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summer 2014

Providing Hope and Opportunity Through Dance, Academic, and Family Programs

danceup news from The Wooden Floor

Melanie ríos glaser, artistic director

In the First Person Through all my struggles, dance has always been where I come to—to show and express myself. My family has been having a hard time recently, with my dad being diagnosed with cancer and my grandmother passing away. Coming to The Wooden Floor has really helped me get through it. The teachers are amazing; I have been able to pour out everything to them. And through dance, I can let you know where I stand. With our body we can tell our story, we don’t have to say anything. The fact that people can pick up on our body language is amazing.



santa ana, ca permit no. 949

nonprofit us postage

Lizzy, Class of 2015

1810 North Main Street Santa Ana, CA 92706-2727 714.541.8314

I am very involved in my community—at school, I’m in the Associated Student Body, the Mariachi band, the orchestra, the choir, plus I come to The Wooden Floor, and have a 4.0 GPA. Coming here helps me manage my time—we always know academics come first. Here, the staff is so motivated to get us to college— and I am excited to go, because at The Wooden Floor, they tell us that we have the most potential, that we are the next generation, that we are important. I can’t wait to take that next step.

May 29-31, 2014 31st Annual Concert: Front door, blue sky Irvine Barclay Theatre

May 30, 2014 Arts Night Out! presented by 89.3 KPCC begins promptly at 6:45pm

September 25, 2014 8th Annual Keep the Promise Wine Tasting Benefit Big Canyon Country Club

Witness a striking contemporary dance performance that revels in the force our young dancers bring to the stage. In partnership with leading choreographers, they overcome adversity and move into a world of possibility. Tickets available at Details on pages 2 & 3.

Attend a free pre-performance chat and explore the creative process behind Front door, blue sky with choreographers Jeanine Durning and Melanie Ríos Glaser, as well as our young artists. Wine and hors d’oeuvres to follow. Performance starts at 8:00pm. RSVP by May 27 to

Orange County’s premier Wine Tasting Benefit has become a leading way that new and longtime supporters come together to celebrate and raise funds for The Wooden Floor’s incredible mission and outcomes. Enjoy wines from around the world, all rated 95+ points. Details on page 3.


Complete information on events featuring the students of The Wooden Floor is available online at

The Wooden Floor Welcomes New Board Members Judith F. Posnikoff, PhD, is one of the founders of and a Managing Director at Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co., LLC, a global institutional fundof-hedge funds firm based in Irvine. From PAAMCO’S inception, Judy has been involved in all aspects of the firm’s investment process, and is currently focused on portfolio construction as a member of the firm’s Portfolio Construction Group. Judy is a member of the founding board of directors of the Association of Women in Alternative Investing (AWAI), the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Advisory Council and is on the board of the CAIA Foundation. Judy is also on the scholarship committee of the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Institute. “I am so pleased to have joined The Wooden Floor’s family as a board member. I look forward to being a part of the next 30 years of growth and continued success of such a worthy organization,” says Judy.

A message from the Artistic Director & Co-CEO of The Wooden Floor All year, The Wooden Floor’s campus is buzzing with activity through our myriad of programs. Near Annual Concert time that buzz heightens—anticipation is palpable in the air as is the excitement coming out of the studios. Costumes are being fitted as the dancers stand a little taller. The lighting designer, production

manager, and the support team are all ready to make the magic happen. The guest choreographers are tweaking and tinkering, creating the space for the dancers to sparkle, aiding them in accessing their spiritual, as well as their physical strength. In the studio, dancer’s drop into a womb-like world as they fully immerse in the creative process and shatter their limitations. Through their performance they will remind


Jeremy Krout is the President and CEO of Environment Planning Development Solutions, Inc., a full-service environmental analysis, land use planning and entitlement services consulting firm. He manages the firm and oversees employees, client relations and projects. Mr. Krout has been a lecturer at Cal Poly SLO, and prior to entering the private sector, he was a public agency Planning Director. Mr. Krout was also the lead project manager on multidisciplinary teams for major development and redevelopment projects in southern Orange County. Prior to starting his firm, he was Principal at a respected planning and environmental consulting firm for over 9 years. “Since I was first introduced to The Wooden Floor, I was amazed at the students’ and staff’s level of professionalism, ability and dedication to the desire to create unlimited opportunities for the students and by association, their family members and friends. I am grateful and excited for this chance to serve on the Board of Directors to further this goal,” says Jeremy.

