Dance Theatre of Harlem Encourages the Youth of Detroit with a Powerful Dance Intensive

By: Megan Drabant

The dyeing of shoes, organization of leotards, and perfecting of buns all preceded the first day of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Detroit Summer Intensive. On June 25th, students who auditioned and were accepted into the program entered the doors of the Detroit Opera House (DOH) with excitement and anticipation of what would be encountered in next three weeks of the intensive. With placement classes concluding the morning of orientation, the 59 students, who range from local Detroiters to students from at least eight other states and Canada, were organized into levels of technique such as Onyx, Bronze, and Amethyst.

Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) Summer Intensive challenges students to explore ballet and the allied arts by providing classes in ballet technique, pointe, modern, African, contemporary, jazz, improvisation, creative movement, and nutrition. With five classes a day, students are pushed in an intensive setting to become the best dancers they can be and present what they learn in a culmination performance. “Every class is very serious and everyone focuses on working hard and staying concentrated. The teachers inspire us to strive for success and to find your own individuality within the technique,” said Onyx level student Malika Mowinski.

With faculty consisting of former DTH members and affiliates, the education being received is straight from the heart of Harlem. DTH Detroit Program Artistic Director Kareen Camargo approaches class with the feeling of being “accessible to every student” while pushing them to work hard and have fun at the same time. “I want the students to feel like they are giving 110% rather than feeling like they should have done more. Every class is an opportunity to learn something new, with no regrets leaving class.”

The culminating performance for the intensive is this Friday, July 13th at 6:00pm at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226. This show is free and open to the public and will include performances of ballet, jazz, modern, African, and a lecture demonstration. “Along with witnessing the growth of ballet technique, one will see how the students have found a joy for dancing and an interest in other disciplines of dance,” said Camargo. For more information regarding the performance please call Kim Smith at 313-237-3251.

It is evident that this program is beneficial for the students in attendance, but there are more positive attributes beneath the surface for the support of artistic endeavors in Detroit and abroad. By hosting the DTH Summer Intensive pilot program in Detroit, a unique partnership is in the foundation stages between DTH and DOH. We will see the results of this partnership in the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s touring performance at the DOH in February of 2013. Detroit is fortunate to be on the list of locations for the upcoming performance season, since this is the company’s first touring season in nine years since its closure in 2004. For more information regarding Dance Theatre of Harlem’s upcoming performances check out http://dancetheatreofharlem.org/ or http://www.michiganopera.org/ for specifics on the Detroit performance.

 

 

SYTYCD, Season 9, Episode 7

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Kenny Ortega/Courtesy of Seekingthetruthmjfans.com

Tonight it was time for the Top 20 to take the stage and compete for the viewers’ votes!

The opening number was a phenomenal piece – office workers and bosses using mug and desk props, among other things. An intense number for the beginning of the show, keeping the dancers in a small space – but their movements, even in that small space, expressed the high stress of the piece perfectly.

Then it was time to welcome the Top 20 as individuals – so great to see Detriot’s Will Thomas strut his stuff!

Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Kenny Ortega were all on deck to judge this evening – Happy Birthday Mr. Lythgoe!

We’re voting for individuals this week, not couples.

What’s coming for next week? Two boys and two girls will be cut. The judges are making these decisions at the beginning stages.

First up were Witney and Chehon. Each couple had nine seconds to talk about themselves. What we learned: Witney is afraid of crickets. Chehon is bilingual and a dual citizen. They took on the Samba to “Jump.” Witney look like a Latin pop princess in her sparkly pink outfit. The couple’s movements were sharp.

“You are a star,” said Lythgoe to Witney, though he thought Chehon was a bit out of his style, and apparently, his feet.

During the commercial break we saw a preview for “Step Up: Revolution.” Join the Mob here and you could be in a music video!

Then we had Tiffany who has baby hands, and George and he hates the outside, together for a Sonya routine. The lines and the movements were beautiful, expressing great emotions for people so young.

“You both surrendered to this choreography,” said Murphy. “You were living it.”

