Monday Morning Class
Monday, Oct 31 2016
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Monday Morning Class Fall Cycle

Mondays September 12 – November 28
10:30am – 12:30pm

$15 – $20 sliding scale
$120 prepay at your first class for entire cycle ($10 per class)

MMC is an opportunity to take class with a rotating roster of dance artists with divergent practices and points of view organized/curated by Myrrhia Rodriguez.

9/12 – Tom Tsai
9/19 – Tom Tsai
9/26-  Alex Mathews
10/3 – Robyn Nisbet
10/10 – Yanina Orellana
10/17 – Odeya Nini
10/24 – Odeya Nini
10/31- Odeya Nini
11/7 – Alfonso Cervera
11/14 – Patty Huerta
11/21 – Patty Huerta
11/28 –  Samad Guerra


Tom Tsai

Tom’s Modern/Contemporary technique class provides an informed approach to floor work, drawing upon movement concepts learned from Laban Space Harmony, Bartenieff fundamentals, Lewitzky technique, and Breaking (breakdancing). Utilizing the joints of the body as successive intervals in and out of the floor, class material integrates the rotary factor with initiation and sequencing, to move the body fluently across levels and space. 

Tom Tsai, originally from Taipei, Taiwan, is a dance artist based out of Los Angeles.  Being situated between two distinct histories in both his cultural and dance backgrounds (Taiwanese and American; Breaking and Modern dance), Tom seeks to represent his lineage with integrity, while exploring possibilities to craft an innovative voice. His solo works have been presented throughout California and New York, and internationally in Sweden, Portugal, the Netherlands, and at Sadler’s Wells in London. Tom has taught Modern floor work classes and Breaking workshops in California, New York, the Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan, and Thailand. He is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and winner of the REVERBdance Festival’s REVERB Award. Tom previously competed with Instant Noodles Crew, and dances with LA­based companies Pennington Dance Group and Laurie Cameron & Company. In 2015 he was guest faculty at Pomona College Department of Theatre and Dance.


Alex Mathews

Kundalini, Essential Oils, your Self:
A sensory experience aimed to
channel, stimulate and ripen creativity

Through Kundalini yoga, a practice combining asanas/postures with mantra and meditation, this class will focus on the first three chakras -otherwise known as the lower triangle, which connects us to our sense of security, sexuality, creativity and will power.

Kundalini yoga is effective in gross and subtle ways. Not only does it directly work with the body for physical health and wellness, but it also opens up channels by tickling the nervous and glandular systems; which can serve as clear pathways to that golden, shimmery Self in each of us.
This class will be physical and rhythmic. It will also incorporate breath, sound and scents. All artists are welcome! Please bring a piece of fruit.

J. Alex Mathews is a Los Angeles based blend of poet, dancer, yogi and arts advocate. She grew up internationally and bi-coastally in the U.S. and has lived in LA since 2007.  She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures/Dance and she is a certified instructor in Vinyasa Yoga and Kundalina Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
Her imagination is sparked by the moon, texture/color of food and all sorts of paper. Her current practice is comprised of meditation, mixed media collage, movement and writing.
She believes in challenging and revitalizing public engagement with the performing arts as well as enhancing sustainable opportunities for artists. Since 2012 she has worked as the Program Manager for the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, which gives unrestricted prizes to five mid career, risk-taking artists annually. Since 2014 she has served as the Associate Director and Director of Programming for Dance Resource Center, a local service organization that is a hub and voice for Greater Los Angeles dance. In the past, she worked as an administrator and dancer in residence at Bates Dance Festival and as a Managing Director with Pentacle (DanceWorks, Inc.) She is grateful for contributing as a nominator and evaluator for renowned grants and attending conferences for Arts 4 LA, Dance/USA, Grant-Makers in the Arts and Western Arts Alliance. She continues to investigate what it means to commit to the arts through art-making, teaching, advocacy, program management and curation/production. She recently participated in Emerging Arts Leader/LA’s mentorship program, joined a small arts collective called Remnants and is now taking part in the SoCal Leadership Network, making site visits throughout LA County to places like the rooftop of the Metro building, down the corridors of the Men’s County Jail and inside the facilities of Cedars Sinai Hospital. It’s all interconnected, really.


