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Danceworks, Inc.
BIOME opens in LESS then a week! Let’s learn about the choreographer and director behind DPMKE’s upcoming show, BIOME! Read about Gina Laurenzi below and then join us for the show premiering February 29-March 3, 2024. Tickets are selling fast, grab them here! dwmke.org/DPMKEseasonGina Laurenzi (@gina_laurenzi )graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) with a BFA in Dance: Choreography & Performance. Before beginning her chapter in Milwaukee, Gina was awarded a full merit scholarship to train at Giordano Dance Chicago and later performed with Giordano II and Inaside Chicago Dance, among other Chicago artists.Since living in Milwaukee, Laurenzi has been able to perform the works of Daniel Burkholder, Simone Ferro, Marie Gillespie, Dani Kuepper, Deb Loewen, Dawn Springer, Christal Wagner, and Morgan Williams among many others. Laurenzi continues to set work on the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project and has created works for Danceworks Performance MKE (DPMKE), Danceworks Youth Performance Company, Danceworks Intergenerational Performance Company (DIPC), Makaroff Youth Ballet (Appleton, WI), the Milwaukee Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program students, Milwaukee’s High School of the Arts, UWM Dance Dept., and Water Street Dance Milwaukee. Laurenzi is currently on faculty at both Danceworks and the Milwaukee Ballet and continues to teach at UWM where she is also pursuing her MFA in Dance. Laurenzi is happy to be able to continue to work with the wonderful artists of DPMKE after performing with the company since 2013.📸: @c.w.mke.photography ... See MoreSee Less
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Danceworks, Inc.
Danceworks DanceLAB presents Get It Out There! Learn about the show and showtimes below⤵️💥March 16, 2024 | 5:30pm & 8pmat Danceworks Studio Theatre1661 N. Water St.Milwaukee, WI 53202About the show: Danceworks Artistic Director, Christal Wagner, is set to unveil the latest edition of Get It Out There, a biannual showcase of works in progress by both emerging and established artists. This spring’s event, presented through Danceworks DanceLAB, will feature a diverse array of 22 new works from talented performers across Milwaukee and its surrounding areas. Scheduled for Saturday, March 16th, 2024, the performances will take place in two separate concerts at the Danceworks Studio Theatre. Following each show, attendees are encouraged to stay for an opportunity to interact with the artists, offering feedback and fostering dialogue. With a spectrum of genres on display including contemporary dance, dance theatre, poetry, and music composition, the evening promises a dynamic exploration of artistic expression.Tickets now available at link in bio. Artist line up coming soon…!💥📸: Christal Wagner ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Danceworks, Inc.
Did you know that we have merchandise?! Head to Danceworks to check out all that we have available!•T-shirts•Beanies •Zip-up Hoodies•Joggers•Fanny Packs•ThermosStop in today at 1661 N. Water Street Milwaukee, WI!#danceworks #dance #merchandise #newgear #fall #tshirt #zipup #fanny ... See MoreSee Less
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Danceworks Blog

The Dedicated Kids of DYPC

Posted on by 10Web Support

Faith Halaska, Director of Danceworks Youth Performance Company

Faith Halaska, Director of Danceworks Youth Performance Company

Two years ago, it became apparent to me that Danceworks needed a youth performance company. With more than 2,000 Milwaukee city students completing Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap (MHBT) each year, we had an abundance of talented kids. Amy Brinkman-Sustache had long wanted a youth company to support the development of the students in our studio youth classes. We found the perfect company director in our faculty, Faith Halaska, and we were off and running.

The audition for Danceworks Youth Performance Company (DYPC) is coming up on July 27, so I sat down with Faith to offer a little more information about the company:

Deb: Why were you interested in directing DYPC?

Faith: Because my greatest joy in life is helping to build up the next generation of artists. I find great reward in training dancers and giving them the experience of performing and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Deb: What do you see happening to these kids as they get more involved?

Faith: There’s a transformation—not only in their technical ability, but in their self-confidence and self-discipline. I feel like I have the privilege of watching them become who they’re meant to be—not just as dancers but as individuals.

DYPC performing at Bastilles Days

DYPC performing at Bastille Days

Deb: Where do the students who audition come from?

Faith: They come from all over the Milwaukee area and beyond. Some of the kids’ experience comes from dance teams, cheerleading, Hip Hop crews, Milwaukee Ballet, gymnastics and, of course, Danceworks studio classes and programs . The first year we held auditions, about 40% of the students came from MHBT; the second year was about 60%. These are kids who come together with one common goal: they are interested in pursuing the art of dance in a more intense training environment.

Deb: And how did all the different backgrounds work together?

Faith: They did great! It’s surprising to see how much they improve in one year. We also offer apprenticeships for the students who show great potential at the audition but need a little more experience. Apprentices attend the same classes as company members, but until they are moved up to the full company they do fewer performances and understudy.

Deb: What does the DYPC performance season look like?

Faith: DYPC typically takes on 25 performances a year. These include performances from Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival to Brew City Bruisers halftime shows; Lakefront Festival of the Arts to UPAF events. They also do a full-length production annually called Gingerbread Express, which is our holiday show.

Deb: Can you give us an idea of what their training includes?

Faith: This season we will be offering opportunities to a broader range of ages and experience levels by expanding to two companies — junior and senior. Junior company dancers have approximately two hours of weekly rehearsals and a minimum of two technique classes of differing genres from our studio offerings. Average weekly involvement is approximately five hours, excluding performances. Senior company members have the same requirements with an additional hour of weekly rehearsal.

DYPC 2012-13

DYPC 2012-13

Deb: How is a dancer’s performance in the company evaluated?

Faith: Company dancers sign a contract; if it is broken in any way they must have an individual meeting with me and their parent/guardian(s). Their reviews are based on their contract as well as on academic requirements. They have to submit their report cards to me twice a year. Attendance, promptness, being prepared, clear communication, work ethic in rehearsals and classes, and being a positive representative of Danceworks and DYPC are all evaluated. I also get reviews on their development from their Danceworks instructors. The apprentices also have defined review dates which enable them to move up when they are ready.

Deb: If a student wants to audition on July 27, what does he or she need to do?

Faith: Complete the registration form by Monday, July 22. The form is on our website, (link to DYPC here) as well as all the essential information. All who register will get a follow-up email from me next week.

For all of you interested in auditioning for Danceworks Youth Performance Company, I’m sending my very best wishes for a fun and enriching experience. Danceworks is here to help you become the dancer you dream to be! –Deb Farris



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.