Morning Classes

Schedule of 2023 Morning Classes

Classes were held from June 27 through August 25 at the following times:

  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8-9am
  • Thursday and Fridays from 9-10am

Tuesdays, 8-9am
Body Conditioning with Ilana Siegal
June 27, July 11, August 1, August 15, August 22
Experience the transformative power of Body Conditioning, a comprehensive class that combines the benefits of Pilates, Yoga, and Ballet barre. Regardless of your fitness background, this class is crafted to engage your entire body through gentle yet repetitive movements, fostering a strong core, enhanced mobility, and increased stability.

Ilana Singer Siegal is a teacher, trainer, facilitator, Coach, and founder of LifeWorks Studio in Great Barrington, MA. Drawing on a lifelong career in yoga, Pilates, dance, bodywork, and personal development, Ilana creates classes, programs, and retreats that integrate mind (brain), body, fitness, and wellness. Her unique approach to movement, in bodies and in life, invites form to follow function with more ease. By cultivating stability, strength, and the capacity to handle more, those who work with Ilana develop an ever-evolving mind-body connection and gain a deeper understanding of the body’s biomechanics and the brain’s ability to learn. Originally from Ann Arbor, MI, Ilana first came to the Berkshire Mountains of MA over 25 years ago to study at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Ilana was a Certificate Student at the Ailey School in New York City and later became a certified Life Coach through Coaching for Transformation. A registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) with over 1000 hours of training and 20+ years of hands-on teaching experience, she was one of the first Yoga Therapists certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). In 2013, she founded LifeWorks Studio to hold space for a culture of radical care in the Berkshires; care for both one’s self and one’s community.

Tuesdays, 8-9am
Pilates with Sean Gallagher
July 4, July 18, July 25, August 8
Pilates class is a mat workout that aids strength building, increases flexibility, and promotes breathing techniques to gain overall health and wellbeing. Class includes basic and intermediate movements, including work taught by Joseph Pilates at the Pillow in the 1940s.

Sean Gallagher began his pilates training in 1986, impressed with what the method does for the human body, mind, and spirit. In 1992, he organized the first comprehensive pilates professional training program, training teachers throughout the world. He is a licensed physical therapist, certified in acupuncture, and was a modern dancer for 10 years. Gallagher has been an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College, The New School, and New York University. This is Gallagher’s 21st year of teaching Morning Community Classes at Jacob’s Pillow.

Wednesdays, 8-9am
Modern/Contemporary with Erin Kouwe
July 26, August 2, August 9
Class will flow between contemporary dance form and movement exploration, engaging with articulation, momentum, expansion, and joy. Our practice cultivates awareness of the body, the pleasure of movement, and contribution to community. We will dance and sweat and groove together.

Erin Kouwe is a creator, dance artist, and educator. She is a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship and the Gretchen Moran Research Fellowship. Erin’s choreographic work has been presented by Nashville Ballet, Nashville Ballet 2, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, Going Dutch Festival, AP.E. Arts, and the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought. Erin is the founder of Seen, a project designed to disorient performance and foster creative exchange and conversation around dance. She has performed with New Dialect, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Luna Negra Dance Theater, and in works by Jeanine Durning, Ohad Naharin, Yin Yue, Jenna Riegel, Joy Davis, Banning Bouldin, Bryan Arias, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Idan Sherabi, Monica Cervantes, Julia Rhoads, and others. She holds an M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Smith College and a B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. Erin has taught at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College, Belmont University, Nashville Ballet’s Professional Training Division, Jacob’s Pillow, and Contempora.PR.

Wednesdays, 8-9am
Modern/Contemporary with Isadora Wolfe
July 5, July 12, July 19, August 16, August 23
Isadora brings her experiences as a dancer in the contemporary and physical theater worlds as well as her somatic knowledge stemming from her Pilates practice, yoga, and classical ballet and modern techniques.  Through guided improvisational structures, we aim to discover our full range of physical options within us, uncovering new ways of moving, honing and deepening our strengths, and deconstructing our limitations.  By unlocking and working with our imagination, we play in the realms of curiosity and joy of movement.