Over Three Decades of Artistic Achievements at The Wooden Floor 1983-The Wooden Floor,

then known as Saint Joseph Ballet, is founded as a pilot summer dance program by Beth Burns, a sister at the time with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.

1984-The organization hosts its first dance concert, Dreams Come True, at the Santa Ana Police Annex, which becomes an annual event. Future performances feature costumes from accomplished costume designer Jennifer Vaughan.

19901996-James F. Ingalls, a

1985-After only two years in existence, the nonprofit is placed in the top six artsfor-youth organizations nationally by the Dayton Hudson Foundation.

1990-Donald McKayle, a

Tony- and Emmy-nominated choreographer, joins The Wooden Floor’s Board of Directors, raising the artistic profile of the organization.

2 The Wooden Floor | summer 2014

respected and prolific lighting designer known for his work in New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center, lights the Annual Concert for the first time and continues to do so.

1999-The Wooden Floor

begins to invite outside choreographers to create new works with our students, including Sally Silvers, Nami Yamamoto, Susan Rethorst, and John Heginbotham, among others.

2003-The José Limón

Dance Company holds a residency at The Wooden Floor, culminating in a performance alongside our young dancers. The White House and National Endowment for the Arts present the organization with a Coming Up Taller Award.

2005-The Wooden Floor

performs for the first time at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles. Melanie Ríos Glaser, a Fulbright Scholar, Kennedy Center Fellow, and the organization’s first guest choreographer recruited in 1999, is named Artistic Director after Burns retires.


2006-The Wooden Floor


2012-Steve P

introduces New Dance, a iconic and monum contemporary dance festival, in dance improvis featuring fresh work from residence for two local artists, performed in the the studen organization’s Studio Theatre. The Wooden

2010-The organization

performs a staging of repertoire from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, in conjunction with multimedia artist Bill Viola, at The Studio at Sage Hill.

2014-RED The Wooden F an unpreced time. Yanira C Jeanine Durn already impre artistic collab the Annual

us of the gift of time and place. The dancers tap into their originality and make something meaningful, resonant, and lively to share with you. The Annual Concert is an opportunity to discover delightful young people who will reveal how a community, gathered to lend support, helps build the confidence they need to pursue the vision of a full life. Go forth and spread the word of The Wooden Floor, of the

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mental figure sation, is in weeks with nts of n Floor.

DCAT invites Floor back for dented third Castro and ning join an essive list of borators for l Concert.

power of dance, so that these young people can continue this upward journey. Open the door, and let their sky shine blue. For your support they thank you!

Melanie Ríos Glaser Artistic Director & Co-CEO, The Wooden Floor

Soon, the curtain will rise for The Wooden Floor’s 31st Annual Concert: Front door, blue sky. This annual performance is the leading transformative part of our students’ journey while at The Wooden Floor. Why is it transformative, you ask? Well, it all starts with our dedication to contemporary dance. A dance aesthetic that centers upon innovation, creativity, teamwork, and courage, contemporary dance directly relates to developing the education and life skills that help each student have the confidence to move their lives forward. Our students work with choreographers who are shaping the world of dance today to co-create each new piece. They are encouraged to be inventive, to move unconventionally, and to reason with new paths of thought. This creative process acts like a cocoon that opens when our students emerge on stage at the Irvine Barclay Theatre as strong and selfreliant leaders. “We undoubtedly value creation over imitation,” says Artistic Director and Co-CEO Melanie Ríos Glaser about the uniqueness of The Wooden Floor, which has been labeled a “new hotbed of creativity” by Dance Magazine. “We encourage everyone to leave their expectations at the door and come out to experience the power of these performances. They are not only breaking down stereotypes of who can contribute to the genre of contemporary dance, but they also allow you to see firsthand the striking empowerment in our students as they strive toward breaking the cycle of poverty.” This year’s performance premieres two new works: ODE by Brooklyn choreographer Yanira Castro, which utilizes the entire exposed stage of the theatre as a field for the dancers’ rigorous and formal athleticism, and epic, which is a cinematic, yet very intimate performance from Jeanine Durning, featuring a soundscore that will be mixed live on stage. John Heginbotham’s popular Promenade returns, set to George Gershwin’s Promenade/Walking the Dog, in addition to Melanie Ríos Glaser’s unwieldy romp, Billowing Bubbles/REMIX.