Robyn Nisbet

Music and Breath

Breath is our first musical instrument. Sometimes audible, it is an acceleration and deceleration of the body, communicating with all systems of the body, the heart, the cerebral-spinal fluid, the equilibrium. Breath gives rhythm to our blood, bones, joints, fascia. Rhythm and vibration. How can we find our breath, our inner rhythm and vibration, and at the same time meet with, play against, be moved by, and affect live music? In this session we will be exploring our selves as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic instruments of breath. We will begin with yoga and then jamwith really amazing musicians.

I am an artist and body worker endlessly fascinated by the body as a space for self-discovery. I like to think of breath as the point of initiation into movement, into exchange with the environment, and into shared experience with others. I recently studied pedagogy for contemporary dance in Paris, where I discovered my ardor for how we share dance space. After diving into intensive dance training in several places in the world where the circle is sacred space, I am understanding the importance of community. In community, as it is in the circle, there is possibility to hold space for the group as well as the individual. Deeply moved and motivated by music, I am interested in how we can work with one another in a collaborative and supportive environment in exchange with musical artists. I am grateful to many teachers in my life. I am influenced by Capoeira, bodywork, Pilates, yoga, Afro-Brazilian dance and drumming, Sabar, the ocean, the cars driving on the freeway, the chatter on the television, on the radio and the energy from the people I come into contact with from day to day. Whatever art form or dance genre you identify with, I invite a space where we can come together to breathe and move to the music, courageously, from the heart.


Yanina Orellana

Creating Contemporary Connections

Yanina facilitates a space where the student can explore creative movement to make new neuromuscular, artistic and social connections. The class includes release­ based contemporary dance and guided improvisations with imagery to access personal and collective narratives. The student is encouraged to identify habits of muscular tension and create images to allow energy efficiency and dynamic range. Ultimately, the class brings awareness of human connection through the joy of dance and moving together as a group.

The creative aspirations of Yanina Orellana go beyond establishing a relationship between movement and music; they pretend to question the boundaries of expressiveness through dance, and if necessary, expand them to communicate effectively the desired ideas and concepts. Her work combines the possibilities of dance, theater and multimedia to create interactive experiences that deal with cultural identity and human connection online and offline. The importance of the aesthetic content is reciprocal to the conceptual content; she uses a process of differentiation and integration to create immersive experiences. As a teaching artist, her philosophy emphasizes education as a process of humanization where the student is conscious of his/her agency to express, create and transform.


Odeya Nini


A workshop dedicated to Vocal Expression, understanding the physicality of sound, freeing our minds of preconceived ideas of song, and opening our
ears to new forms of sonic composition within ourselves. For anyone who needs to release their voice!
Both through introspective work and outward playfulness, we will explore the voice as an instrument that radiates from the body and movement, not limited to conventions of language, but rather able to convey myriad forms of communication.
All are welcome!

Odeya Nini is a Los Angeles based experimental vocalist and contemporary composer. At the locus of her interests are textural harmony, gesture, tonal animation, and the illumination of minute sounds, in works spanning chamber music to vocal pieces and collages of musique concrète. Her solo vocal work extends the dimension and expression of the voice and body, creating a sonic and physical panorama of silence to noise and tenderness to grandeur. Odeya has collaborated extensively with dancers, visual artist, filmmakers and theater directors as both a composer and soloist and has worked with artists such as Meredith Monk, Butch Morris and LA’s contemporary orchestra ­ Wild Up. Odeya’s work has been presented at venues and festivals across the US and internationally, such as The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Joyce Soho, and Art Basel Miami, from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, Canada, Mongolia, Madagascar and
Vietnam. She has lectured on contemporary vocal techniques and composition at the university level and leads workshops exploring the creative and healing qualities of voice and movement.
Odeya holds a BFA from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where she studied with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, and an MFA in composition from
California Institute of the Arts. Her debut album Vougheauxyice (Voice), for solo voice, was released in April of 2014 on pfMENTUM records.


