Wichita Center For Performing Arts Provide Unique Dance Programming
Regina Klenjoski is on a mission to increase the ways professional dancers in wichita Wichita can support themselves with their craft. Part of executing on that mission is building the surrounding ecosystem by bringing her 20 years of dance education from Los Angeles to Wichita, which is why she’s offering a range of youth dance and movement classes this summer at the new Wichita Center for Performing Arts located at 9112 E. Central.
When Marks Arts left that property at the end of 2017, Michael Garvey of Builders, Inc. quickly swooped in to claim the space, revive it, and turn it into something that more of is needed in Wichita - a community safe space for youth and young adults to learn various performance art crafts with their peers. Think of it this way - a sports complex can host youth groups and lessons for soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and more. WCPA is attempting to do the same for families and kids who choose theater, dance, comedy, music and other collaborative arts that incorporate performance, like video.
“I think part of what makes teaching at the WCPA appealing is this vision of a mix of talents in the same space. Dancers can see how their craft works in theater, and vice versa. It can become a natural place for collaborations that otherwise wouldn’t happen,” says Shelli Kadel, Director of the WCPA.
Regina agrees, “the WCPA has the same vision I have in regards to their education programs. It’s about art, it’s about self-expression, but also about learning technique. What’s amazing is that the center has a stage. Kids actually get to perform on it. I’m hoping to help bring activities and classes to the center year round,” says Regina.
Something for Everyone.
Starting at the end of May, Regina and members of her dance company are offering several courses in hip hop, ballet, and tap dancing for ages 3-8, a ‘parent and me’ creative movement class for 2-4 year olds, a dance project course for tweens, and even a yoga class focused on dancers and other athletes aged 9-15. In July she will be offering a three day workshop for 5-12 year olds that will introduce them to a wide array of dance styles. Regina says that all the classes are approachable for beginners and still maintain value for intermediate and specialized dancers as they will be exposed to styles they may not be used to performing. All classes are open to boys and girls.
- Summer Dance Workshop
- Yoga for Athletes
- Ballet Fundamentals
- Hip Hop
- Ballet and Tap
- Parent and Me
- Dance Project for Tweens
“The parent and me course is really setup to be a bonding and creative experience between the child and the caretaker. Really fundamental and creative concepts. By 3-6 some kids are learning more by themselves. Hip hop will focus on rhythm to age-appropriate music. The ballet and tap courses are about positions and basic placements. In ballet fundamentals kids are starting to get to the point where they can recognize the movements they are doing with performances they’d see on stage. Dance for tweens and the weekend workshop are good for those who may have already specialized a bit but want exposure to more styles of dance. The Yoga class is different, but something I’m excited about. It’s really important for any kid who is in a physical activity to develop flexibility and full body conditioning. My son plays soccer, and these are good exercises for him to help prevent injury,“ says Regina.
Making it Easy
Regina founded her award winning company, the Regina Klenjoski Dance Company while living in Los Angeles in 2001. In 2014, she relocated to Wichita. She still maintains an active studio in Los Angeles and travels between both cities.
“What I’m looking to accomplish this summer is start my dance education program in Wichita. It’s something I’ve been doing for 20 years in Los Angeles. We’re going to focus a lot on the art of dance, not the sport, but of course making it fun. Sometimes the studio and competition setting can be intimidating, even for parents. My main mission as an educator with both the program in LA and here is to create easy access points for the community. The classes this summer are 8 week sessions, sometimes twice a week and sometimes once a week, and there’s the one weekend workshop. It’s just sign up, take the class, and see if you like it. No long term commitments, no specific costumes or contests.”
Classes will be partly taught by members of her dance company and the broader Wichita dance community.
“I bring in professional artists to help. I think there's something really valuable to having artists who are working to come in and teach. They have a pulse on what’s happening in the field. They bring a different angle, and I think that has value.”
Visit the WCPA’s website to learn more and sign up for Regina’s courses: