MAD (Movement and Dance) Weekend

September 7 - 10, 2023

MAD Weekend hosts a variety of events, such as movement masterclasses, workshops, and panels.

Classes are $3 each for students with a Naz ID and $5 for the public, CASH ONLY. Admission is paid at the door. Classes are FIRST COME FIRST SERVE and spots are limited.

The BDT (Boston Dance Theater) Lecture Demonstration on Thursday, September 7 at 7:30pm and the final MAD Showcase on Sunday, September 10 at 5:30pm are both in Callahan Theatre, located in the Arts Center. Tickets for these performances are $5 for students and $10 for general admission at the door, CASH ONLY.

Classes and Tickets

  • Technique classes are open to dancers, actors, and movers (ages 15+) of all skill levels. Anyone under 18 years of age must have a guardian's signature on a waiver form. Download the waiver
  • Tickets for the classes and showcase are available at the door, CASH ONLY.

Best dance festival

Nazareth University's MAD Weekend was named best dance festival by CITY Magazine's Best of Rochester 2023!

Thursday, September 7

9:25 am - 10:40 am
  • Introduction to NRTTA (Indian Dancing) - Parvatha Chidambaram, Location: George 154

Explore Graceful fundamental Movements– its varieties along with its appropriate hand, head, and eye movements. Also, introduce the 5 varieties of rhythmic patterns

  • Open Ballet - Fidel Orillo, Location: George 102

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Dance Program faculty member.

10:50 am - 12:05 pm
  • Tap - Cheryl Johnson, Location: George 154 

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Dance Program faculty member. 

1:10 pm - 2:25 pm
  • Pilates Mat - Natalia Lisina, Location: George 154

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Dance Program faculty member.

2:35 pm - 3:50 pm
  • Commercial Dance - Jeff Shade, Location: George 154

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Theater and Dance Department faculty member. 

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Composition Using Contact Improvisation - Katherine Marino, Location: George 154 

Some prior experience with weight sharing, contact improvisation, and/or partnering is recommended. In the first half of this class, we will explore weight-sharing, counter-balancing, and rolling point of contact as their own partnering techniques within an improvisational context. During the second half of the class, we will focus on analyzing the content generated through our improvisations, capturing partnering moments, and using those moments to build sequences and phrases. Level; Intermediate.

5:45 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Balance/Counter-Balance: The Art of Partnering  - Robert Gardner, Location: George 102 

This class will explore the principles of strength, coordination, cooperation, and flow in partnering techniques used in classical and contemporary choreography. Participants will work in pairs, trios, and groups to practice the principles of balance and counterbalance, trust building, mirroring, hand connections, and more. The class is appropriate for intermediate to advanced dancers. Pairings and groups are not gender specific so dancers can explore the full scope of choreographic partnerships

7:30 pm -
  • Lecture Demonstration By BDT (Boston Dance Theater)

Boston Dance Theater's The Carol Kaye Project is a collection of fun, short dance works that celebrate seminal bass guitarist Carol Kaye. Watch excerpts from BDT's Carol Kaye Project in an informal "show and tell" setting in Callahan Theater. Experience amazing dancing and learn a bit of background information on the show from the Artistic Director and Dancers. 


$5 admission at the door

Friday, September 8

8:00 am - 9:15 am
  • Musical Theater - Jeff Shade, Location: George 154

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Theater and Dance Department faculty member. 

10:00 am - 10:50 am
  • Business of Dance - Karen Brown, Location: George 154

Valuable Q&A time with the Legendary Ballerina, Karen Brown to discuss the balance between business and dance. Karen Brown, entrepreneur, union rep, and former Executive Director of Garth Fagan Dance will discuss with you the important steps pre-professional dancers need to take to set themselves up as a business entity to take advantage of tax deductions for everything from dancewear to concert tickets and Apple Music subscriptions to name a few. 

10:30 am - 11:45 am
  • Open Ballet - Beth Bartholomew, Location: George 102  

A traditional fall semester class opened up to the public. Get the chance to dance with and learn from a Nazareth Dance Program faculty member

11:00 am - 12:30 am
  • Intermediate Modern: A BDT Masterclass - Wesley Urbanczyk, Location: George 154 

In this class, we'll explore versatile movement drawing from a variety of modern techniques. Starting on the floor with some gentle rolling and stretching, exercises will progressively increase in general muscular effort, energy, and speed. We'll find comfortable ways in and out of the floor (and even a little upside down) and build up to expansive traveling and jumping.

