NYC Dance Week

Fitness Labs sponsored by FitEngine

During our festival, several selected instructors will be teaching free Fitness Labs, classes designed to have you try different styles of dance as well as unique fitness & wellness classes.

All classes, except June 20th, will be held at DANY Studios, 305 W 38th St. (b/w 8th & 9th Aves.), New York, NY 10018 and are FREE! First come, first served.


Thursday, June 18, 12-1 PM, Injury Prevention Lab by Leigh Heflin

Leigh Heflin, MSc, MA, Program Coordinator of Education and Marketing
Ms. Heflin is the director of educational outreach programs, including all continuing education courses. She has presented at international conferences for dance medicine professionals and dance educators, and regularly presents injury prevention lectures for the dance community. Ms. Heflin has also worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for the past 10 years and has received 4 national certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and KettleBell Concepts. She has been a consultant for Dance Spirit, Dance Magazine, Backstage, and other dance publications on topics covering dancer health and fitness. Prior to entering the field of dance science, Ms. Heflin danced professionally in contemporary dance companies in New York and California.

Class Description:
The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries will conduct an Injury Prevention Fitness Lab that will give dancers information and exercises to enhance their dance training and improve fitness levels. This session will contain a number of tools for assessing functional strength and flexibility for the dancer and provide feedback that can help reduce the risk of injury. Please wear fitness/dance clothes.


Friday, June 19, 8–9 PM, West Coast Swing by Marlon Mills

Marlon “International” Mills is one of New York’s most well-known dance personalities in the Salsa & more recently the West Coast Swing dance communities, having traveled to many congresses/conventions and events in the states, throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean. Marlon was born in NY to parents from the Caribbean and was educated in NY & Spain.
His drive to learn Salsa became quite apparent after studying in Madrid, Spain. He found his love of dance through Salsa in 2001, having been taken to a class by a co-worker and has not looked back since.

In seeking constant, never ending improvement he was inspired to expand his dance repertoire in Jan 2009 after seeing a breathtaking show in an unfamiliar dance style that he would later learn is called West Coast Swing (WCS) while at a Salsa Congress in Sydney, Australia. After dabbling in a few workshops here and there, he finally decided to dive into classes and learning West Coast Swing in Summer of 2010. Being fully committed and passionate about this dance, he was asked to become a Board member of Gotham Swing Club, NYC’s non-profit Swing club dedicated to the promotion and growth of West Coast Swing, in Fall of 2011. Having trained in the US & France with many top instructors, including the world renown Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman, he continually trains in this dance style to grow his knowledge for the benefit of himself and his students.

Also, Marlon is a Teaching Artist for the “Dancing Classrooms” program, teaching ballroom dance to kids throughout NYC public schools. When not teaching, he produces a weekly Salsa event here in NYC as well several monthly West Coast Swing events, and collaborates on annual events such as the Annual New York Int’l Salsa Congress. He has been teaching dance in NY for the past twelve years and has taught in Switzerland as well. He is known for his warm smile, amazing lead, and excellent teaching abilities. Through clear teaching and strong fundamentals, he takes people from having two left feet to dancing up a storm while having fun on the dance floor in a short amount of time.

His goals are to continue teaching, dancing, traveling the world, and positively impacting the lives of others.

His motto- Changing lives, one dance at a time!

Class Description:
West Coast Swing (WCS) is an awesome partner dance that has become one of the most sought after dances to learn. It encourages alot of musical interpretation and play on the music and it allows both partners to improvise steps while dancing together. It has also gained much popularity as it can be danced to contemporary music of a wide variety of musical genres (R&B, Pop, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Country, and Alternative – to name a few).
Come try it out and see what all the buzz is about!

Level: Intro, so it’s open to those with little to no experience
Attire: comfortable and casual ( a shirt with jeans, slacks, sweats)
Shoes: leather soled shoes, sueded shoes, jazz shoes or any shoes that would have a slippery surface for turning, etc.


Saturday, June 20, Time TBD, Thai Partner Stretching by Nicole Touzien

Nicole Touzien is a Brooklyn-based dance artist, administrator, and educator who came to practice Assisted Thai Yoga through Contact Improvisation and an interest in sustainable wellness practices. Nicole trained under the direction of Al Turner, II, completing Levels I and II Nuad Boran Basic Certification and Advanced Sen Sumana Therapy. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University (2009) and has served as faculty at Glendale Community College and as a guest teaching artist in NYC and South Korea. Nicole is currently developing a laboratory-style class to investigate the connections between healing practices and improvisational-based movement practices such as Contact Improvisation.

Learn more at

Class Description:
In this hands-on laboratory, we will explore various stretches used in Thai wellness modalities. No partner is needed to register, however we will be working in pairs. Areas of focus will be the hamstrings, hip flexors, lower and upper back, and chest. Through passive stretch, we will work to increase range of motion and increase flexibility, which can aid in pain relief, relaxation, and increased well-being. Please wear comfortable pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and bring either a yoga mat and/or blanket.


