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15 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.

IT’S OFFICIALLY SHOW WEEK! Senior DPMKE performing artist, Gina Laurenzi, is in the home stretch of preparing her full evening length work titled SONDER, set to premiere alongside #livemusic by TWIN TALK, THIS THIRSDAY, January 27th @ 7:30pm! 🎫 Tickets are available at

This will be Laurenzi's first time setting choreography on DPMKE. She shares her inspiration behind this performance, "With Sonder, I set out to craft a work that ebbs and flows through attention to the complexities of Twin Talk’s compositions while leaving space for meandering happenings, and improvisational tangents to unfold between performers. Choreographed phrases fly in and out of improvisational scores as performers delight in the intricacies of the music and the moment."

Gina has been an integral part of DPMKE since her first show with Danceworks back in 2013. Part of what makes DPMKE unique is that they set out to present repertoire created by their artists and not just the Artistic Director or outside creators. DPMKE values Gina's voice and how amplifying her voice shifts and changes the exquisite work on the stage.

We hope you will be able to join us for “Sonder”, running Jan. 27-30. 🎫 Tickets are available at

📷: Christal Wagner, DPMKE Artistic Director
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2 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

It's #studiosaturday and this we we want to give a HUGE shout out to the Danceworks' faculty members performing in the second concert of the DPMKE season! You can catch studio faculty members Gabi Sustache, Christal Wagner and Gina Laurenzi performing with all the artists of DPMKE the 27th - 30th at Next Act Theatre. We are so looking to the performance! Come catch your instructors in action on the stage!

Looking for a new class to take?! DID YOU KNOW can take class with Artistic Director Christal Wagner and the company most Tuesday mornings? Make sure to pre-register online!

#dance #livemusic #performingartists #Danceworksmke #dpmke #milwaukeedance #milwaukeeartistsinaction
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3 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

Join DPMKE on January 27-30, 2022 at Next Act for their new show: "Sonder"
Purchase your tickets now at 👈🏻🎫

Senior company member and Choreographer Gina Laurenzi collaborates with Chicago band Twin Talk to create a contemporary movement experience with a jazz influence. In Sonder, we welcome live music to the stage as DPMKE dancers and Twin Talk share space, tune into one another and playfully delight in improvisation. The Company is joined by Danceworks Intergenerational Performance Company. Crafting a blend of sound and movement guaranteed to set a mood and satisfy the senses, the artists invite the audience into an intimate world as they flow into conversation, communicating through their respective art forms. Sonder (noun): the realization that each random passerby lives a life as vivid and complex as your own.
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Danceworks Blog

My Big Fat Thank You

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

Thank you THANK YOU to the many MANY individuals who have made Danceworks’ 11th Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap year a success—two semesters and two competitions! Danceworks’ Director of Community Engagement, Posy Knight, said, “We can do this!” Thank you, Posy, for your indomitable spirit, tenacity and leadership—and in the same breath—thank you to the entire Danceworks’ team: the resourceful staff and experienced board of directors, our partners and supporters who help spread the joy and make things happen. (Look closely and you might see angel wings.)

Photo: Jeff Zmania

BMO Harris Bradley Center Team

It’s fun to think back on our first Mad Hot Competition in 2007. We were a little over-awed to be having an event at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. I wouldn’t say we were intimidated—maybe a little—but mostly we were excited to meet with the Bradley Center team to coordinate the day. When they told us that we would need an extra table (for what, I don’t remember), we said, “No problem. We have one we can bring along with us.” (Why rent one?) Bradley Center assured us that they would take care of it. And they did, along with the entire competition! For eleven years and counting!

Part of the BMO dream team

We would not be here without these wonderful people, and without the many additional individuals who understand the impact of bringing the joy of dance to the students in our city. When CEO Steve Costello and the Bradley Center said yes to Danceworks, I wonder if they knew at the time the incredible role they would play in the lives of SO many Milwaukee children. (25,000… but who’s counting?)

Steve has been a great role model of kindness over the years and understands what the competition is all about: “Being a good competitor is ultimately about being a good person,” he told the students on May 20th.

BMO Harris Bradley Center President/CEO Steve Costello  Photo: Jeff Zmania

Many Supporters

Volunteers return to help out year after year. They know the drill. Some don’t even want a Mad Hot volunteer T-shirt because they have a collection (thank you, Strattec!). The media has been faithful, providing us with wide coverage. Our community’s support is evident as name after name stretches around the circumference of the Bradley Center stadium ceiling, shining like stars over the children’s heads as they dance.

Over 4,000 showed up to cheer!

And so we continue on. Our classes have grown, our budget has grown and our staff has grown. You can read more about this inspiring group—my team— in their new bios, on our new staff webpage with their sassy new photos—thanks to ɅLTVRɅ Photography. (What an awesome company to work with! I totally recommend them.) And while I’m speaking of staff, I’m really pleased to introduce our two newest full time employees—Hannah Pardee, Director of Communications and Maggie Seer, Community Engagement Coordinator. You can click here to discover something new about all of the staff!

Amazing Teaching Artists

And finally, as I’ve said so many times, but can never say enough—it’s our Mad Hot teaching artist team who bring the real magic to the program. They are the heroes. There is little turnover among them. They are in it for one reason and one alone as we all are: they love the students. They set challenges aside and put the children first. They never fail to draw out potential the students didn’t realize they had, and change lives from the inside out.

Danceworks Mad Hot teaching artists. Photo credit: the very talented Christal Wagner, who is also in the picture. 🙂

So from the bottom of my heart—THANK YOU ALL. It’s a great privilege and honor to work with you, and to be a part of enhancing Milwaukee with joy, health and creativity. Here’s to YOU!

Photo: Jeff Zmania

And thank you to the awesome Jeff Zmania, JMZ Photos, for capturing the Danceworks joy year after year.

What’s up next?!

Handel’s Bestiary: In Search of Animals in Handel’s Operas
Fri & Sat, Jun 16-17, 2017 7pm | Lynden Sculpture Garden

Please join us for an enchanting evening of music, dance and amazing beauty!


General – $26  | Student/Senior- $16  | Youth 10 & Under – Free


About Our Blog

Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.