In the spirit of mindful self-awareness, we will use Latin Jazz get into our bodies and feel at home in ourselves.
In this workshop, you will develop a simple movement-based creative practice: a moving meditation you can integrate into your daily life, perhaps for a few minutes in the morning, to stretch and open your body while your coffee is brewing. We will use design thinking to explore our range of movement, and sense of rhythm — to notice how one dance pose flows into the next — all through the lens of Latin Jazz vocabulary, set to the intoxicating sounds of 1950’s New York Latin Jazz / Mambo, like Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Celia Cruz, and some 1960’s Boogaloo from the Fania label (Spanish Harlem’s answer to Motown). There is no joy quite like dancing to this soulful, sweet music.
This class is designed for all levels, from absolute beginner to seasoned dancer. Bonus: the simple dance moves you’ll learn can easily be adapted for the club, or your living room. Wear yoga or leisure clothing, and bring socks (or slick shoes) to dance in — dress to feel relaxed and free, with a dash of Beyoncé.
P.S. If you’re at all intimidated by the idea of taking a dance class — all the more reason this is right for you!
About Ashley Joy Sarver
Ashley spends most of her time training and performing dance, locally and internationally, with two all-women Latin Jazz (Mambo) dance teams, based in the Bay Area: Karel Flores San Francisco, and The Monarchs. Her love of Latin Dance stems from her addiction to Mambo music from 1950’s New York — especially Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. Ashley started dancing ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap as soon as she could walk, and then over a decade ago, in clubs in the Mission, she discovered swing and jazz music, and became obsessed with historic swing dances like the 1920’s Charleston, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, and Balboa, traveling from LA to Seoul to Sweden to dance. She then fell in love, hard, with Cuban-style salsa dance, and next, Mambo, also known as Salsa On2 or New York-style salsa, with roots in Afro-Cuban folkloric dances. She knows in her heart that Mambo is her true love, that she has arrived.
Ashley is the founder and Head of School of the first online performing-arts high school, Eclipse Academy. Students work one-to-one with teacher-mentors to exchange dance practice videos and share feedback, online, just as if they were together in the studio. All live video sessions are recorded, so students can study and review, anytime. Our teachers are master artists, the best in their fields, who live and work all over the world, broadcasting to students from their own studios. Students at Eclipse learn how to evaluate their own thinking, cultivate presence, set an intentional mindset, and stay disciplined — whether in the dance studio, the classroom, or out in the world.
Students in grades 6 - 12 attend part-time to earn transferable credit for PE and art coursework in Dance (Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Afro-Cuban, Vintage Jazz, Swing / Lindy Hop, Salsa / Mambo, Fusion, an intro fitness and conditioning class called Dance Foundation, and an advanced training class called Advanced Dance Practice ), Yoga, Qi Gong, Walking Meditation / Moving Meditation, Theater / Stage Performance, and Music (Guitar, Drums, Vocal). We also teach foundational fitness courses for PE credit — like Fitness or Weight Training — as four semesters are needed to graduate from any California high school, public or private.