Saturday, June 20, Time TBD, Pilates by Tasha Norman


Monday, June 22, 6–7 PM, African and 7–8 PM Soca by Maudlyne Eze

Born in Nigeria, West Africa. Currently reside in the states. Dancing has always been a passion of mine which I finally took the steps in pursuing by becoming a Zumba instructor. Through dance I share my passion helping each of my student keep fit while sharing our passion for dance. Join me every class is a party. Come ready to sweat, smile and remember to hydrate.

Class Description:
Each steps are easy to follow , beginners, intermediate experts are all welcomed . Attire: Leggings, t shirt or tank top. Footwear: Comfortable sneakers to barefoot. See you there! :)


Monday, June 22, 8–9 PM, Intermediate to Advanced Hip Hop by Sarah Esser

Sarah Esser is a dancer and choreographer based in New York City. Originally from San Francisco, she has studied at the Academy of Ballet San Francisco, ODC, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, as well as Studio Harmonic and Centre de danse du Marais in Paris. She studied dance and women’s leadership at Barnard College, where she performed works by Sidra Bell, Mark Morris, Pam Tanowitz, Twyla Tharp, and Colleen Thomas. She has danced and choreographed for Raw Elementz and the Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and she independently teaches hip hop classes in both San Francisco and New York. Esser currently dances for TREES, a company of dancers and musicians interested in collaborative creation. She is also the artistic director of e r a Dance Collective, a company she founded in 2012. Check out for more.

Class Description:
Sarah’s hip hop class is meant for intermediate to advanced dancers and emphasizes musicality and dynamics. The goal of the class is to find groove and individual self-expression within the choreography. Wear pants you feel comfortable moving in (sweats, basketball shorts, leggings) and sneakers. You can see some of Sarah’s class footage here.


Tuesday, June 23, 6–7 PM, Bollywood Zumba by Kanushree Jain


Tuesday, June 23, 8–9 PM, GROOVE by Peg Moore-Maioriello

Peg, a NYC native, was performing radio commercials and voice-overs at age three. She describes herself as a “bodyworker” with a life-long passion for dance; currently teaching dance (modern, ballet (ABT Curriculum), contemporary, jazz, improv, and choreography) as well as a relationship to GROOVE by Misty Tripoli™ for fifteen. She is passionate about all movement/fitness, especially dance. Peg’s METRO GROOVE (Dance fitness) is a huge hit at her current employer, Transcend Dance, Mt. Vernon, NY (1.5 mi. over NYC line). In addition, she is Artist-in-Residence at Transcend Dance and is responsible for choreography, Student Company, and performance. To this day, she teaches “full out”, including floor falls! Her NYC dance company, Metropolidance, resides at Transcend Dance. She teaches GROOVE throughout NYC and the lower Hudson Valley, including free GROOVEs at Athleta and The Running Company.
Her dance studies began with ballet, at home with her Paternal Grandmother, who had no dance experience; and her Great-Grandmother accompanying on the piano, until age 9. Schools include the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, SUNY Purchase, SUNY, and ABT. While enjoying a performance career, Peg became Director of Dance and Gymnastics at the YMYW-HA of Lower Westchester by age 24, which, like the 92nd St Y, had a huge focus on arts. A Master Modern/Contemporary dance teacher, teaching for 35+ years, and a life-long learner, Peg continues to study. She is certified to teach the Ailey Technique (Pre-Fordham BFA) since 1981, as well as other top company certifications in Ballet and Ballet exercise. Throughout her career she has won numerous awards and commendations. Recent credits include: Solo Performance, Sept. 9, 2014, commissioned to choreograph and perform to monumental labyrinth by artist Andrea Stanislav. NY Dance Parade, Flash Mob for Sears Jeans, “Faces of NYC Dance” by artist JR, Olay “Eyes”. Peg Moore-Maioriello is sponsored by KT Tape, International Dance Supply,, and has been sponsored by Just for Kix, Jo+Jax, others and was featured on “Let’s Talk Dance” with Ashani Mfuko about “how to get sponsors for your dance”.

Peg has been GROOVEing with Misty Tripoli since 2000 and is extremely excited to bring this technique to NYC Dance Week, where you truly DANCE LIKE YOU. All with “two left feet” and “no rhythm” will leave dancing! Her other areas of interests include all arts, dance medicine, costuming, production, videography/film, science, technology and anything green!

Class Description:

No back or front, no left or right! Just incredibly easy steps done to fabulous music! Beginners through Professional Dancers all in one room! The truth is, we are ALL amazingly great dancers when we aren’t trying to dance copy or mimic someone else’s dance. The way your body wants to move to music IS the right way. We have only to tell ourselves a few simple truths that can quite literally liberate not only our bodies, but our minds.


Thursday, June 25, 6–7 PM, Zumba by Flory Alvarado