Learn and dance from the best of the best


It is that time of year again when the Cougarettes host a workshop, but this time with a guest choreographer from the Czech Republic.

The Cougarettes hold two workshops a year, usually in the fall and spring. The first part of the workshop will consist of technique classes in contemporary, jazz and character taught by the Cougarettes. The second part of the workshop will be a hip hop master class taught by Tomas Protivinsky from the Czech Republic.

The Cougarettes had an opportunity to compete in an international competition this past summer in Prague. They were able to take classes from many talented dancers while in Prague, and Protivinsky was one of them. Protivinsky grew up in the Czech Republic and moved to Prague to pursue his dancing career. He teaches at conventions and competitions, which is how he met the Cougarettes. Ali Read, a Cougarette and pre-communication major, said Protivinsky loved watching the Cougarettes compete, especially their hip hop. He loved the dancers so much that he wanted to come to the States and work with the Cougarettes.

[Courtesy of Jodi Maxfield] The Cougarettes performing their hip hop piece at the competition in Prague this past summer.
“Tomas was our favorite teacher while we were taking classes,” Read said. “He has a unique style that is so much fun to dance. We were so excited when we found out that he would in fact be coming this fall to teach this master class and set a new hip hop piece of choreography that we will perform in our concert.”

Jerra Kofford, a Cougarette and junior majoring in business marketing, loves Protivinsky’s smooth and groovy hip hop style. She said he brings great energy and fun to his teaching.

“This workshop gives dancers the opportunity to take class from an amazing choreographer from the other side of the world and share a little bit of what we experienced in Prague,” Kofford said. “How often do you get to learn from someone that’s from Europe?”

Cougarette artistic director Jodi Maxfield said this year the level of skill will be higher because the workshop will be geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers. Anyone in the community, ages 12 and up, who is interested in improving their technique can come and participate in the workshop.

“It is fun to take a class from someone you normally don’t get a chance to take a class from,” Maxfield said. “For people who are considering auditioning for the Cougarettes in the future, attending a workshop is highly recommended to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Cougarette.”

Heidi Jorgensen, a junior majoring in dance, said she loves to attend different master classes in the area because it can be a growing experience learning a variety of styles and techniques.

“I’m extremely excited to go to Tomas Protivinsky’s hip hop class because we don’t get a lot of hip hop here at BYU, so it will be great to have this opportunity,” Jorgensen said.

The Cougarette workshop and master class will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, in room 134 of the Richards Building. The workshop will be from 8-11 a.m,. and the master class will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dancers can register at www.byucougarettes.com.


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