We then met Janaya, who wants to meet Shamoo and is afraid of Chucky, and Brandon, who is from Kansas City and very allergic to animals. They would work together to build an emotional hip hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. AND OMG TABITHA IS PREGGERS!

Janaya and Brandon’s routine required a lot of partner work and you could sense the level of trust that existed between the two contestants.

Alexa was up next. She loves red lipstick. Daniel, her partner, is Australian. VERY Australian. They had a jazz routine. And speaking of partnering and props…and tight red suits…looked like Alexa’s diet of sprinkles can’t be that unhealthy. Looked tricky but the couple pulled it off. Lythoe wanted more passion.

Next: Amber. She loves bunnies and used to run track. Nick. He just took 23 credits and said it was crazy “don’t do it.” They were set up with the Viennese Waltz. Did they get it together in time?

Murphy thought it was dreamy – and Amber pulled it off in heels.

“So lovely,” said Ortega.

However, the Viennese Waltz, like the Disco, rarely does well with fans of the show.

Courtesy of Homorazzi.com

Remember Amelia from the auditions? Her dad is a tattoo artist. Partner Will (YAY) loves orange…but apparently not short interviews. Character Pop was the style assigned to these colorful dancers and the audience loved it.

Janelle can cook anything. Dareian can imitate Donald Duck. They had to tackle African Jazz. Very fast, totally in sync, and, as Tyra Banks would say, “Fierce!”

“It was like a jungle dance-off!” Murphy said. She was proud of Janelle for tackling the new styles (Janelle is a belly dancer).

A special reminder: National Dance Day is July 28. Please visit fox.com/dance for more info!

                Meet Eliana: she hates raisins. And Cyrus: he has gauges. Together: Broadway. “Run and tell that!”

“She just gets down!” said Murphy of Eliana. Ortega felt as though he were at a Broadway show.

“You gave it your heart and soul, and you kicked it to the back wall,” he said. Lythgoe believes she has set the bar for the other girls.

We met Audrey – she loves Taylor Lautner – and Matthew – he loves hiking. And then what we love – a Titanic routine by Travis Wall to “Enchanted Melody.”

Last of the night were Lindsay, who hates tomatoes (me too), and “karate kid” Cole who is a cliché, with a fiery Paso Double to “Unstoppable.” Very passionate and highly dramatic – would be a perfect ten on “Dancing with the Stars.” It was Lythgoe’s favorite Paso Double, from Cole out of the guys on the show – ever.

Time to vote!

Vote for Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Do you love “Dancing with the Stars”?

How about Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward?

Hines Ward/Courtesy of Baltimoresportsreport.com

Then don’t miss your chance to vote for Ward to be on “Dancing with the Stars” – the all-star season!

Ward first made his dancing debut on season 12 of the widely popular competition show, and brought the Mirror Ball Trophy home to Pittsburgh with partner Kym Johnson.

Representing Steeler Nation with black and gold on "Dancing with the Stars"/Courtesy of Behindthesteelcurtain.com

“The fans are the reason I won the Mirror Ball trophy, so, for me, if time permits and it works out with my schedule, it would be something I’d strongly consider if the fans want me to be on the show again,” Ward was quoting as saying on WTAE.com.

Vote here!

Ward and Johnson dance the samba on “Dancing with the Stars.” Please note that voting for this particular season is closed. Please vote for Ward to join the all-star season cast by following the link above.

Spotlight On: Katherine Alexander

By: Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

From prima ballerina to founder of Exhalations Dance Theatre, Katherine Alexander has come a long way.

Katherine Alexander during Exhalations' "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

When the 21-year-old pharmacy student began ballet she stuck to it. “I was a very strict ballerina in high school,” Alexander said. She would practice between 24 to 26 hours per week.

When she began to look at colleges, Point Park University was definitely in mind; but Alexander chose Duquesne University for pharmacy. There was a dance team at Duquesne, but no dance theatre, so Alexander began Exhalations Dance Theatre.