Isadora Wolfe is from Lowell, Massachusetts, and now divides her time between New York City and the Berkshires.  She is a performer, teacher and movement director, and currently the Associate Artistic Director of Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s seminal NYC production, as well as Adjunct Faculty at The Juilliard School.  Isadora has had the pleasure of collaborating and performing with makers such as Johannes Wieland (original cast member and dancer in Staatstheater Kassel),  Martha Clarke (Garden of Earthly Delights, Angel Reapers), Punchdrunk (Sleep No More), Richard Jones (The Hairy Ape), David Auburn (Berkshire Theatre Group’sDracula and Skin of Our Teeth)Maxine Doyle, Gerald Casel, among others.  She has taught at various festivals and institutions including Alvin Ailey II, Marymount Manhattan, NYU’s Tisch School, Rutger’s University and Springboard Dance Festival; and this fall is a selected artist at Springboard X in NYC.  Isadora has danced on stages stateside as well as abroad, among them the beautiful stages of Jacob’s Pillow, where Isadora was once a student.

Thursdays, 9-10am
Ballet with Ian Spencer Bell
Morning ballet class consists of a gentle barre followed by essential center exercises. Dancers explore efficiency, musicality, quality, and the delicacy of expression. Dancers are welcome to modify exercises to accommodate their practice.

Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and teacher. He has performed at the 92nd Street Y, Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Poetry Foundation, and Queens Museum. In addition to his own work, he has danced historic solos by Merce Cunningham and Isadora Duncan. Bell trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and School of American Ballet. He was educated at New York University and Sarah Lawrence College. For more than a decade, Bell led education and training programs for American Ballet Theatre.

Fridays, 9-10am
Hip Hop Dance with Shakia “The Key” Barron
July 28-August 25
In this fun, energetic class, we will focus on the foundations and basics of Hip Hop dance. This community dance class will explore rhythm and musicality through variations of different steps and combinations. 

Shakia “The Key” Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Funk Styles, Hip-Hop, House, and other African diasporic dance forms. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Mount Holyoke College. As a dance educator, Barron spent four years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and taught community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Barron is a DEL faculty member who has facilitated multiple professional development workshops around the integration of Hip Hop dance and history in the curriculum. Her work titled “Our House” was selected to be performed for Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow in 2019. Barron was also the 2019 Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College. Prior to joining Mount Holyoke College Dance Department as a full-time tenure track faculty, she served as an adjunct at UMASS Amherst, Smith, Amherst, and Connecticut colleges. Barron has choreographed and directed more than 50 Hip Hop, Funk, Modern, and African dance works that have been performed at Trenton Educational Dance Institute, Rider University, the Princeton School of Ballet, Bates Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow.

Fridays, 9-10am
West African Dance & Well-Being with Truth Hunter
June 30-July 21
In an affirming and community-centered atmosphere, this class will use dance as an artistic tool to promote health, healing, and well-being. Together we will explore traditional and contemporary West African and African diaspora dance forms while focusing on cultivating body awareness and strength. 

Truth Hunter was born and raised in Oakland, California.  She studied West African dance under the tutelage of Marilyn and Sekou Sylla of Bamidele Dancers and Drummers at Mount Holyoke College. In 2007, Truth Hunter created a multimedia African Dance concert to fundraise for asylum seekers impacted by genocide in Darfur. It was through this experience, that she realized that the performing arts can be used as a tool for activism and a powerful way to bring healing into the world. In August 2017, Truth Hunter became the Director of Race and Ethnicity programs at Connecticut College where she collaborated with the Dance Department to design an interdisciplinary course that used West African dance to tell stories of resistance of African diaspora people during the transatlantic slave trade. In spring of 2018, Truth Hunter traveled to Senegal to train with Bakalama Dance Company and performed a solo at the renowned dance school, École des Sables. Currently, Truth Hunter is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut. Her research examines the ways that West African dance deepens embodied teaching and learning. Additionally, Truth teaches African dance healing workshops that promote the union of the mind, body, and spirit.

Live accompaniment provided by Aimee Gelinas July 7 and 14. Aimee Gelinas M.Ed is a musician and naturalist educator who has been performing and facilitating educational programs for over 25 years. She is askilled percussionist and singer specializing in djembe, doun doun, conga, bongo, shekere and various percussion instruments. She co-founded and performs drumming and singing in the women fronted West African and Caribbean music ensemble Gaia Roots and the Caribbean/Latin band Trio Candela as well as an all original rock band SIFER.

Event Dates

Oh no! You missed this one! Check our calendar for future events.

Morning Classes

At Sommers Studio: Jun 27 - Aug 25