is thrilled to return to Sarasota this summer for a month-long residency with SCD thanks to Leymis Bolaños Wilmott’s generous invitation.

Class Description: Alyson's "Tuning-in via Contemporary-Modern Techniques" classes begin on the floor and continue with a constant reminder of deeply rooted contact. Spacious, athletic, and often inverted phrases are explored and have been described as lush and clear with a horizontal, painterly sweep. Dancers are encouraged to bring awareness to sensation, movement efficiency, musicality and personal expression throughout class, promoting introspection, ownership, and acknowledgement of our unique bodies and movement histories. A rich sense of community and support is fostered as dancers deepen their experience both as a solo artist and an integral part of the ensemble. As generously described by a former student, “Only go to this class if you want to feel inspired, challenged, and tuned-in to this amazing instrument we call our body! Alyson's class is for-real."

Monessa Salley

South Carolina native, Monessa Salley, is currently in her fourth season dancing and teaching professionally with the Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company. She is also a teaching artist for the Sarasota Ballet and Wholehearted Education. She holds a B.A. in Dance Performance from Winthrop University and an M.Ed. from Columbia College. After performing and serving as a certified dance educator for 12 years, she went on to pursue her MFA in Dance Performance and New Media at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. She has previously toured and performed professionally with Sapphire Moon Dance Company, Vibrations Dance Company, T.O. Dance Inc., The Power Company Collaborative, and NYU’s Second Avenue Dance Company. Salley enjoys choreographing and presenting new works. She has a mind, body, spirit approach to dance and relishes in practicing and refining her craft, generating healing through dance, and enhancing community relations.

Class Description:
Based on rhythms from Africa and the diaspora, Afro- Modern  is a contemporary class where students explore full body expression rooted in West African, Caribbean, and American dance traditions.The movement is designed to enhance rhythm, coordination, balance, weight shift, and increase stamina. 

The overall desire is for each dancer to be comfortable in their moving body and to find their own unique groove and mature playfulness within the moves.The class will be constructed as follows: warm-up, improvisation, stretching, and movement/skill practice, culminating with a combination of the movement techniques learned throughout class.  The class is suitable for varying levels in dance ability and the music selection is fun, energetic, upbeat, and rhythmically driven.

PC: Sorcha Augustine


Melissa Rummel

Melissa Rummel was raised in Dryden, Michigan where she started dancing at the age of seven. She graduated from Belhaven University with a BFA in dance, emphasis on modern dance and choreography. She has trained with companies such as Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, RiverNorth Chicago, Ad Deum Dance Company, and Sarasota Contemporary Dance. This is Melissa’s Seventh season with Sarasota Contemporary Dance and third as Studio Coordinator. Melissa is the Associate Director for SCD Ensemble(Student Training program) and the SCD Summer Intensive Director. She is passionate about teaching and currently teaches with SCD and Woodland Fine Arts Academy. She also enjoys fitness and the positive effect it can bring to others, and she strives to find new ways to combine her love of dance and fitness. She strives to never stop stretching herself as a performer, choreographer, and teacher.

Class Description: Participants will have the opportunity to learn repertoire from Sarasota Contemporary Dance during the SCD Summer Intensive. Works originally choreographed by Artistic Director Leymis Bolanos Wilmott, restaged this summer by Company member Melissa Rummel. 

PC: Sorcha Augustine