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Iris Rosa

George Vlahakis

Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2002

African-American Dance Workshop to feature three renowned artists

Three nationally renowned artists will lead workshops for aspiring and emerging dancers Saturday, March 23, at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University in Bloomington.

The fifth annual, all-day African American Dance Company Workshop will feature Elana Anderson of Washington, D.C., an expert in the Horton Dance Technique; Boogie McClarin of Chicago, who teaches hip-hop dance styles; and Reynaldo Gonzalez of Boston, whose expertise is in Afro-Cuban dance.

Workshops with these three instructors are open to the public, who can register at the door beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. Classes begin at 9 a.m.

Registration fees are $25 in advance or $30 at the door for the whole day of workshops or $12 for individual classes. Registration is $20 for the entire day for youths under 17 and $5 for individual youth classes.

The dance workshop is organized each year by Iris Rosa, director of the African-American Dance Company, which performs throughout the Midwest several times a year and which features IU students of all ethnicities, performing a variety of African-American dance styles.

"The field is extremely diverse," Rosa said. "The three teachers this year exemplify how much variety and excitement there is within the larger area of African-American dance."

The workshops will be preceded on Friday by a panel discussion featuring all three artists, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Culture Center, room A201. Entitled "The Black Dance Experience: Healing and Spirituality," the discussion is free and open to the public.

Elana Anderson began her training at age 14 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and she has never stopped dancing, teaching and performing. She has worked with a variety of major dance companies and is now a member of Deeply Rooted Productions Dance Theater Ensemble. She also directs the ensemble's Center for Cultural Enrichment and teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.

Boogie McClarin made her first hip-hop dance video at the age of two and is currently dancing with the jazz/funk performance group HUMO. She has created a style that is considered unique in the field, and which has led to work with a corporate talent production company, several commercial videos and performance tours of nightclubs throughout the Midwest.

Reynaldo Gonzalez, who grew up in Matanzas, Cuba, has conducted extensive research on Cuban folklore and has participated in cultural exchange programs in the Congo and Angola. He studies the remnants of African Yoruba culture which remain in Cuba and teaches dance and vocals in those forms and others. His knowledge of Afro-Cuban dance has created a great demand for him as a speaker and instructor.

"The dance workshop will be a great day for anyone who is interested in African-American dance," Rosa said.

For more information, contact Rosa at 812-855-9501 or email