Exhalations broke the ballerina from her mold. “I never thought as a strict ballerina I would be performing some of the things I’m performing,” Alexander said. She has now added contemporary, modern, Fosse jazz, tap, ballroom and hip-hop to her repertoire. She described the experience as, “Oh my gosh, I’m wearing foot thongs.” She has also studied Martha Graham contemporary, as well as Greek, Ukrainian and Bulgarian folk dancing.

Alexander, front, with Brandi Salter, during an Exhalations' modern number/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Alexander also dances with the Junior Tamburitzans, focusing on Croatian dance and music, and plays an instrument called the brač, which belongs to the tambura family. The instrument is, “like a little guitar that sounds like a mandolin,” Alexander described. She enjoys performing with the Tamburitzans for, “celebration, carrying on traditions,” she said.

Alexander performing "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

“Anytime I am on stage…that is happiness for me,” she said of her dancing, choreography and teaching.

Alexander taught and choreographed Exhalations' beginngers class for "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Alexander has been fortunate, with no serious injuries holding her back from what she loves. However, she does have to be careful to avoid dislocations, as her extreme flexibility can sometimes cause them.

When asked if she had any regrets about not attending Point Park, her answer was no. Alexander is, “excited about being a pharmacist, and would not have been able to start Exhalations,” had things gone differently. She is grateful to her family, who has given her great support with her Exhalations venture. Her mother supplies costumes and food for the shows, and her aunt and brother help out as well.

Alexander also performs with Spotlight Musical Theatre Company and Encore Show Choir, and belongs to KE and ASP.

Dance Panorama Reviews “Expressions”

On April 28, 2012, at 8 p.m., Exhalations Dance Theatre wrapped up its spring showcase, titled “Expressions.” This was the third spring showcase for the dance theatre, and the last for its founder Katherine Alexander, who will be moving on to her fifth year of pharmacy school next semester.

Wrote 2012 Exhalations president Lea Fosbenner of the theme “Expressions,” “this was chosen to highlight how the dancers can interpret their emotions through the art of dance.” And express they did.

Exhalations' company opens "Expressions" to "Let Go" by Frou Frou. Choreography Lea Fosbenner/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Opening the show was Exhalations’ company, dancing to “Let Go” by Frou Frou with choreography by Lea Fosbenner. Company members include Alexander, Fosbenner, Brittany Cerimele, Victoria Climo, Sandi Comunale, Felicia Freger, Kali Fronczekk, Carly Fuller, Shaylyn Livingston, Ariel McKeown, Rachel O’Rorke, Brandi Salter and Emily Stokowski. This opening number suited the theme perfectly. During this first piece, and throughout the show, the dancers literally let go; every turn, every jump, every facial expression showed them letting go and using dance to express themselves.

The intermediate class dances to "Express Yourself." Choreography by Brandi Salter/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

The second dance of the night, aptly set to “Express Yourself” from the Glee Soundtrack, was performed by the intermediate class, made up of Rachel Bristow, Haley Draper, Stephanie Kuratnick, Kylie McGraw, Bridget McGinty, Stacy Miller, Stephanie Novakowski, Jessica Probst, Hayley Ricy, Jenna Trill and Jennifer Wood, with choreography by Salter.

 

"Nast Boys" performed by the advanced class. Choreography by Victoria Messino/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Nasty Boys,” music by Janet Jackson and choreography by Victoria Messino, was performed by the advanced class, including Kristen Best, Courtney Caligiuri, Erica Carbaugh, Lauren Curry, Rebecca Ipjian, Kate Iseman, Francine Kusher, Christine Lugaila, Lauren Maha, Christine Sajewski, Kayla Sparkman and Megan Tiernan.

"Fool of Me," choreography by Messino, dancers belong to the advanced class/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

The advanced class later took on another Messino piece, “Fool of Me,” music by Me’Shell Ndegeocellob.  Sam Potter executed a series of excellent lifts, and the dancers’ expressions through their movements communicated the sadness of the lyrics in the piece.

