Over the past fifteen years, Jean has succeeded in creating a vibrant and supportive community brought together by his weekly Saturday Afro-Haitian class at The Dance Complex. It’s a loose network of hundreds of people, 75 of which attend class on any given Saturday. The students are a multicultural rainbow of all ages, shapes, genders and abilities. It is a communal celebration through dance and music.
Saturdays, 1:30 - 3:00 pm @ The Dance Complex
Afro-Haitian classes have live percussion accompaniment, and are open to all ages and abilities. Modern is open to teenagers and adults, and to beginning thru advanced dancers. All classes are conducted on a drop-in basis. Classes at The Dance Complex are $13, with a $4 discount for members of Boston’s French Cultural Center.
Modern (Horton) class with the Company
Thursday, 6-7:30pm. $15. The Dance Complex.
Join the JAE Company Dancers for their Thursday night class. This is a fast-paced modern class, based in Horton with Afro-Haitian and jazz influences. Each class starts center with some traditional Horton exercises (roll downs, flat backs), moving into longer center combinations involving side/lateral/front T's, turns, spirals, and the like. Next, dancers go across the floor. Class will either finish there, or conclude with a modern-based combination Jean dreams up, maybe that lasts only for that evening, or maybe that ends up incorporated into a future JAE performance. Or, maybe something totally different will happen! But we can promise that you'll sweat and work on some serious modern technique.
Pedagogy and Approach
Jean’s pedagogy is based upon a strong foundation in ballet, Horton technique and Haitian folkoric dance. Developed by Lester Horton, Horton technique emphasizes a whole body, anatomical approach to dance that includes flexibility, strength, coordination and body and spatial awareness to enable unrestricted, dramatic freedom of expression. Jean’s alma mater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, is known for its strong use of Horton technique, derived from Ailey’s studies with Lester Horton who was his most significant artistic and pedagogical influence.
Beyond technique, however, it is Jean’s philosophical approach to teaching dance that is so noteworthy. Jean’s dance classroom provides a uniquely positive and affirming atmosphere in which every student (regardless of their ability and prior training) is deemed inherently capable and artistic. Jean also creates a highly rigorous and challenging environment in which he has the same expectations of every student—to achieve his/her best through personal expression. Jean’s gift as a teacher is that dancers of all abilities leave the same class feeling that they have had a successful experience, regardless of whether they are a beginning or advanced dancer.