October Birthdays!

Happy Birthday LuAnn Pagella!
by Rosie Steinberg
If you have been to a Monkeyhouse event, like Your Just Deserts in September, you have definitely met some lovely young dancers, all eager to soak up Karen's infinite wisdom and help out in any way that Nicole needs. But where did they come from? Where in the world could they have the opportunity to work with Karen so closely and so often? Impulse Dance Center, of course! The studio of one LuAnn Pagella, where toddlers, teenagers and teachers alike go to explore, create, and dance their hearts out. It being her birthday this month, we would like to honor LuAnn for her unending support for Monkeyhouse. I'd like to share one of my first memories of dance, a memory that I know so many students at Impulse have their own version of, the moment LuAnn helped me find the determination to dance. For some dramatic flair that I know LuAnn will appreciate, I guess I'll tell it in third person.

It was an exuberant but unsure little girl that entered a combination jazz, ballet, and tap class so many years ago only to find out that she was flat footed, had the shortest achilles tendon known to mankind, and could not seem to stop her feet from sickling. With each demi-pliĆ©, dreams of dancing like Debbie Reynolds in "Singin' in the Rain" slipped away. That was when LuAnn took that little girl aside, and taught her how to stand in a proper first position without rolling in her ankles. With that simple but significant achievement conquered, she had the confidence to return to the barre and finish the exercise, finish that class, and eventually make Impulse a second home.  

A small moment in the grand scheme of life, but without it dance could have conquered a young me before I even had the chance to begin.  Anyone who's met LuAnn can tell that she calls it like she sees it. A bold attribute, yes, but one that should never be undervalued. The high standards she holds her dancers to are what turn children into teenagers, teenagers into young adults, and those young adults into artists. Artists like Monkeyhouse's Nicole Harris, Sarah Friswell, Remy Marin, and Sarah Feinberg, who are all Impulse Alums. So next time you see an Impulse kid at a Monkeyhouse event, like the Against the Odds Festival (more information TBA!), ask them about dance. You will see in a heartbeat that it is not only beautiful movement, choreography, and an appreciation for technique that LuAnn Pagella and Impulse Dance Center instill in their students, it is an irrevocable commitment to take pride in their art, the art of dance. Happy Birthday Ms. LuAnn!

by Nicole Harris
October is one of my favorite months, and it's not just because it has my birthday!  The leaves are changing, the weather is crisp and beautiful, there are pumpkins and all assortment of Halloween goodies.  Oh yeah, and it's my birthday, Karen's birthday AND Monkeyhouse's birthday (did you know that we are turning TWELVE!?)!  Not to mention all these other awesome people!  Happy Birthday to all of our amazing October birthday friends as well as some fabulous choreographers, including:

Jason Samuels Smith, Najeeb Terazzi, Tina Fratello, Meera Jo Smith, Max Stone, LuAnn Pagella, Parker Hall

Want to be on the birthday list?  Email us and let us know when your birthday is!


"Transitions" -- An Evening of Tap Dance

You'll excuse a bit of shameless self-promotion on my part, but I'm simply thrilled to announce that I'm directing, choreographing and producing my first tap dance concert this fall in Massachusetts!

It's not at all something I envisioned myself doing at 21 years old, but I was asked to put together an evening's worth of material for a private event in Lexington, and I decided, with all the time and energy I was going to put into it, I might as well find a venue where I could put it onstage for a night and let everybody else see what I've been working on.

The show is called "Transitions" because, when I finally stopped to think about what I was creating, I realized that the material was all inspired by, or created during, some kind of transitional period in my life. I'm debuting an autobiographical suite, "The Tall & Short of It," that depicts my journey struggling with, and finally overcoming and accepting, my self-consciousness about my height. "My Manhattan" is all about by love-hate relationship with New York City, and the experiences I've had since moving there to begin college in 2009. "Just the Two of Us" is a series of duets with my former teacher, Kelly Kaleta. When I moved to NYC, life came full circle and we began choreographing and performing together.

This being my inaugural outing as director/choreographer/producer, I'm naturally a bit terrified -- but also excited. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I hope you can join me!

"Transitions" debuts on Sunday, November 4th at 4:00 p.m. at Marblehead Little Theatre in Marblehead, MA.

Tickets are available now!

And check out the video below for an excerpt from "Just the Two of Us":


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