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Lawrence Brantley Memorial

Luna Negra on the road...
This summer, Luna Negra dancers spent 2 weeks in New Orleans teaching dance to students age 11-18 in a nationally acclaimed program sponsored by the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) and the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) Center for Dance. This was actually the second company visit to New Orleans. We were there for 3 weeks last year and ended the program shortly before Katrina hit.

This year, therefore, the residency was especially meaningful. Many of the students had been living in a state of constant flux and uncertainty, moving from house to house or living in very precarious conditions. "The energy was different this year. You could feel that the kids had been living under difficult circumstances," says dancer Vanessa Valecillos "but I am hopeful that through the dance classes and the workshop we could give them an outlet to express their feelings of anger, sadness and hopelessness."

Ricardo Garcia, who taught modern dance classes notes: "The younger students were exited about the material given in class and in rehearsals. Some had real potential to go further with the art form.  However, others, mainly teenagers, were a bit rebellious and needed to learn discipline and how to achieve goals. It was a challenge and I learned a lot from it.  I think the fact that we went to New Orleans, gave lessons, performed and interacted with this community was very important.  NOBA is one of the few organizations in the United States dedicated to present only dance and I feel our contribution was very important to its survival."

Public Service Announcement:
Homes needed for exchange students who are interest in dance too !
Fwd. From:
Dear Brenda:

I am writing to you because YFU USA has several exchange students who are interested in dance and we would like to let your network know about the opportunity to host an exchange student and dancer. Would you please forward the following message to your e-mail list and / or post on your bulletin board? We are sure a number of your members would be very interested in sharing their love of dance with a student from abroad.

Youth For Understanding USA is seeking families to host foreign exchange high school students interested in dance for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Youth For Understanding (YFU) is a worldwide movement of committed individuals and organizations working together to prepare young people for their responsibilities and challenges in a changing, interdependent world. Each year YFU places a large number of international exchange students with local families while they attend the local high school.

YFU will welcome new high school international exchange students this August. Our students come from different countries around the world. They speak English, have their own spending money, health insurance, will attend an American high school and will provide innumerable good memories and experiences to your family.

Open your doors to a new family member and help him/her adapt to the U.S. lifestyle and culture. Hosting will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about other traditions and languages without leaving home. Our host families are as diverse as our students. They are couples with or without children, empty nesters, single adults and also come from all cultural and economic backgrounds.

You can host a student for ten months as a permanent host family, or for six to twelve weeks as an arrival host family. Our trained YFU staff and volunteers are available to support you every step of the way. If you are interested in hosting a YFU student or would like more information, please contact YFU today at 1-866-493-8872, visit to apply on-line or e-mail

Achara, a 15 year old female from Thailand

"Family is very important to me!" says Chin, a socialable, active young woman. "I am very excited about becoming a part of my American family!" She and her friends enjoy singing, going to the movies and spending time with family and friends. They also participate in Thai dancing as a group. Chin spends some of her free time working in her parent's clothing shops. During her summer vacation Chin attended a language camp in Singapore studying English. She is very much looking forward to joining your family in early August.

Viet, a 16 year old male from Germany

This natural leader was selected as class president! That's really remarkable for a guy who was born in Vietnam and moved to Berlin at around the age of 3! His bi-cultural heritage has made him tolerant and adaptable, but he's also a guy with many creative interests! Viet likes to make his own movies. He writes the script, films it and burns them on to DVDs via his computer. He is also a dancer who enjoys practicing hip hop, street dance, jazz and other forms. He hopes to continue dancing while in the States. Viet says that what sets him apart from the crowd is his Vietnamese heritage. He speaks a little Vietnamese and has traveled there with his mother to see his relatives. Maybe he will share with you the cooking he has learned from his mother, a sushi cook! His friends describe him as a happy guy with a good sense of humor!

Carole, a 17 year old female from Switzerland

With a positive and easy-going attitude toward life in general, Carole is a teen from a village of 1000 people who hopes to "perfect" her English while she is in the USA. (Other languages, such as French, Spanish, and Italian, interest her too.) On weekends, sometimes she wants to go out and do things with friends and sometimes she prefers to just stay home and watch TV with her family or even cook for them sometimes. The family--including her twin sister and older brother--maintains a close relationship based on respect. She is confident she can experience that with you too! She has been dancing since the age of five, and she currently practices and performs often with two different dance troupes. To keep active, Carole also plays volleyball and goes snowboarding on the weekends. She is willing to attend church with her host family. (Fear of dogs)

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Dance at the Sabin Magnet School

Sabin Magnet School student prepares for a pirouette under the guidance of Luna Negra teacher.

In 2005, Luna Negra Dance Theater started a long-term residency at the Sabin Magnet School in Wicker Park, teaching dance to 60 first grade students, most of whom are Latino and African American.

See Additional story bi - line.


The 3th intl. Salsa Congress Munich (Germany)
3 – 5 November 2006

You can order the following offers now:
DVD of the 4th Intl. Salsafestival Hamburg 2006, 30 Euros
Specialprice valid for orders and pays before Sept, 10th

Dear Sir/Madam,

The 4th. International Salsafestival Hamburg was a huge success!
More than 2500 participants from about 46 different countries came to share
workshops, shows and great parties!
We thank you very much, because you were the reason for this success and without you we couldnīt have done it! We also really appreciate the support of those who believed in us and we like to thank our partners, which you will find on our homepage!

Because of renovation of the big hall, we had to change this year to alternative rooms. Next year you will find again the modernized big hall to which you are used to!
Many dancers enjoyed a lot of fantastic workshops. Unfortunately some of the teachers couldnīt come. Although we didnīt have any influence on the causes, we want to say sorry for that.
Between Frankie Martinez and his management (coly david from New York) were problems in coordinating his schedule. But we are proud and happy, that we found Franklin Diaz as substitute and like to thank him for his flexibility!
In the name of Alex da Silva we apologize: He was already at LAX Airport, when he had to cancel his flight, because his passport wasn’t valid anymore.
For further information he offers to contact him:
We were also surprised, when Francisco Vasquez called us, to tell us that he couldnīt fly, because as he is often in Europe he has no permission to fly to Europe again until autumn.
As a kind of compensation you will find the workshops, that he designed especially for the Salsafestival in Hamburg a video download on his website:

Alex and Francisco promised to be there again next year!

As compensation we offer the participants of the Salsafestival Hamburg 10% reduction on the ticket of the Munich Congress from the 3, to 5. of November 2006.

The 5th . International Salsafestival Hamburg will be from the 20th to the 22th of July 2007 in Hamburg!
All workshops and Parties will be in 1 location (CCH Congress Centrum Hamburg), on more than 3000 mē, in fully air conditioned modernized big hall!
We want to organize the festival as good as possible and therefore we need your support!
Please tell us honestely what we can improve. We appreciate every wish and
suggestion and we really try to realise them!

We hope to meet you at again at the festival 2007 in Hamburg!

Best wishes!

Imad Production