Advanced/Professional Ballet – Open Class
Regular Class – $10
*Guest Artist Class – $15
10 Class Card – $80
No need to pre-register or sign-up. Pay at the door and slip on your dancing shoes!
Open classes are currently postponed until further notice.
Native to Minneapolis, Berit Ahlgren gained her foundational dance training from Minnesota Dance Theater and received a BFA in Dance from St. Olaf College, where she also studied biomedical studies. Ahlgren was a founding member of TU Dance under the artistic directorship of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, and performed with the company between the years of 2006—2015. Receiving Minneapolis Regional Arts Council’s Next Step Grant in 2011, Ahlgren had the opportunity to study the Gaga Movement Language in Tel Aviv, and moved to Israel to pursue a teacher certification between 2011-2012. Upon return to the U.S., she established a Gaga community in the Twin Cities, and began offering Gaga/dancer and Gaga/people classes regularly in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Ahlgren moved to New York City in 2014 and obtained her MFA in Dance from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts in 2016. During her two years in New York, she taught weekly at both Gibney Dance Center and Mark Morris Dance Center. Returning to Minnesota fall of 2016, Ahlgren is currently on faculty at both the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, performing with Black Label Movement, and freelance choreographing. Alongside her dance career, Ahlgren has been a pilates instructor since 2006, working at various locations in Minnesota and abroad.
Contemporary ballet dancer and choreographer Penelope Freeh creates works that explore the ballet idiom even as they diverge from it. Based in Saint Paul, MN, she is a McKnight Fellow for Choreographers and SAGE awardee for Outstanding Performer. Her work is in the repertoires of James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Ballet and Gem City Ballet among others. She receives commissions and residencies from performing arts high schools, universities and regional companies; she works with chamber-sized opera and musical theater groups; she self-produces and seeks presenters for her personal works.
Penelope danced for James Sewell Ballet for seventeen years, serving as Artistic Associate from 2007 – 11. She teaches at the University of MN, Zenon Dance School and TU Dance.
Leah Gallas has been a professional dancer for the last 19 years. Her professional experience includes being a member of Colorado Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Minnesota Ballet, Tulsa Ballet and James Sewell Ballet. Leah has performed many roles in various classical and contemporary ballets including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Stanton Welch’s Bruiser, Balanchine’s Serenade, Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday, among others. Leah received the majority of her training at Ballet Arts Minnesota studying primarily under Bonnie Mathis and Lirena Branitski while also spending summers training at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Boston Ballet School on full scholarships. Leah’s teaching experience includes TU Dance Center, Ballet Royale Minnesota, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Saint Paul Ballet and Woodbury Dance Center. She also teaches private lessons throughout the Twin Cities.
In 2011, Hart was awarded a New York City Ballet Fellowship and won third place at the Saint-Sauveur International Choreography Competition. She received second place at Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s choreography competition, and was one of three winners of the University of Kansas’ competitive choreography competition. She was chosen three times to present work at Ballet Builders, New Choreographer’s on Point in NYC. She was commissioned by University of Massachusetts in the fall of 2013; the work was chosen for the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center, June 2014. In March 2015, she premiered a new ballet, "To Here," for Ballet Austin’s Director’s Choice.
In 2014, she formed Performa/Dance with Ballet Austin dancer Edward Carr. Performa/Dance launched its inaugural show. Ignite: Three Works, in June, 2014. Her work for Performa/Dance was awarded four Austin Critic’s Table awards for Best Short Work (“On Truth and Love”and "Camille: A Story of Art and Love"), Best Choreographer ("Fellow Travelers" and "Murmuration") and Best Dance Concert (Ignite: Three Works). Along with her work in concert dance, she has choreographed and performed cabaret shorts for nightclubs and television. She recently choreographed and co-directed the epic Bernstein's "Mass,' a work involving 300 performers.
She trained at Minnesota Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Her performing career includes Minnesota Dance Theater, Ballet of the Dolls, and L.A Chamber Ballet, as well as independent choreographers. She choreographs yearly for Ballet Austin’s apprentices and Fellowship recipients, teaches full-time in the academy, and serves as Curriculum Director for the lower levels of the school.
Born and raised in St Paul, MN Kerry has been a company member of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, and Ballet of the Dolls. Kerry spent her early years studying with Jo Savino, Janet Smith, Frank Bourman, Bonnie Mathis, Lirena Branitski, Sylvia Bolton, David Voss, and Loyce Houlton. She also spent time studying at Milwaukee Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Kerry brings nearly twenty years of teaching experience, and an extensive knowledge of ballet, to students of all ages. She also teaches the Gyrotonic Expansion System at Embody Minneapolis.
Eve is a dance performer and instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. She grew up training in ballet and modern at Minnesota Dance Theatre, and transitioned to company member in 2007. In 2009, she joined James Sewell Ballet. She also frequently collaborates with Live Action Set, most recently co-directing Unset, a project that invited untrained audience participants on stage to co-create an improvised, movement-based piece with an ensemble of trained dancers. Some of her more memorable performances include roles in Glenn Tetley’s Mythical Hunters; Loyce Houlton’s Sacre du Printemps and Carmina Burana; Leralee Whittle’s Displacement Activity; and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar’s Killer Pig. In the summertime, she teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (MI), and has twice served as co-director for their International Ballet Ensemble, which had her teaching and showing work with American dance students in France, Germany, and Denmark. She has been teaching various forms of dance for over a decade and often leads workshops and master classes as part of JSB's residency activities. Her choreographic feat, Any Offered None (premiered in JSB's Ballet Works Project 2016), was nominated for a MN Sage Award for Outstanding Performance. Eve also holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota.
A Minneapolis native, Mr. Sewell moved to New York and studied at the School of American Ballet with David Howard, and began performing with ABT II. He was a lead dancer with Feld Ballets/NY for six years and has performed as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet, Zvi Gottheiner and Dancers, and Denishawn. He has choreographed more than 70 ballets for companies in the United States and around the world. Projects include the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, the New York State Council on the Arts grant to create “Independence In Dependence” for Feld Ballets/NY; “Aida” (1998) for the Minnesota Opera and 11 other opera companies; James Sewell Ballet’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (1995); “Musical Toys” (1996) and “Nutcracker: The Untold Story” (1997) for the Minnesota Orchestra; and “She Loves Me” (2005) and “1776” (2007) for the Guthrie Theater.
Mr. Sewell received a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship (2002), a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation (2006), and a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreography (2007). He is a past trustee of Dance/USA and a past director of the American Composer’s Forum.