12:45 pm - 2:15 pm
  • Advanced Modern: A BDT Masterclass - Olivia Coombs, Location: George 154

Class starts with spine articulations, building to a physical warming. Attention will be given towards how to organize the body, while activating curiosity and joy through the fullest expression of each exercise. It will finish with dynamic phrase work, traversing the expanse of the floor, emphasizing body length and width.

2:30 pm - 3:45
  • Hip Hop - Jaden Kindle, Location George 154

Join Jaden for a Hip Hop Class!



2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Deep Dive - Falcon Dance, Location: George 102

In leading this contemporary class, I draw from my long background in athletic forms, healthcare, and various movement styles, while intersecting with current movement practices occurring in the field. Deep somatic listening tends to serve as the backbone for grounding and initiating "risky" physicality, which historically permeates my movement tendencies. We will use imagery rooted in anatomical "truths" as a bridge toward personal ingenuity. Class most often begins on the floor with a long juicy warm-up that is intentionally designed with the overall class goals in mind, but also with general approaches to bodily conversations. We converse with the floor/the earth as a malleable yet stable surface that can help to ground our thoughts, understand our breath, and offer the ability to "see" our anatomical form by the tactile feedback we sense in our tissue. Working to deliberately, mindfully, and methodically build heat, we will gradate through a series of repeatable patterns to open, activate, and dynamically reconnect. As we are brought to standing, we will train the body to live within the (dis)comfort of ideas challenging stability, balance, and speed along multiple planes and honor the ways that these challenges affect us holistically. Improvisation is used to deepen personal exploration, individuality, and autonomous cohesion throughout structured class offerings. Touch is an important tool that we will call upon whether that be physical or other to help us reframe a relational body. Class typically concludes with phrase work that integrates particular concepts or ideas, with musicality and rhythmic play leading the way. Floor work, falling, and finding the upside down are common areas of research. Open to all movers.

4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Legendary Ballerina Karen Brown - Location: George 102

Prerequisites: Minimum 3 years ballet training ( 2-3 classes /week)


  • The Structural and Functional Body (The Role of Fascia)  - Caz Lopata-Linn, Location: Sands Studio

Open to everyone. part discussion, part interactive experience, and serves as an introduction to insights about the human structure and how it directly correlates with how we function and what role fascia plays. We will briefly dive into the world of fascial/connective tissue networks and its significance. Finally, we will do some exploration of the body in a deeper sense using techniques mostly attributed to the Feldenkrais Technique (Awareness through movement).


5:45 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Smooth Jazz - Kristen Wegman, Location: Sands Studio 

The class will start with a seamless and athletic warmup to get blood circulating, heart rates high and muscles stretched. After, I will move into a series of center combinations and progressions with hints of material that will be incorporated in our final, larger center combination. Throughout the class, I will be encouraging dancers to find their own personal style and fluidity of movement and transitions within my choreography. This class would be geared more towards intermediate/advanced class takers for the main reason of the class going at a little faster of a pace but also could be considered as open level.

  • Contact Improvisation - Falcon Dance, Location: George 102

In this class, we will emphasize listening individually and collectively, to sensing with our guts and an open heart, and to sinking into our tissue in order to earnestly engage in mutual exchange. We will work within a spectrum of touch, and explore the ways in which tone informs weight and opportunities to share weight. As we work to build trust collaboratively, we will lay down the foundation of care.


Saturday, September 9

10:30 am - 11:45 am
  • Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Legendary Ballerina, Karen Brown - Location: George 102

   Prerequisites: Minimum 3 years ballet training ( 2-3 classes /week)


  • Foot and Ankle Health For Dancers - Dr. Sarah Carlton and Dr. Ellen Key, Location: Sands Studio

Bring your own mat for an injury prevention class, taught by two Physical Therapists, specifically focusing on the overall foot and ankle health of the dancer for both their current and future training and careers. The class is meant to empower dancers with knowledge of general foot health, relevant anatomy and teach specific exercises to improve foot and ankle posture, awareness, and strength, in order to prevent injury and pain.

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
  • Gender In Dance (Q&A Discussion)  - Tazdyn Francisco, Location: George 102

A workshop to discuss and explore the way that previously learned gender roles through the gender binary can potentially limit us in our movement explorations. Discuss what gendered characteristics may look like in the dance world and then use that information to push beyond our own combination of femininity and masculinity and dabble in new movement identities

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
  • Contemporary Forms: A BDT Masterclass - Jessie Jean Stinett, Location: George 154

Jessie will lead a class informed by her work with internationally renowned choreographer, Itzik Galili. 

