Classes and Workshops



DANCE STUDIO SCHEDULE: September – November

Fall  Beginner Ballet Plus Workshops!

Saturdays 9am-10:15am

Beginner Ballet plus workshop is a monthly class series that offers students who have beginner level training of 1 to 2 years a chance to learn and grow with their knowledge of ballet. It is also an opportunity for students who have a few more years of ballet to work slowly on specifics. These workshops will feature a rotation of AS220’s instructors offering students the opportunity to experience different approaches to the same level curriculum. Classes are held Saturdays 9-10:15am, in our dance studio at 95 Empire St., 3rd Floor.

This is not a drop-in course. These workshops are offered as 4-week packages only. Students must pre-register by purchasing the Beginner Plus Ballet Workshop class package online in advance (here)  ($40 total for 4 classes). Please bring your receipt to your first class: Brown and RISD students bring your ID.


Please see below for a listing of all our other drop-in dance class offerings:

All our classes are operated on an ongoing, drop-in basis. Single classes and packages can be purchased at the time of class with cash or check. Class packages are also available online. All class cancellations are announced on our Facebook page. All classes take place at 95 Empire Street, 3rd Floor Dance Studio.


w/ Daniel Shea
$5 Drop In
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

A gentle workout that uses floor barre, dance and training techniques to improve core strength, balance and flexibility. Bring a hand towel; dance shoes or bare feet. Open to everyone.

w/ Stephanie Lyon-Albanese
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

If you’ve always wanted to try ballet, this class is for you. In this fundamentals-based class, students develop basic ballet vocabulary, strength and coordination. Stephanie’s deep knowledge of her craft combines with a warm, good-humored manner to create a comfortable yet challenging learning environment. This is the perfect class for people who have little or no ballet experience.

w/ Stephanie Lyon-Albanese
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

This ballet class makes classical dance a joy! The class focuses on fundamentals, beginning with a thorough warm up at the barre and progressing to the center for choreographed combinations.  Students build muscle as they refine body alignment and learn weight placement to develop coordination. For people who have some prior ballet experience.

w/ Ebun Shittu and Ruth Saah
$5 Drop In
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Rhythm Fitness is an active, high energy African dance experience. The moves incorporated in the class is accompanied by afrobeats music for a modern day feel but still encompasses traditional and contemporary movements. Rhythm Fitness is meant to provide its participants with a fun filled yet effective workout. The classes include yoga and pilates style stretches, which are followed by aerobics (African-style of course!), and the teaching of a dance to afrobeats music. All ages and all levels of experience are welcome!



Hip Hop 5:30-7:00
w/Michael Diaz
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Class will start with a warm-up from head to toe, circular movements, and slowly build up to drills. After drills a combo/routine will be taught including steps from the drills as well as new steps to challenge the students. The goal of this class is to comprehend and learn all the various steps as well as to musically find character within each student. Students will be placed in groups to perform the combo before the end of the class without the instructor. We’ll finish class  off with a cool down.

Modern Dance for the Body/Mind/Soul 7:00-8:30PM  
w/ Nicole Laliberte
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Class will begin lying on the floor, gently exploring natural movement patterns, drawing upon the somatic principles of Bartenieff Fundamentals and Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement.  Standing exercises in the center emphasize articulation of the joints, strength and fluidity of the core and spine, and the body’s natural breath and momentum. Across the floor combinations focus on rhythm, elevations, turns, and changes in level, direction, and dynamic.  Influences include the traditional techniques of Horton, Limon, and Cunningham with constant attention to contemporary safe dance practices.  While some dance experience is ideal, this class is adaptable to each student’s level of experience and anatomical structure.  



w/ Ann Ditmars Huyck 
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Card
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Ann offers a traditional ballet class with a special focus on musicality, epaulement, and the joy of fully embodied movement.  Her barre exercises allow time to warm up slowly while developing the alignment, strength, and precision  that create freedom in the center.  Dancers slow down for the the beauty and breath of adage before progressing to the speed of petit allegro and the fun of moving through space.   Ann especially enjoys discovering and sharing the “movement” in ballet, and she offers options throughout the class so dancers can tailor exercises to the level of challenge they each need.


