Dance Intensity workshop draws 350 students

Roughly 350 students spent last weekend learning new dance moves from some of the country’s leading choreographers during the 2008 Dance Intensity workshop.  An annual event, the two-day program is open to members of dance and drill teams from all seven NEISD high schools, as well as the North East School of the Arts Dance Department. 
 
In its eighth year, Dance Intensity first developed from the district’s desire to enhance the dance department and stay abreast of new choreography surfacing from coast to coast. According to Diana Schumacher, NEISD executive director of fine arts, bringing choreographers to San Antonio is more affordable then sending students to similar programs out of state. 
 
"This workshop will enable dancers and directors to begin the year with cutting edge choreography, technique and diversity in style taught by the elite Dance Intensity staff," she says.
 
Although most of the choreographers participating in Dance Intensity change from year to year, NEISD does regularly request the presence of New York City master teacher Sarah Fazio.  “She’s great,” says Schumacher.  “We love her energy.”
 
Winner of The America’s Young Choreographer Award, Fazio teaches for Dance Olympus, International Dance Challenge, Dance America, Tarn Jams and Starstruck.  She has choreographed in Las Vegas, as well as for Six Flags productions, The Carman Heart of Champion Tour and the Dino Christmas Spectacular. 
 
Other professional dancers attending this year’s workshop included Mario Velez, a Phoenix resident who toured with TLC, Brandy, Boyz to Men and Paula Abdul, and Orlando-based Michael Glowers, a former cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of the Broadway show “42nd Street” and choreographer for the Radio City Rockettes.  Jessica Etzel, Kelly Beamish and Renuka Mines also attended the workshop held Aug. 15-16 at Roosevelt High School.
 
Participants spent time with each choreographer, who then chose 12 dancers for a showcase performance held at the end of the workshop’s final day.