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Mondays February 11 & 18, 10:00-11:30AM
Omar Román De Jesús (San Juan, PR) began his formal training at School for the Performing Arts in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Omar was a member of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico from 2006-2011. During this period, he won the Championship Cup and Gold Medal at the National Dance Competition in Puerto Rico. He received scholarship to the Ailey School in 2011. He performed with Parsons Dance, Ballet Hispánico and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company where he did works by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Robert Battle, Mary Pat Henry, Trey McIntyre, Kate Skarpetowska, Michelle Manzanales, Jennifer Archibald, Tania Peréz-Salas, Carlos Pons and Ephrat Asherie. Omar is currently dancing for Yin Yue Dance Company.
Omar's choreography has been recognized for its originality, and he has been praised for his ability to craft an emotional arc. He has received awards from The Dance Gallery Festival and Reverb Dance Festival. He has been commissioned twice by Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico to create work as part of the International Dance Festival of Puerto Rico. His work, DANIEL, was commissioned by Parsons Dance for the company's 2017 Joyce season as part of its initiative to support emerging choreographers through David Parsons' GenerationNow Fellowship. He was one of the winning choreographers for the Joffrey Academy of Dance's 8th annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition, and he was the first person commissioned to create an original work on Jacob Jonas The Company. Omar created Welcome to Barrio Ataxia with Whim W'him Contemporary Dance as part of the company's CHOREOGRAPHIC SHINDIG IV, and he just worked with The Ailey School in the creation of a new work for their January Explosion performance.
He has taught classes at summer intensives including Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico, Nolte Dance Academy in Iowa, and Parsons Dance in NYC. De Jesús has taught master classes worldwide under the umbrella of Parsons Dance and Ballet Hispánico. With Parsons, he had the incredible experience of teaching outreach classes to children on the Autism Spectrum. Omar has held his own workshops in New York City, and he travels twice a year to Puerto Rico, designing workshops for dancers and anyone interested in exploring the culture and creativity of contemporary dance. He encourages them to seek new levels of artistry via technique classes, as well as methods for movement creation and composition.
My class is an exploration of movement quality with the
purpose of helping dancers understand that
power of their craft is through the delivery and approach of
the steps. Using my movement vocabulary
and choreographic voice, I teach ways to catch details, and I
encourage the dancers to work with
To support my vision, I developed a cardio based warm up that helps strengthen joints and muscles in order to allow the body to further expand its capacity for a bigger range of motion. I begin with abdominal work to get the core ready, and then I move forward to the upper torso and shoulder area by doing sets of arms inspired by Yin Yue’s methodology FoCo Technique. I continue with a series of lunges, combining it with arms, torso twists, head-rolls and breathing exercises to find full body alignment.
Dancers can choose to do the warmup with light weights. I have found on my own journey that a bit of weight increases strength and range of movement. It prepares you for the action with velocity, and it helps to maintain a healthy more enduring body.
I hope that my class helps young dancers begin to develop an awareness for a routine by noticing the difference in dancing when the body is prepared for the impact and physicality that dance requires.