 NEW CLASS! Contemporary Int/Adv. 9:30am-11am  
w/ Gisela Creus
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Card
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

The Class begins with a set sequence of continuous stretches and articulate movements of the spine and limbs that will allow us to connect with ourselves, our body and its center.We will place focus on breathing to help us warm up, energize and tone the muscles and joints as well as to open awareness of the balanced body and its/our presence in the space. In continuance, we will explore a succession of moves and some traveling exercises to challenge the body to be available and efficient in relationship to one another’s. We will put into action a dynamic-high-energy dance phrase that encompass floor work, technical sequencing and acrobatic body vocabulary, all of which I have acquired through my years of contemporary dance work in Europe.  I am a creative that uses improvisation and explorative formations so the body can articulate one’s sense of character.  My classes always have the aim of growing one’s individual voice through movement and to share it with others.

w/ Julie Shore 
$5 Drop In
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

A one-hour beginner Vinyasa yoga that focuses on the foundations of classical Vinyasa flow, emphasizing movement and breath as synchronized experience. Attention to fundamental asana (postures) will prepare students for their flow sequence and is designed to help beginners develop their own practice

w/ Katie McNamara & Olase Freeman
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

This open level class welcomes a wide spectrum of movers who want to explore fundamental physical connections and integrate those within expressive movement. The class begins on the floor in explorations of weight, momentum and range of motion in joints. Moving to a mid-level we will take time to condition the muscles within efficient patterns. In standing we investigate the dynamics of opposition in balance, gesture and weight shift to alas traverse the space across,  under and around.   All are welcome!


PLANTING STORIES 7PM-8PM  Starts November 1st!!!
w/Mekbul Tahir
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

PLANTING STORIES is  a creative  contemporary African dance class led by Mekbul J Tahir open to all dancers and dance explorers. We will be using modern African dance and improvisation tools to connect with ourselves and people around us. The idea is to play. Play first, with the objective to open ourselves and each other to new ideas and ways of moving.

We will spend part of this class using modern African movement to create stories together and to eventually build a bigger, connected story to share amongst ourselves and potentially friends. We’ll also invite you to bring your other artistic expressions to the class, like music or writing, etc., if you are interested in sharing these facets of yourself as well.


CONTEMPORARY FUSION  8-9:30pm Starts December 6th!!!
w/ Lea D’Arminio
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Class begins with a number of movement sequences that stress cardiovascular strength, dynamic flexibility, and technique both in the center and across the floor. In continuance, dance phrases are introduced of varied lengths and textures that integrate jazz, hip-hop, salsa, and contemporary dance techniques. In interpretation and practice of phrases, each dancer is challenged to explore their individuality – focusing on authenticity and quality in performance.  NOTE: Improvisational prompts may also be given at any point during each lesson. Class is a judgement-free zone – welcoming of all abilities and backgrounds as it aims to not only train dancers in varied styles, but also build community and support for individual movers.


(prior ballet experience required)
w/Ann Ditmars Huyck
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

Come dance in community and find freedom within your ballet technique!  This class follows the traditional format, progressing from barre and center exercises to movement across the floor, and assumes prior knowledge of most ballet vocabulary.  Ann offers options so dancers can tailor the class to their needs, and she designs combinations to emphasize expression and movement while challenging the mind and body.  Wear what’s comfortable for you and enjoy ballet in a positive, non-competitive atmosphere.  Soft ballet slippers are recommended, and anyone wishing to dance on pointe is welcome to do so! 

w/ Mekbul J. Tahir 
$13 Drop In/$10 Class Package
Brown University & RISD Students Free w/ ID

The technique Acogny is the only recognized contemporary dance technique created in Africa. It was created by Germaine Acogny, the mother of African contemporary dance. Based on traditional African dance (especially Senegal and Benin) and Western dance techniques (classical ballet, release, and Graham technique), the philosophy of this technique is about identity: placing yourself inside the community and nature, and being aware of your own body. The technique respects every different body, and addresses life and the connection between human being and nature. Joy, play, love and music are the fundamentals of the spirit of the technique.




(Ron)ald,  Dance Program Manager:

Instructor Bios

085Stephanie Albanese is a graduate of The School of American Ballet where she studied with teachers Alexandra Danilova, Helen Dudin, Suki Shorer and Stanley Williams. She danced in a repertory company created by former New York City Ballet member Wilhelmina Frankurt. Stephanie has also danced with choreographers Matthew Brokoff, Marcus Galante, Mary Miller and Felice Lesser and also worked in Cabaret, performing at The Lido in Paris and Jubliee in Las Vegas.