Acro to "Hit the Lights." Choreography by Sam Potter/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

The modern/jazz routines were followed by a snappy acro routine, choreographed by Potter, to “Hit the Lights” by Selena Gomez. The level of acrobatics in this routine was high, and the costumes accentuated the dancers’ moves perfectly. The dancers incorporated in this routine were Messino, Fronczekk, O’Rorke, Rebecca Clayton, Maria Clements, Sandi Comunale and Emiley Duespohl.

Exhalations presents its graduating seniors/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Expressions” took a break as Alexander took to the stage to present Exhalations’ graduating seniors. 2012’s graduating class included Cerimele, Fosbenner, Messino, Novakowski, Clements, Seth Laidlaw, Cheryl Dusky, Brooke Mulkins, Marla Veschio, Rachel Bristow, and Rebbeca Clayton.

 

The beginners broke onto stage with their number "Grenade." Choreography by Alexander/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

 

The beginner's second number, also choreographed by Alexander/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

 

The beginners, including Dusky, Bianca Coleman, Miranda Cunningham, Karie Diethorne, Denise Herr, Brooke Jackson, Kristina Logan, Kaitlyn Mellor, Kelsey Vale and Christina Yohe, took to the stage with “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Alexander choreographed the piece and was incredibly proud of the dedication her beginners showed. Their classes began at 7:30 a.m., but they stuck to it and their dedication certainly showed in this piece. It also showed in their second piece, also choreographed by Alexander and set to “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray. Besides being well-equipped dance-wise, the beginners also showed what some more experienced dancers tend to forget: passion in their faces. Their expressions could not be clearer.

The ballerina in the music box. Choreography by Potter/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Tutus flew onto the stage for Potter’s acrobatics number to “Music Box” by Regina Spektor. They were gone just as quickly, but their fast-paced number was not one to be overlooked or soon forgotten. It contained very powerful choreography and very powerful dancers. I, for one, would have loved to have seen more.

Duquesne’s Encore Show Choir broke in twice. First, to sing “Love Song” and then again to sing “Beautiful Day.” Their voices were lovely, but I would have loved to have seen more movement from them. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much “Glee.”

Tapping away to Fuller's number/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Kaboom,” music by Ursula 1000 and choreography by Fuller, was a lively and colorful tap piece. The tappers were well in sync and formed a cohesive group, which included Fuller, Freger, Yohe, Caligiuri and Kelly Folk.

“Power Trip Ballad and Requiem for a Dream” (music by Maria Mena and Clint Mansell) showcased the talents of Messino both as choreographer, and as a soloist.

Messino's solo/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Dancing for joy/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

This was a high energy routine that required the strength of all dancers involved, including Potter, Messino, O’Rorke, Comunale, Duespohl, Cerimele and Bristow. While Potter fought for his power trip, he was quickly unplugged by the girls as the swirled around him. Potter made some fantastic lifts, highlighting his strength as a dancer and gymnast. The technique of all the dancers was showcased in this piece, as well as their ability to tap into the darker side of their emotions.

Potter on a power trip/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

 

Potter's powerful lift/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Messino ends Potter's power trip/ Choreography by Messino/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Potter is finished/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

A powerful routine to hold the audience’s attention right before intermission.

 

"Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Expression through movement was the message, and that was never clearer than right after intermission, when only the silhouettes of the dancers were available to the audience.

Performing "The Magic of Us"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

 

Choreography by Lea Fosbenner/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Seth Laidlaw in "The Magic of Us"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“The Magic of Us,” music by Bim and The Section Quartet, choreography by Fosbenner, showcased the talents of Salter, Fronczekk, Alexander, Fosbenner and Laidlaw. This was another heavily technical modern number.

Choreography for "Sweeping Insensitivity" by Alexander/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

"Sweeping Insensitivity" One/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

"Sweeping Insensitivity" Two/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

The dancing was silhouetted again when Fosbenner, Alexander, Climo, Laidlaw, Freger, Fuller, Stokowski, Fronczekk and Livingston gracefully brushed the stage to choreography by Alexander and music by Imogen Heap, Never Shout Never, and Mumford and Sons, “Sweeping Insensitivity.”

