"Dance Up" Spring 2011 - The Newsletter of The Wooden Floor


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The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, previously known as Saint Joseph Ballet, is an after-school organization formed in 1983 that delivers hope and opportunity to nearly 400 low-income youth annually. Dance education and performance are the core transformational elements through which youth change the way they think about themselves and aspire beyond the crippling grip of the poverty cycle.


  • spring 2011providing Hope and Opportunity Through Dance, Academic and Family programs

    Thursday, June 2Saturday, June 428th Annual ConcertImmerse yourself in ground-breaking contemporary dance with performances featuring 144 evocative and moving young dancers.

    Tickets are available at www.TheBarclay.org starting March 28.

    Observe the world of contem-porary dance through the lens of rising choreographer, John Heginbotham who unearths the collaborative magic between our young dancers and the world-class artists of our Annual Concert. please RSVp to Keegan at 714.541.8314 ext. 140.

    Thursday,April 7 at 6:00pmInside the Studio

    Saturday,April 30 at 10:30amGraduates BrunchJoin the Neighbors support group for one of our most heartwarm-ing events of the year. Show the Class of 2011 that their community is behind them as they begin their journeys to college. please RSVp to Susie at 714.541.8314 ext. 115.

    dancepreviously known as Saint Joseph Ballet

    upmelanie roS glaSer,

    executive and artiStic director

    complete information on events featuring the students of the Wooden Floor is available online at www.theWoodenFloor.org

    In the First Person

    if you want me to tell you with my head what the Wooden Floors Family Services has done for me, id tell you i have taken advantage of all that is offered. With my heart, id tell you it has meant everything to me and my children. my children and i faced a family crisis in Septem-ber of last year, and i felt like i was going to fall apart. i suddenly found myself having to par-ent my children alone, and we lost our place to live. i was able to have one-on-one counseling, separate from my children, so i could express what i was going through. teresa Farias, the Family Services manager even let me stay in communication with her while she was on vaca-tion. We talked every day that she was away. She gave me concrete steps to follow, such as keeping old family traditions, as well as start-ing new ones, so my kids felt loved and had stability while our life was changing. She told me to be honest with them, to tell them what was happening, and to let them talk about how it made them feel. above all, it was important for anthony and Jocelyn to stay enrolled at the Wooden Floor because this is their family. there were days where we would be soaking wet, having to catch the bus in the rain, and the Wooden Floor was there for us, finding us rain coats and rain shoes. during christmas, i didnt have anything to give my children, and the Wooden Floor fixed that, too. things are getting better for us, and the first step towards that started here. We couldnt have gotten through it without this place.

    Leticia, Mother of Anthony and Jocelyn

  • 2 The Wooden Floor | spring 2011

    Dave Staufferthe Wooden Floor is one big family, says dave Stauffer, in referring to what keeps him so passionately involved with the organization. He was introduced to the nonprofit by his mother, alice, and the rest was history, he says, i was hooked. He joined the Board of directors for six years in 1997, and since 2003, he has stayed involved through the Finance and endowment committees. daves signaturewarmth and caring come throughwhen he is asked whichaccomplishments of the WoodenFloor give him the mostpride. i think the Wooden Floor provides a wonderful environ-ment to deliver great programs to youth in our community. and equally important, i believe the organization is very well run financially. the money for its programs is raised a year in advance. in a small way, i feel i helped with both of these things. i am proud of that. dave is also proud to be a generous and lov-ing Dance Partner to students of the Wooden Floor, which he says allows him to stay connected to the outcomes of the mission. instead of just being on the outside looking in, you are in the inside too. You get to have per-sonal contact with one or more of the children that attend the Wooden Floor. they tell you what the programs mean in their lives. it helps me understand what it is we do and how we are delivering. daves hopes for the future of the organization include keeping the feeling of one big family by con-tinuing to serve children for years into the future. His supportive nature peeks through again when he quickly adds, i also hope in years to come that some of our graduates return to the Wooden Floor to sit on its Board of directors and share the wisdom of their experiences with the organization.

