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Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 7:00pm





The Conversation Will be Moderated by Jill Sternheimer, Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Participants Will Include (below, clockwise left to right) Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine, Jill Sternheimer (moderator), Edward Simon, Derrick León Washington, and Alee Reed


NEW YORK, NY -- Dancing Classrooms New York, a 26-year-old organization that cultivates essential life skills in 17,000 children annually through the joyful art and practice of social dance, will host a digital roundtable via Zoom at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 12 focused on the state of social dance in the time of COVID-19. The conversation will be moderated by J ill Sternheimer , Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and panelists will include Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine, Alee Reed, Edward Simon, and Derrick León Washington.

Our current state of self-isolation has raised urgent questions within the Dancing Classrooms and the larger social dance community. How do we sustain an artform that has traditionally required physical connection while stuck at home alone? What will social and partner dance culture look like and feel like post-pandemic? Panelists will address these questions and demonstrate techniques they have discovered to keep their skills sharp and instruction fresh during this time of coronavirus.

The program will be free and open to the public, but prior registration will be required.

To register for the roundtable discussion, go to:



About the Panelists:

Jill Sternheimer (moderator) has worked at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts since 2008,serving as the Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center since 2015. She is at the helm of programming and producing two of the institution's beloved summer festivals: M idsummer Night Swing and L incoln Center Out of Doors. A native of Cleveland, Sternheimer is a graduate of Boston University and has lived in New York for more than 25 years. She has been working in the field of popular music production for most of her career, including stints with Festival Productions, which produces the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, and at WFUV Radio, where she served as Promotion Director. Her expertise is putting together shows that honor the legacies of American music, be it pop, jazz, Americana, or rhythm & blues. Sternheimer finds the artists that exemplify the best in a particular genre, and packages them into one-of-a-kind events that both entertain the audience and continue meaningful conversation shifts about music and culture. During her tenure at Lincoln Center, Sternheimer has co-created and produced the Gracie Award winning series “Turning the Tables” with Ann Powers of NPR Music, a celebration of the pioneering women of the classic album era. Her knowledge and love of popular music is both broad and deep, and she is dedicated to celebrating the music and musicians of all genres who move our culture forward.

Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine is a three-time world and United States champion in the American Rhythm category, as well as a multi-time World M ambo Champion. He retired with his professional partner Liana Churilova in 2016 and today is a much sought-after judge, competition organizer, and National Dance Council of America Adjudicator. He continues to express his personal passion for dance through his coaching, instruction, c horeographing and Pro-Am competing. Born in Haiti, Pierre-Antoine grew up in harsh conditions unfamiliar to those in developed countries. He persevered with the love and support of his mother and siblings and dedicated himself to learning. He garnered a strong foothold in economics, journalism and acting, and only later as an adult developed a distinct passion for partner dancing. Despite his country’s social taboos, Pierre-Antoine founded Caminito in 1997, which later came to be regarded as one of the leading dance schools in Haiti. Ballroom dancing has now been largely embraced and woven into Haiti’s cultural lifestyle in large part due to his vision. He started competing in 1999 on the international scene and after quickly securing a successful record, was named Haiti’s dance representative, locally and abroad by The International Dance Organization (IDO). In 2003, he left Haiti and came to NYC to concentrate on his professional competitions and through the subsequent years rose through the standings, traveled the globe to perform at festivals and conventions, and made multiple broadcast appearances on shows such as PBS's A merica's Ballroom Challenge and ABC's Dancing With The Stars. Surviving and growing through a journey of physical and emotional tests, he comes to us with a message of hope through this challenging time of COVID and to empower participants with techniques for deeper connection.

Alee Reed is the Artistic Director of the Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company. As such, her works have been presented at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jacobs Pillow (Inside/Out), National Dance Foundation of Bermuda, and the Karmiel Dance Festival in Israel. Alee has been recognized for her work with the Youth Dance Company and the Dancing Classrooms Academy on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine, and is featured in the 2019 short documentary, “ Taking New Steps: The Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company Goes to Israel ,” available on breaker.io. In addition to her work with the Youth Dance Company and Academy, Reed proudly serves as Dancing Classrooms Director of Curriculum and Training, sharing the Dulaine Method pedagogy with new Teaching Artists both locally and across the Dancing Classrooms Global Network. On the heels of a musical theater career (Europe: 42nd Street; National Tours: Big, Jolson, Mame, Gypsy) Reed auditioned to be a Dancing Classrooms Teaching Artist in 2002, falling in love with ballroom dancing as taught by Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau. She is grateful for their instruction and guidance, and for opening up a whole new world of “creating connection and inspiring confidence” through the “joyful art and practice of social dance.”

Edward Simon is a United States Champion, a World Classic Showdance and US Theatrical Finalist. EdwardhasbeendesignatedaWorldClassadjudicator.HehaschoreographedforthehitTVshowS o You Think You Can Dance! and is currently enjoying working on musical theater projects.

Dr. Derrick León Washington is a cultural anthropologist specialized in dance as well as a curator and a United Nations Human Rights Fellow with a focus on experiential curation and expressive arts of the Americas. His fieldwork throughout the Americas has contributed to numerous exhibitions, workshops, programs, and conference presentations related to dance, music, and history. His curatorial work has been reviewed positively by media outlets such as the New York Times , British Broadcasting Company (BBC), New York Post , UN Web TV, El Especialito, H uffington Post , and National Broadcasting Company (NBC). He is the director and curator of U rban Stomp: From Swing to Mambo, a multinational, collaborative organization of artists-scholars-activists-anthropologists pushing the boundaries of art and curatorial/educational practice. Currently sponsored by multiple government education/wellness initiatives, Washington had the prestigious honor of presenting the project’s research, choreography, curriculum, oral/written statements, and accomplishments at various institutions, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (Switzerland), European Court of Human Rights (France), Council of Europe (France), Film at Lincoln Center (New York City), and in conversation with colleagues at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


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