Sparkman's hip-hop number "Dizzy"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Hip-hop was brought in by Sparkman and her class, including Comunale, Kusher, Carbaugh, Coleman, Cunningham, McGinty, Miller,  Mulkins, Dara Stockdell ,Trill, Audra Joseph and Lisa Master. Music was”Dizzy” by Day 26. Hip-hop is hard to feel, especially if you are a ballet-trained dancer, and it was evident that some of the dancers in this number where trying to break free from technique so they could express themselves through unstructured movement.

Batons spinning to the sky to "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" Choreography by Yohe/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain was used by the baton class, including Yohe, Veschio, Herr, Mellor, Patty Camarda, Alexis Ellis, Jenna Lowrey, Carley Risley and Brittany Yu. Yohe choreographed this piece, and batons flew high, with some batonists twirling more than one.

Salter's number "Rock Your Soul" with the intermediate class/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Salter had her number “Rock Your Soul” by Elisa do just that with the intermediate class. These girls are learning fast; their technique is growing, but it was their movement and emotional connection with the audience that really made the piece draw you in.

These girls just want to "Settle Down"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

Chorepgraphy by Fuller/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Settle Down,” music by Kimbra and choreography by Fuller, was my favorite piece of the evening. It was modern, sexy and quirky, and incorporated dancers with incredible technique and theatrics: Fuller, Salter, Cerimele, Livingston and Freger. The girls took on the idea of the old-fashioned wife and quickly flipped it on its head, whipping their aprons off and dancing with pizzazz.

These dancers "Gotcha"!/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

“Gotcha” was a trio choreographed by Messino, with music by Liza Minelli. Messino, Comunale and O’Rorke were sassy and sizzling in this number slightly reminiscent of “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago.”

Dancers move and groove through the audience during their finale. Choreography by Sparkman/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

No one saw what was coming when the dancers came out to take their final bows – and then rush the audience to music by Fun Ft. Janelle Monae (Alvin Risk Remix) and choreography by Sparkman. Dancers took the floor and aisles as they danced their hearts out one last time before the curtain came down and another season with Exhalations Dance Theatre came to a close.

Bravo, Exhalations!/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber.

A Pittsburgh Pointe Mystery

By: Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Steel is what shaped the early culture of the Pittsburgh area. The Carrie Furnace is a piece of that heritage still standing. It has now also become a part of Pittsburgh’s art history.

Ron Baraff, Director of Museum Collections & Archives at Rivers of Steel, gives tours of the Carrie Furnace and can authorize use of the site. Oftentimes, he said in a telephone interview, people decided to visit the site on their own.

Mysterious pointe shoes at the Carrie Furnace - where did they come from?/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

While at the Carrie Furnace one day last spring, Baraff noticed a pair of pointe shoes hanging down by the now infamous deer sculpture, “Deer Head” which was made from material found at the Carrie Furnace. The shoes were a mystery to him.

“I was like what are these doing here?” Baraff explained. It is now assumed the shoes were left behind by a dancer who had done a video shoot on site.

But then came a second pair.

Maria Caruso, founder and director of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, did a photo shoot at the Carrie Furnace for the dance production of “Eyes Wide Open.” The idea behind the production was to parallel science and movement. The show took the audience through four seasons, each season showing three photographs. The Carrie Furnace photos were used at the end of the piece.

 

Photo by Eric Rose of Mysterion Studios

 

Other photos of the dancers at the Carrie Furnace were used as PR for the performance, and showed, “the dancer come alive there [at the Carrie Furnace],” said Caruso in a telephone interview.

Caruso is a Pittsburgh native. Her family were coalminers. She described the Carrie Furnace as, “so well preserved. It really comes to life.” She liked the idea of shooting there and appreciated the richness of history contained at the site.

Photo by Eric Rose of Mysterion Studios

The first pair of pointe shoes was gone when they came back to the site, she said.

