Pennington resident and former professional modern dancer with the internationally known Momix Dance Company, Dawn Cargiulo Berman, is opening a new dance studio in the Straube Center in Pennington, The Pennington Studio for Dance and Creative Arts.
Berman, a native of New Jersey, holds a BA with Honors in Dance Theatre from the prestigious Laban Centre for Dance and Movement in London. In addition to her years with Momix, Berman also performed with companies in London, Vienna, Philadelphia, and New York City, touring nationally and internationally, giving her a literally global knowledge of the dance scene. Berman also has a wide range of teaching and organizational experience having created and directed the dance program for the Mainland Regional H.S. in Linwood, NJ, and directed the dance program at the Middlesex Vocational and Technical High School in East Brunswick. She also has a background in private studio teaching and has collaborated with many local arts and educational organizations, including the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, The Lawrenceville School, Rider University, and Princeton Ballet School.
Berman will be taking The Pennington Center for Dance and Creative Arts in a different direction than that of the usual suburban dance studio. With her background in sophisticated Laban theory and years of working in the public school system, Berman intends to emphasize the “education” in dance education. The Pennington Studio’s classes for very young dancers are called the ABC program and involve the dancers in a “teaching across the curriculum” approach to early dance classes, with lots of fun with letters and numbers. Dancers in elementary school are offered a range of dance styles to choose from. As the name of the studio implies, creativity is emphasized, with dancers as young as kindergarten having the opportunity to study choreography and express themselves through movement. As part of this emphasis on creativity and the interrelatedness of all the arts, The Pennington Studio will also offer classes in studio art and vocal music. Gabrielle Shamsey will offer drawing and painting classes and Elizabeth Sutton will teach voice.
The Studio is comprised of two spaces on the campus of the wooded Straube Center in Pennington, just off of Route 31. One small studio, in a free-standing building surrounded by grass and trees, will be dedicated to younger children’s classes, offering many opportunities for outdoor dance and play in the warmer months. The larger studio will offer a second space for more advanced classes and will include the art studio. The spaces, both art and dance, can be rented out for special events, from birthday parties to cocktail parties.
More information about events and about fall registration,check out their website www.thepenningtonstudio.com. Registration for both is open now. Any dancers who have already started the study of dance and would like to join The Pennington Studio are encouraged to attend a Placement Class, which will welcome them to the space and help decide which level and which dance styles would be most conducive to the dancer’s progress. The next Placement Class will be held on July 25 and August 22 with fall classes starting on September 12. Call (609) 737 1264 to reserve space in the free class.