indexOlase Freeman (BA Wesleyan University, MFA University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) presently involved in an extended residency called “fatherhood”, lives in Rhode Island with his partner Kathryn McNamara.  A partial list of the companies he has worked with include the Richard Bull Dance Theater, Jane Comfort & Co., Creach/Dance, Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Theater, Headlong Dance Theater, and Leah Stein Dance Company.  Olase’s choreographic work has been performed in such diverse venues as The Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Movement Research at Judson Church, Links Hall (Chicago), the Cunningham Studio, Joyce/Soho, Dixon Place, Thelma Hill (Long Island University), the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, as well as RIIPN/Cheek-to-Cheek and American Dance Legacy Institute.  As a teacher, in addition to being on faculty of Rhode Island College from 2008-2010, as well as Muhlenberg College in 2011-2012, Olase has conducted residencies and taught classes at the Firkin Crane (Cork City, Ireland), Curitiba and Londrina (Brazil), Congresso Internacional de Danza a nivel Baja California, Mexico, Western Wyoming Community College, the DanceCenter at Columbia College (Chicago), SUNY Brockport, Hobart/William Smith College, Links Hall, CalState San Marcos, Sushi Performance Inc. (San Diego), Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, (Seattle),and University of Montana, Missoula.



21216155_10212331000527444_1552342785_oMichael Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and now lives in Pawtucket, RI. At the age of 11 years old, Michael was inspired by a music video of Chris Brown, and hasn’t stopped dancing ever since. He was mentored by Kelvin Fabian, Tovah Muro and Rhode Island’s notable teacher Nikki Carrara. He is known for his ability to improv and for his stage presence. His participation in national conventions and competitions resulted in various scholarships including The Alvin Ailey program and Broadway Dance Studio both in NYC. After graduating from a performing arts high school In 2015, Michael decided to continue his journey of dance by joining an urban dance company called “Thr3e Live Dance Co. He is currently still with them and defining.


22042244_1091167321016477_8956717249670256040_oEbunoluwa Shittu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and brings her love and passion for dance to the United States. Ebunoluwa has always saw dance as a way to express her love for her culture. With years of dance experience, Ebunoluwa strives to bring her love and talent to Providence as she co-instructs Rhythm Fitness Dance workshops.


Ruth Saah was born in Liberia. Ruth possessed a love for dance since she was a little girl. Growing up and through various experiences, Ruth has been exposed to many different types of dance including; Ballet, Salsa, and Sabar. Ruth is also involved with a dance organization ALIMIA which is based at the University of Rhode Island. Ruth has held many leadership positons in the organization and is currently an external member. Ruth also currently co-instructs Rhythm Fitness Dance workshops.


AnnDitmarsHuyck (1)

Ann Ditmars Huyck teaches ballet at AS220 and Providence College. She recently served as Guest Choreographer and Interim Artistic Director for JUMP! Dance Company in Providence.  Ann has previously taught at Princeton Ballet School and in an international pre-professional training program at L’Académie Américaine de Danse de Paris, and she worked for five years in New York City Ballet’s Education Department.  She has performed in American Repertory Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, in Martha Graham’s Celebration with the Second Avenue Dance Company, and in new works by Violette Verdy, Deborah Jowitt, Alan Hineline, and Alexi Ramov.  Her own choreography has been presented by Princeton University, American Repertory Ballet Ensemble, Second Avenue Dance Company, and at the Youth America Grand Prix.  Ann holds an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She received her early ballet training at the Lehigh Valley Ballet and at Princeton Ballet School, later continuing to study in New York and Paris.


Katie McNamara is a dance-artist, teacher and mom living in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Katie spent her preliminary professional years in Philadelphia where she danced with Group Motion, Scrap Performance Group and Leah Stein Dance Company.  She was deeply influenced by the artistic community there and the raw spontaneity of its stage. During this time she co-founded and directed the Bald Mermaids, named “best new modern dance company” by Philadelphia’s City Paper.  Her work has been shown at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Philadelphia’s Painted Bride Art Center, the Carriage House, Galapagos Art Space, the Projekt Theatre (Dresden, Germany) as well as during the Silesian Dance Festival (Bytom, Poland). Locally she has recently worked with LostWax, Stephanie Turner, Rose Pasquarello-Beauchamp and Betsy Miller. Some local choreographic residencies include Rhode Island College Dance Company, Providence College Dance Company, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University.  Most recently, she adjuncts at Dean College. Katie has been teaching Pilates for nearly two decades and presently teaches at Providence Pilates. She holds a BA in Dance and Anthropology from Connecticut College and a MFA in Dance Performance from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Daniel Shea is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a dance and fitness instructor. Since training and fitness are his business ( he is passionate about form & discipline…but it has to be enjoyable and fun. Daniel has been dancing and teaching for over 30 years. He has studied dance at the Joy of Movement Center (Boston), Pacific Ballet (San Francisco), Joe Tremaine Dance Center (Los Angeles), Stanley Holden School of Ballet (Los Angeles), Debbie Reynolds Studios (Los Angeles), MJDC Dance Studio (Rhode Island).