Alfonso Cervera

This class will focus on the physical awareness of one’s self and other bodies. How sensitivity and reaction play a vital role in the creating of movement and responding to movement. How bodies come to inhabit space and use bodily energy as a way to interweave and create mindfulness. The class will be geared towards working and developing material as an ensemble in order to continue merging in and out of improvisational and set material, but always keeping in mind that we enter as our own identity but leave with the traces of others.

As an artist, my practice is comprised of exploring the Mexican- American body that is in direct correlation with my own physical, social and political experience. By connecting contemporary dance with Ballet Folklorico and my Yucatan heritage, I am interested in how identity and citizenship shift in this duality, but also how the connection of Ballet Folklorico and Contemporary dance support or complicate the dance field. For movement, I am interested in the bodies’ capacity of exhaustion, accumulation of thought and awareness, flesh, sensitivity to touch, reaction, and rigor are vital interests and ways that help articulate and guide the process of how work is developed in my practice.


Patricia Huerta

This class is a composition class focused towards creating oneʼs own individual movement vocabulary based on improvisational structures. These essential choreographic structures will help the student develop raw movement material and facilitate choreographic strategies in relationship to time, energy, space, and other bodies. Working collaboratively with the artist and dancers, this class is aimed for all levels and all backgrounds. We will be moving, creating, constructing and deconstructing new possibilities for movement that will help enhance our esthetic.

My work is inspired by individuals social and familial daily interactions within all spaces that lead to acknowledging and shifting the choices one makes to form an array of transformative experiences. Focusing on the journey of the process that is in collaboration with individuals, materials, and space as a way for discovering ones own individuality and clarity within is what I call a performance. The specificity of pathways revealed in my work is a journey filled with opportunity to grow, modify, and become. It is history, my history, one’s history, focused on the specifics of space, time, humanness, and repetition directed and produced by the self in that moment in time.

My work is also in conversation and in correlation with the relationships one experiences inspired by culture, gender, and surroundings that can provoke, help and or hinder one’s choices in the social and familial spaces. My works questions and merges the roles of spectatorship and performer and how both are connected in order to manifest a performance. I aspire to bring to attention the beauty for will, the freedom of choice-feared or not- and the power one possess in creating a different experience. An open space immersed in options, choices, and dialogue. A genuine space for disrupting expectations, stereotypes, and cycles through awareness of our thoughts-process-results. I question the limits humans place on themselves throughout their lives. Energizing a space where one cultivates a consciousness of the choices one is making and open up conversation with those performance spaces.


Samad Guerra

Cubamentals/Cubamentales! From Rumba to Casino and Beyond/La Rumba, El Casino y Más

Welcome to Cubamentals! In this class you will learn the fundamental movement qualities of Cuban Rumba, Casino (Cuban-style Salsa) and Oricha. We will dance to recorded music by Yubá Iré, Bobi Céspedes, and Cali Flow Latino. All levels welcome. Please wear loose fitting or comfortable clothing.

I teach music and dance practices in Africa and the Diaspora with a particular focus on Cuban Rumba, Casino (Cuban-Style Salsa) and Oricha. The technical training that I offer students is combined with an in-depth look at the social, cultural and political implications of these forms. My training at Performing Arts of Artistic Inquiry” teaching methodology enables me to put together lesson plans that emphasis student-centered learning and non-linear thinking. Part of the importance of my work lies in the fact that the dance practices that I teach and am constantly learning more about are connected to larger social spheres of knowledge and can help students begin thinking about their ulterior meanings imbedded in their technique. When students are exposed to the dance practices of their cultural or ancestral lineage, they often make linkages between these past forms and what they enjoy doing today, which may have seemed unrelated. In a sense, the dance helps students see themselves and each other as a part of a larger community and experience.


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Photo by Dana Peneberg