The slower summer months are the perfect time to try a new class or return to the dance classes of your childhood. Ballet and tap are two disciplines that many learned as children and now seek the opportunity to revisit as adults.
We offer beginner through intermediate/advanced adult dance classes. Join instructors Sofia Aranha for ballet and Dorena Battaglino and Cathy Marmolejo for tap.
“The J’s dance instructors make learning new skills interesting and fun. It’s never too late to try something new,” stated Adult Dance Program Coordinator Maxine Silberstein.
Why Enroll in an Adult Dance Class? Here are Just a Few Reasons:
- Both ballet and tap are styles of dance that anyone can learn regardless of previous experience. Ballet is not only fun, but it’s also great exercise, and it is a lot tougher than it looks. Skip the boring gym workout or running on a treadmill. Dance promotes movement in a variety of directions unlike static exercises like lifting weights or doing crunches or lunges. Ballet dancers build strength, flexibility and become more graceful.
- Tap dancing may be fun to watch and enjoyable to perform, but there are also health benefits including increasing cardiovascular conditioning, strength, flexibility and coordination. Tap combinations build strength in the legs and feet in addition to increasing flexibility in the hips, knees and ankles. Cognitive abilities are also enhanced, as tap dancers must develop both mental and muscle memory to become proficient at tapping.
- Engaging in tap dancing also develops a great sense of rhythm and timing. Tap instructors help students focus on music awareness while incorporating tap steps and combinations. Best of all, tap dance is a solo dance style...you don't need a partner to do it, although it is fun to dance with friends.
About the Instructors
Sofia Aranha is originally from Richardson, TX. She began dancing at the age of three and has trained at various studios around North Dallas. Her 18 years of training have been focused on ballet, classical Indian and contemporary dance. She graduated with High Honors and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.
While in school, Sofia was the only undergraduate to receive the Roy Crane Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts from The University of Texas Provost in 2016, and her most recent choreographic work was chosen to perform in The Cohen New Works Festival.
Dorena Battaglino studied Broadway-style tap, jazz and ballet for thirteen years at the Shirley Wolfe Dance Studio in Plano, Texas, beginning at age four. While earning a Chemical Engineering degree, she choreographed annual musicals: Damn Yankees, Oklahoma!, Sugar and the Faculty Follies. In the San Francisco Bay Area, she was active as an actor, improv artist, dancer and choreographer in the local community theatre scene. Choreographing tap-rich 42nd Street was a personal favorite. She was also the inaugural Resident Staff Choreographer of the Oakland Lyric Opera and staged Amahl and the Night Visitors with guest artists from San Francisco Opera.
Dorena discovered the world of rhythm tap while studying with Karen Callaway Williams in NJ. Since then, she continues her professional development by taking class regularly with masters at tap festivals. While living in Scotland for three years, she studied Scottish step dancing. Among her performances, she was invited to dance at Natalie MacMaster’s Aberdeen concert. Dorena returned to Texas in 2015 and wants to share a passion for tap dance with youth and adults by teaching rudiments, choreography, improvisation techniques, music theory and history.
Cathy Marmolejo began acting at age six. Over time, Marmolejo developed her skills as a teacher, actress and professional musician. Since 2001, Marmolejo has performed in the ensemble with Houston Grand Opera in Aida, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Turandot.
Her stage credits include Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at Baytown Little Theater, and Chava in Fiddler on the Roof at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC. Marmolejo, who is experienced in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop, teaches dance classes at the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre.
Learn a new skill or return to the dance learned as a child, and make new friends in a community of like-minded students. Take a chance and try an adult dance class…it could change your life!