a performing and teaching company


Washington Heights Summer Dance Festival

Washington Heights Summer Dance Festival
July 18 – July 24, 2011
One-week program

Come drop in to the Washington Heights Summer Dance Festival for a week of extraordinary personal attention from Artistic Director Daniel Gwirtzman and an outstanding roster of acclaimed guest teachers. A perfect opportunity to increase your skills and explore your creativity in dance! Join us for a class, a day or the week! All levels will be taught in appropriate classes: beginners through professionals!

Drop-In Classes

Technique Class (M-F, Sunday:10:00-12:00)

You may take individual drop-in classes for $17 dollars each, OR sign up for the week for a discounted rate of $15 per class.


$90/week ($15/class)

Guest Master Class (M-F, 4:00-6:00)


$75/week ($15/class)

Guest Master Class Teachers

Monday–DENISE POSNAK, Master Pilates instructor

Tuesday–CHLOE CAMPBELL, Broadway rep; performer, “In The Heights,” “Mary Poppins,” So You Think You Can Dance UK!

Wednesday–MASHAWN MORTON, Hip-Hop/Funk; Broadway performer, “West Side Story”

Thursday–JEREMY MILLER, Master Jazz teacher; KAORI SHIMAZAKI, former Principal dancer Garth Fagan Dance

Friday–SARA DOBBS, Jerome Robbins repertory, Broadway performer, “West Side Story!”

DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE “The face of choreography has changed,” says Daniel Gwirtzman. “Think of the diversity of movement styles in today’s shows, the range needed and expected of dancers. I know the next generation of choreographers and the demands they are making of dancers. As an innovator with a concert dance background, my work asks dancers to have a full set of technical, stylistic and performance skills. This Festival is about preparing the aspiring dancer for this range of choreography.”

The Festival provides a rigorous and holistic program to develop and strengthen contemporary dance skills, while creating relationships with the Company and special guest artists. The Festival is geared toward students of all levels and technical abilities, from those that are passionate about a career in dance and who wish to train at an intensive level with professional teaching artists and performers, to the absolute beginner with an interest in dance.

The Festival is an intimate program that values a low student to teacher ratio so that the emphasis of the festival is on individual growth and attention. Another primary difference that sets the Festival apart is the inclusion of composition classes. Enrolled students, in addition to developing their skills and techniques and learning repertory from the Company, will have the opportunity to work as a choreographer does, developing dances.

The Festival emphasizes strong personal investment in each student’s dancing; we coach each dancer to reveal his or her individuality and we are focused on helping our students cultivate their performance qualities. The Festival will provide solid, intelligent technique to serve whatever style of dance a student decides to pursue; in today’s companies, and on Broadway, versatility is key. Our philosophy is to prepare the dancer for this diversity of dance styles.


Under the direction of Daniel Gwirtzman and the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company the Festival features a roster of international artists currently working on Broadway, performing in major dance companies, and directing, choreographing and teaching in the concert and commercial dance worlds.


The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood is located at 54 Nagle Avenue, New York City, NY 10040. For directions, CLICK HERE: www.ywashhts.org


The festival operates Monday-Sunday, with Saturday off from all classes.

9:30-10:00 Morning Meeting—The Morning Meetings are a forum to: discuss a range of dance topics related to the festival curriculum and the outside dance world; to share observations about one’s goals and growth; to engage in a written or non-dance creative exercise; to have a chance to check-in with the other students and faculty at the beginning of each day.

10:00-11:30 Technique Class—Contemporary technique class led by Artistic Director Daniel Gwirtzman and Kaori Shimazaki from the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. Learn Daniel’s signature style that blends precision with ease and challenges speed, stamina, musicality, rhythm, individuality and an attention to detail.

11:30-12:30 Repertory Class—Daniel Gwirtzman will choreograph a dance specifically for the festival, and Company members will set sections of dances from the rep. Students will perform this work Sunday, July 24 alongside the Company at the culminating Dance at the Gym event.

12:30-1:30 Lunch– Eat on the Y’s roof for a magnificent view of Upper Manhattan and Fort Tryon Park.

1:30-2:00 Repertory Continuation and Review

2:00-3:45 Composition Class—The Festival understands that learning to create movement is a separate skill than interpreting movement. Thus each of our students will have the opportunity to develop the craft of choreography with the guidance of the Company and the presentation of tools and supportive critical feedback.  All compositional studies will be shown on our culminating performance event, Sunday, July 24th, 3:30pm.

4:00-6:00 Master Class—A master class is a great way to finish each day with a lens into other disciplines related to our study. Students will have the opportunity to interact with a range of professionals including classes in Broadway dance, musical theater repertory, yoga, Pilates, modern, jazz, hip-hop, funk and folk dance.


1. Fill out an application, which can be downloaded by clicking on the Application PDF.

2. Mail the completed application, with a check to:

Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company
720 West 181st Street, #31
New York, NY 10033


Application Fee: $30 (non-refundable)
Original Tuition: $600

Special Scholarship Tuition: $150-$300, based on need


Students will enjoy the rich culture of the Washington Heights neighborhood, prized for its parks and outdoor spaces, diverse ethnic heritage, and numerous cultural attractions. Students will have the option of enjoying free outdoor swimming at the NYC Highbridge Park with its Olympic-size pool. Students from out of the vicinity will be housed at their own expense.

The Festival is funded in part through the NoMAA (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance) Regrant Program, made possible by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and with the support of the Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York.