Dance Alliance to hold workshop Sunday

Group celebrating its 40th year
Damon Honeycutt and Laura Teeters demonstrate partnering/balance lifts at a workshop held recently by Dance Alliance.
Damon Honeycutt and Laura Teeters demonstrate partnering/balance lifts at a workshop held recently by Dance Alliance.

The Dance Alliance is bringing Broadway to the Capital Region. On October 28, they’ll host a workshop with Debra Ann Pigliavento and Michele Pigliavento, who have both performed on Broadway. Together they’ll be teaching musical theater jazz and tap at the Orlando School of Dance in Schenectady, from noon until 3:15 p.m.

It’s part of the Alliance’s 40th year of bringing and building upon the dance community in the Capital Region. The volunteer-run organization is a collective of dance teachers, performers, students and enthusiasts. It was started in 1986 by Pat Peterson, Jane Roberts, Pat Castelli, Helga Pritchard and Mary Jane Dyke. They organized dance workshops, intensives and discussions.

The Alliance also organizes a Dance Plus Festival every year, which is a day full of modern, hip hop, tap ethnic, ballet and body movement classes. It gives young dancers a chance to experience a range of dance styles to see which they might be interested. They also hold a Dancing Through Time series for older dancers. Organized by Marilyn Rothenstein and Libby Holmes, teachers from national dance companies come to the Capital Region to lead workshops and classes on a range of dance styles. 

“ . . . We had so many different styles for the program—ballet, tap, African, Isadora Duncan, even Chinese ribbon dancing. One of our dancers took [the] class with a portable oxygen machine. She was an inspiration to all of us. There are people who love to dance regardless of how old they are. It might not be the fountain of youth, but it is the fountain of joy,” said Rothstein in a statement. 

In celebration of their 40th year, the Alliance is offering scholarship opportunities for 2019 with the Par and Sven Peterson Dance Scholarship Program. The deadline to apply for the winter/spring scholarship is Nov. 18 and the scholarship must be used for a dance intensive program between Dec. 26 and Jun. 20. The deadline for the summer scholarship is Apr. 28. Applicants must be current student members of the Dance Alliance in grade 7 through sophomore year of college. For more information visit or contact Tina Baird at [email protected] or 518-581-1791. 

The workshop on Sun. Oct. 28 will be divided into two classes. The first will be tap with Debra Pigliavento from noon to 1:30 p.m. Then from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m., Michele Pigliavento will be teaching musical theatre jazz. Both classes are recommended for experienced intermediate or advanced level dancers.  

Tickets to the workshops are $25 for one class or $45 for both for non-members of the Dance Alliance. For Dance Alliance members, they are $20 per class and $35 for both. 

The next Dance Alliance workshop will be held on Jan. 27 at the Fortune Studio in Mechanicville. For more information visit

Categories: Entertainment

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