    the Wooden Floor is grateful to dave Stauffer, and all of our dance Partners for the one-on-one encouragement and support they provide to our young artists. to learn how you can become a dance Partner, con-tact ellen at 714.541.8314 ext. 124


    letter From melanie roS glaSer WHatever it takeS

    the Wooden Floor is known for its extraordinary success in helping underserved youth graduate high school on time and enroll in college. our trademark for professional and adventuresome artistic work has garnered us awards. What you may not know is how much we do to make

    sure these young artists and their families succeed. our staff carries their dedication to our families beyond the call of duty. recently we responded to a single mom in despair; her car had broken down and she needed to get to a cleaning job to be able to put

    food on the table that day for her three daughters. We appealed to one of our supporters, negotiated with the mechanic, and got her car fixed. another mom was able to land a new job after we helped her get her license as a beautician. We are behind another two families as they navigate through the process of leaving abusive households and enter-ing into shelters. recently a staff member woke up before dawn to drive a senior student to an audition for ucla and our marketing director brought in her unused clothes for a family who lost everything. the

    28th Annual Concert

    Be a part of this unforgettable experience by joining us as a 2011 Annual Concert Sponsor.CONCeRT SpONSORS ReCeIVe:

    T complimentary tickets to the performancesT tickets to an opening night Backstage reception with the dancers and choreographers T recognition in: concert program, signage at the irvine Barclay theatre, quarterly newsletter, and online.T Plus more!

    concert Sponsorship levels range from $2,500 to $25,000

    For more information on Concert Sponsorships, please contact Ellen at 714.541.8314 ext. 124 or Ellen@TheWoodenFloor.org.

    aSk cHoreograPHer SuSan retHorSt what she finds fascinating about dance and shell tell you that she loves to observe how her ideas are taken and accepted by different demo-graphics and cultures. a world traveling artist, Susan has performed and fashioned works from ireland to Jerusalem, and most recently in cairo, egypt. i love to see what is consid-ered odd or interesting in regards to dance in different areas of the globe, she says.

    the Wooden Floors annual concert, happening June 24 at the irvine Barclay theatre, is known not only for pushing the boundaries of the contemporary dance world, but also as a place where cross-cultural ideas and differences can be deconstructed and then reassembled into breathtaking works of art. Susan says the road through her artistic process is unpaved. making is thinking, she says, i get into a conversation with what i am making and then see where it arrives.

    Working with young dancers is something new to Susan, but after seeing the Wooden Floors past work she found it a fascinating place to create something new. 28 young dancers have been given the chance to collaborate with her on a yet untitled piece for the annual concert.

    www.TheWoodenFloor.org 3

    the wooden floor

    news feed

    February 26an alumni mixer will take place at the Wooden Floor to rekindle old memories and create new connections.

    January 21 7th and 8th graders at the Wooden Floor attended the High School and Beyond Workshop to begin their college planning as well as work on time management and study skills in preparation for high school.

    January 24 the Wooden Floors newest students participated in one of their first rites of passage as they finished their first semester and were provided with their very own set of free dancewear.

    January 197th and 8th grade students began a four-week imagine workshop where they will improve their decision-making and problem-solving skills to help them shape their future.

    January 18established choreographer, and the 2010 recipient of the prestigious alpert award in dance, Susan rethorst, began the first two weeks of her many residencies in preparation for our 28th annual concert.

    January 5144 dancers were cast to perform in our 28th annual concert, June 2-4, which will include two newly commissioned works by celebrated choreographers Susan rethorst and John Heginbotham.

    October 6, 2011Save the date for Keep the Promise the Wooden Floors 5th annual Wine tasting Benefit

    i love this event, not just because it com-bines charity and the artsbut because youre guaranteed to try every wine on the list along with a catered feast of nibbles paired to match them perfectly.- anne valdespino, orange coast magazine

    Family Services manager accompanied an apprehen-sive mother to get an mri. We keep a tlc list(tender, loving, care) where we track the students that need a little more attention from us because at home, in school, or in their neighborhood things might be tough right now. We put some padding around them so that they can go back out there a little more protected. all this, in addition to our coun-seling sessions and our wellness workshops, are part of a week at the Wooden Floor.Yes, we have proven that the long term immersion

    in the artistic process through dance is a means to break the cycle of poverty. But if it als