JulieShoreJulie Shore is an experienced and dedicated yoga practitioner with a passion for teaching. A California native, she has called Providence home since 2009, moving here after completing her BA at Bard College. She received her training from Eyes of the World Yoga Center and continues to deepen her studies as she builds her teaching practice. Yoga has continued to be a source of strength and insight in Julie’s life. Her classes translate a technical knowledge of vinyasa asana, with underpinnings of yogic philosophy which point to developing mindfulness and compassionate awareness.



NT4L36991Mekbul Jemal Tahir is an international choreographer, dancer, and teacher. He is one of the founding members of Adugna Community Dance Theatre Company, which is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since completing a five-year training program accredited by Middlesex University (UK) in 2001, he has been performing and teaching African contemporary dance, contact improvisation, and community dance and theatre in Ethiopia and abroad. Among others, his projects have included the 2005 Kin-Addis Project in the DRC, Ethiopia, and France, and the 2006 Can Do Can Dance Project in Hamburg, Germany. In 2007, he performed a lead role in As the Mother of a Brown Boy, which opened at Chickenshed Theatre Company in London and later traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for two awards. He is also one of the dancers who were selected to study Germaine Acogny’s dance and certified to teach her technique. Now a resident of Massachusetts, he divides his time between work with Adugna in Ethiopia and projects in Africa, Europe, and the United States.

nicolelalibertephotoNicole Laliberte
is the artistic director of Freedom Dances, and has performed with Sidelong Dance Co., Boston Dance Co., EBA Dance Theatre, and Honolulu Dance Theatre, among others.  Nicole has danced, taught, and choreographed in Rhode Island, Boston, New York, Hawaii, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and St. Petersburg, Russia.  Nicole holds her MFA in Choreography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory.  Of note, she has taught at UNCG, James Madison University, Meredith College, Darton College, and Greensboro Ballet. Ms. Laliberté has staged choreography at Providence College, UNCG, The Boston Conservatory, The Boston Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, AS220, James Madison University, Darton College, Rhode Island College, the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Charlotte Dance Festival, Old Dominion University’s Regional Choreographers’ Showcase, the Greensboro Fringe Festival, Fringe PVD, Cary Academy, American Dance Festival’s Acts to Follow Series, Boston Regional Youth America Grand Prix, countless studios nationwide, and in the repertories of Maude Baum and Company, Albany, NY, and Sidelong Dance Company, Winston-Salem, NC.



161119-Gisela-51  Gisela Creus has been dancing since the age of nine.  She graduated from Company & Company in Barcelona with a professional dance diploma and moved on to Laban Centre in London where she earned her bachelor’s degree with honours in dance-theater.  She has since worked for Moreno Bernardi Dance Company, Cia. Color Dansa, Marie-Gabrielle Roti Productions, Korsnes Kompani and Vbuit. Her collaborative works have always taken an international and interdisciplinary concern, working with artists Clara Bes, Chan Vi, Abrao Vicente, Antonio Da Veiga Rocha, Samuel Diz, Norman Vasseur to name a few. She has presented work as choreographer-performer, individually and collaboratively, such as Hour Cicle, Dust, Dansalona, Black Abyss, On the Road, Dorment, as well as videodance work such as Sombras, Llavors and YZ.She is one of the founders of NunArt, a creative practices association for artists in Barcelona.  She has been a member of its directive board since it’s inception in 2007. Recently her pedagogical work has partnered her with Laura Villar, a doctorate candidate. Together they have developed an educational project for pre-professional dancers called AREA-CREA. Gisela has been teaching dance for over 8 years; early on for beginners and now to emerging and professional creatives.  She has recently moved to the United States but will still continue to have an active European presence while contributing to the dance discipline in the US.


Lea-45Lea D’Arminio is an Italian-American from the the greater New York City area. She is currently a Providence/Boston based dancer, educator, and choreographer as well as a fitness professional. From her very first ballet class at age 5  – movement and creativity has played an intricate part of Lea’s daily life and general happiness. As a teenager to young adult, Lea has had the honor to work with choreographers Dan Karaty, Wade Robson and Brian Friedman.As a professional for over 10 years both at home and abroad, Lea has danced, choreographed and taught for GeaDanza and A.C.T.I.S. Dance of Trieste, Italy to Urbanity Dance in Boston. With a strong foundation in classical ballet, Lea specializes in hip hop, afro-carribbean dance, commercial jazz, contemporary and modern dance. Lea has taught students of all ages and capabilities  and works hard to establish a judgment-free zone for all her dancers – emphasizing the importance of understanding, community and support in her classroom