  • Contemporary/Breaking: A BDT Masterclass - Henoch Spinola, Location: George 102

This class explores approaches to dancing, sensing, and creating with breakdancing techniques incorporated into contemporary movement work. Working alone and with partners, we will warm up with calibration exercises to prepare and train ourselves for working on our hands and inversions. We will use breaking vocabulary, flow, imagination, words, time, and space as resources for an improvisation task. We will conclude by building and dancing phrase work that uses all the breaking and improvisation features practiced in this class.

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
  • Intermediate Jazz - Annalyse Greider, Location: George 154

Starting with an introduction and a group warm-up; dancers will activate their core. Then the group will move into across-the-room phrases and guided improvisation. Next, the group will learn a center floor combination and the class will end with a cool down.

  • Reinforced Motor Function for Ballet Application Levels 1, 2, and 3 - Karen Brown, Location: George 102

MT Reinforced Motor Function (RMF) honors the traditions of Classical Ballet and athletic movement study. MT RMF can significantly improve a ballet dancer or athlete's ability, physical excellence, and emotional health. It does so by attaching logical, scientific constructs via applied understanding of anatomy and physiology, to present outcomes that rehabilitate, arrest injury, and give simple logical understanding for movement excellence that had previously always been attributed to one's baseline natural talent. This class is a brief look into RMF. 

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
  • Body Tuning - Falcon Dance, Location: George 102 

This class is designed to help deepen bodily awareness, bridge connections, and discover nuance within our movement curiosities. Through very slow deliberate patterns, we will hone in on the details of our parts, how they articulate, activate, intertwine, and communicate, in relationship to our whole selves. Most of the class will be spent on the floor, with some progression to standing. We may work with different surfaces, such as the wall or a partner. Clothing may be used as props to aid in body positioning. The application of the principles of this class to technique and choreography will lead to more stable and able bodies. (Dancers should bring warm clothes and socks.) 

  • Contemporary Floorwork- Caz Lopata-Linn, Location: George 154

An intermediate/advanced floorwork-based contemporary class that begins with becoming one and rooted to the floor with breathwork and small explorations in a semi-improvisational warmup. The class will develop by integrating the body into more advanced positions through across-the-floor movements and explorations. The class will build up to include more structured and layered choreography as well as a short phrase. Improvisation and exploration with the floor, gravity, space and, self will be prominent factors and are highly encouraged. This class will be creative, fun, and sweaty.

5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
  • Intro to Argentine Tango - Heather Roffe, Location: George 154

An introductory class in the basic skills of Argentine ("Salon-style") tango, an improvisatory form of dance. You don't need a partner, but you will be partnered up to learn the basics of leading and/or following. We will focus on presence, "physical listening," steps, style, and musicality in this sensitive and sensuous dance form. Bring smooth-soled shoes if you have them (jazz shoes, character shoes, heels), or socks will do nicely. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and fabulous!


7:00 pm -
  • NDO Hosted Social Event - Location: George 154

Pizza provided and a movie to be shown. Come and enjoy yourself, meet new people, and connect with the Nazareth Dance Organization. 

Sunday, September 10

10:30 am - 11:45 am
  • Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary - 32nd Pack Dance, Location: George 102

This class will focus on connecting each dancer with their own artistic voice. Students are guided through various improvisation exercises to connect with their internal rhythms, impulses, and artistry. Dancers will also explore grounded movements while moving in and out of the floor. The class will primarily consist of 32nd Pack's company warm-up, improvisation, floorwork, and company repertoire.

  • Contemporary Musical Theater - Matt Steffens, Location: George 154 

This class encourages the students to explore storytelling through musicality and performance in a supportive environment. Class begins with stylized jazz/ballet based warmup. Several across-the-floor exercises continue to incorporate technique, syncopation and coordination. A musical theater routine will be taught that explores the various styles of musical theater, finding a balance between the rich history (Jack Cole, Fosse, Robbins, Bennett, Gower Champion) and the ever changing contemporary landscape (Funk, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Street Jazz). Students will be challenged to use their own point of view and individuality to tell a story while connecting with an audience...ALL THE WHILE having FUN!