Before Caruso left the site she told Baraff that she had left a present for him. When he asked her what it was, she replied, “You’ll see.” It was the second pair.

“It took me a couple of days to realize they were there,” Baraff said.

When asked why she left the pointe shoes there, Caruso explained that at the Carrie Furnace, “You can find articles of the past. It’s so cool to see how the artist did the deer. Everyone who goes there has an opportunity to leave a mark.” The pointe shoes, and a pair of high heels she wore, were hers.

“It’s great to be a part of the Pittsburgh cultural language,” Caruso said.

Photo by Eric Rose of Mysterion Studios

Anyone interested in visiting the Carrie Furnace, part of the former U.S. Steel’s Homestead Works,  where, according to Rivers of Steel, “at one time, the furnaces and the steelworkers who labored in them produced more than 1,000 tons of iron a day,” should contact Rivers of Steel at (412)-464-4020 or info@riversofsteel.com.  Tourists will learn about the steel-making process, walk through the well-maintained furnace, and view the “Deer Head” and maybe even the point shoes.

Anyone interested in Bodiography, a contemporary ballet company that brings movements to life through pointe, should contact the studio at (412)-521-6094 or info@bodiographycbc.com.

Exhalations a Home for Dance at Duquesne University

By: Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

No dance? No problem.

When Katherine Alexander, 21, came to Duquesne University, there was no dance theatre, only a dance team. As she moves on to her fifth year in pharmacy school, that is no longer the case.

Alexander founded Exhalations Dance Theatre in 2010. She served as its president until this year and is now the treasurer of this unique dance group.

“When I got to Duquesne, there was no dance besides the dance team,” Alexander said. “I missed it so much, I needed to do something.” She wanted to create a dance theatre, “for people who danced in high school and wanted to keep dancing.”

It is also a place for people who want to discover dance. Beginners are welcome. So are boys.

Dancers rehearse for Exhalations' spring showcase: "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

Exhalations has become a huge movement on Duquesne’s campus. When Alexander held auditions for Exhalations in 2010, 70 people showed up. Now over 100 people show up to the auditions. “The first semester I was expecting 10 people, maybe 20,” Alexander said.  “It’s already so much bigger than I thought it would be…it kind of just grew around me.”

Perfecting a lift while rehearsing for "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

The theatre also welcomes all styles of dance, though modern is the main focus. The students have practiced acro, taught by Sam Potter, tap, taught by Carly Fuller, hip-hop, taught by Kayla Sparkman, ballroom and baton as well. The styles vary by semester, depending on who is available, “as long as we have someone willing to teach,” Alexander said.

Tap dancers in rehearsal for "Expressions"/Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

And not everyone has to perform. Students are welcome to come in and warm up with the dancers and leave before the showcase choreography begins. The students are divided into beginner, instructed by Alexander, intermediate, instructed by Brandi Salter, advanced, instructed by Victoria Messino, and company classes, instructed by Lea Fosbenner, who is the current Exhalations president.

Choreographer Victoria Messino works with dancers on their movements for "Expressions"/ Photo Credit Debra Schreiber

The group performs fall and spring showcases and has also performed at the University of Pittsburgh as part of the Choreography Project. “I had a really rewarding experience after the first show,” Alexander said. “A girl’s mom thought her daughter would never dance again,” but the girl discovered Exhalations and was able to revive her dance life.

For their showcases the group has performed a modern version of “The Nutcracker,” which was a, “crazy version; nothing classic” Alexander said, for which the group developed much of the music; “Radio Hits,” which included “a lot of Adele,” Alexander said; and this spring, “Expressions.” The group also visited Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in 2010 to perform for the kids.

When asked about the name Exhalations, Alexander said it was something she never thought about. “In my mind, it worked,” she said, explaining the exhale as something you give off, which, in the case of the dancer, is choreography.

Although she will be leaving Exhalations soon, Alexander hopes that the dance group will, “continue being open to different styles of dance…and dancers.”