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
  • Dance as a Healing Practice; Self-Care for Dancers (Workshop)  - Rachel Daly, Location: George 102

The workshop will be a combination of lecture and movement focused on the dancer's mental health and wellness. We will discuss common stressors in a dancer's life as well as coping skills, self-care practices, and resources. Dancers of all levels will engage in light movement as a meditative practice and community-building tool. The class will be led in activities that connect movement with social-emotional learning skills. Students will leave this workshop with a toolbox of practices that can help support their physical and mental health.


1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
  • Full Body Hip Hop - Mackenzie Jackson, Location: George 154

This beginner/intermediate hip hop class will practice the fundamentals of hip hop while infusing a full-body workout. Focused on the emphasis of the individual experience and the body as a whole, the dancer will be giving the environment and encouragement to explore the body's capability to move in a way that engages a variety of muscles.

  • Get Your Tap Shoes (Intermediate)- Erica Isakower, Location: Sands Studio

In this class, you will learn basic tap steps and play with internal rhythms in an external way. You will delve into your articulation of musicality through a range of musical scores. This class is a rhythmic approach stemming from the hoofing tradition with roots to the emergence of tap from the black diaspora. Through the exploration of syncopation and intricate patterns, you will develop a heightened sense of coordination and precision, enabling you to express your unique style and personality on the dance floor. In this class, you will integrate our footwork, musicality, and creativity!

  • Contemporary Partnering- Catherine Messina, Location: George 102 

Contemporary partnering has become a focal point in many companies in recent years. This class looks at the grips and weight shares of partner to partner with the understanding that everyone can lift, everyone can base. To find this, we use techniques obtained from contact improvisation and other physicalities. Ledging and lofting techniques will be employed to have students focus on discovering momentum and circularity within the larger context of the body, and how to connect that body with another in the room. We discuss consent and the safety and deep listening required. Finally, dancers will tune into an inner awareness of their body moving through space in order to achieve expansive, explosive movements


2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
  • Heels Class - Mackenzie Jackson, Location: George 154

Taking the time we have in the studio to embody and embrace our feminine energy with this floor work heels class. Heels are optional but highly encouraged.

  • Irish Physicality; Past, Present, and Future - Briana Blair Kelly, Location: George 102

*no Irish dance experience is necessary. Intermediate/Advanced contemporary/modern experience is helpful!

This class will provide a historical and physical introduction to Irish dance. You will explore and experience the unique physicality of Irish dance while learning the fundamental steps. The historical background and significance of the dance form will be simultaneously taught throughout the physical investigation. The class will also investigate how "traditional" Irish dance can exist, thrive and even transform within a contemporary context. Participants will pull inspiration from their varied physical knowledge to explore how outside influences, when attached to Irish movement, can create moments of "fusion". The goal of these explorations is to uncover the vast choreographic potential of Irish dance when it's used as a foundation to inform and inspire. This fusion creates an abundance of possibilities but, in the larger social context, it also establishes artistic ties between different cultures.

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
  • Creating Choreo for Musical Theater - Matt Steffens, Location: George 154

This class will explore what it means to create musical theater choreography. Why do we have the dancers do certain moves. A brief warm up will lead into the creation of a piece that is not only individual, but incorporates collective choreography. The students will learn the value of presenting the space as a setting for a musical number, the relationships between characters and how they interact, as well as the specific choice each student must make for their personal journey. This class promotes a sense of individuality that so often we search for in theater.

  • Contemporary Ballet - Stevie Oakes, Location: George 102

At the intersection of classical ballet and (post) modern technique, this class seeks to introduce ideas of off-balance, isolation, and floor work to the traditional form and shape of ballet. Exaggerated lines, internal sensation, and technical virtuosity will be at play, following the arc from barre to center floor to larger traveling movement phrases. We will explode and explore the technique to provide dancers with a more thorough understanding of the possibilities inherent within the danse d'ecole. Full-bodied physicality is encouraged as we push the boundaries of classical form with a mindful, sensitive, and anatomically responsible approach to contemporary movement sensibility

5:30 pm -
  • MAD Artists Showcase and Post-Show Talk-Back - Location: Callahan Theater 

A curated showing of choreographic pieces from guest artists and a chance to discuss their work after the show. 

Stevie Oakes Dancing
Guest Artists

Featured Guest Artists - Bios

Learn more about our guest artists

Ticket Information


  • Individual: $5/class
  • Student: $3/class with Naz ID

MAD Artists Showcase: 

  • Tickets $10 at the door

See what it's like

    Caz Lopata-Linn Dancing