Get your tickets today!

Free Pre-Concert Event

8:00pm nightly; 2:30pm Saturday matinee

Arts Night Out! Friday, May 31, 2014 begins promptly at 6:45pm presented by

$20 General Seating $50 Benefit Seating (Includes a $30 tax deductible contribution to help underwrite the cost of participating in the Annual Concert for one of our dancers.) Half price tickets available for children under 13 and students. Online: By Phone:

Explore the work in Front door, blue sky with choreographers Jeanine Durning and Melanie Ríos Glaser, followed by complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine. The performance begins at 8pm. Please RSVP by May 27 to

949.854.4646 In Person: The Barclay Box Office 4242 Campus Drive in Irvine

8th Annual


The Wooden Floor Newsfeed July 17 As part of our family service goals, The Wooden Floor hosts its 3rd annual Family Health Fair with community partners to provide free cancer screenings, health assessments, and nutrition coaching to our students and their families. June 13 Up to ten years of dedication at The Wooden Floor culminates in a graduation ceremony for the 27 members of our Class of 2014 as they prepare to step beyond their familiar surroundings into higher education. June 11 Through a partnership with the Orange County Business Council, parents of our 3rd and 4th graders gather for a workshop called the 10 Academic Commandments, which provides the tools to navigate the education system in an effort to better prepare students for college. June 9 As part of our year-round approach to youth development, our young students begin their summer session, which features 54-weekly dance classes, Summer Learning and Reading Workshops, dance intensives, and leadership camps. May 29 Stargrams, sent by loving supporters, are displayed, sending words of encouragement to our young Stars backstage at the Irvine Barclay Theatre during opening night of our 31st Annual Concert: Front door, blue sky. (Find out how to Support a Star and send them a Stargram, on page 4.) May 8 Business executives and professionals gather at The Wooden Floor to give students a firsthand perspective of the “real world” during a quarterly Career Night. April 28 The Student Leadership Council, a small group of self-selected high schoolers, gathers for its weekly meeting where they discuss topics ranging from respect and responsibility to loyalty and honesty; in addition to following John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, which they learn to implement in their own personal and academic lives to become role models for their fellow students. April 24 Orange County business and community leaders gather at The Wooden Floor for the 2nd Annual Step Beyond Breakfast™ in celebration of the organization’s 10th consecutive year to have 100 percent of its graduating students complete high school on time and immediately enroll in college. Thom McElroy, co-founder of Volcom, gives the keynote address.




Wine Tasting Benefit for The Wooden Floor

Thursday, September 25, 2014, Big Canyon Country Club, Newport Beach, CA Keep the Promise is not only Orange County’s premier wine tasting benefit, but has become a leading way that new and longtime supporters come together to celebrate The Wooden Floor’s incredible mission and outcomes. It is hard to match the award-winning wines from around the globe in some of the hardestto-find vintages, all rated 95+ points, and hand-selected by passionate supporters of The Wooden Floor, John and Janice Markley. However, the real stars of the evening are the students of The Wooden Floor and their inspiring stories of beating the odds and overcoming obstacles to graduate high school on time, and immediately enroll in higher education. For everyone in the room, there is an unrivaled feeling of warmth and pride in our collective efforts to keep the promise we make to our students that from here, they can step anywhere. Artfully-prepared, hearty hors d’oeuvres elegantly complement the evening’s extraordinary wine selections, alongside a silent auction, opportunity drawings, and visiting with students deeply impacted by your support. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Keegan at 714.541.8314 ext. 140 or

April 3 Students performing in the Annual Concert give guests a behind-the-scenes look into its creative process with guest choreographers, Yanira Castro and Jeanine Durning, and Artistic Director and Co-CEO Melanie Ríos Glaser, during the annual Inside the Studio event held at The Wooden Floor. March 11 As part of a partnership with the Rose Project at Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County and UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Israeli contemporary dance artist Noa Shiloh teaches a master class with students of The Wooden Floor, introducing them to new forms of expression.

Stay up to date! Follow us 3

The Wooden Floor Board of Directors 2013-2014

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Ernesto M. Vasquez, FAIA, NCARB, Chair Chairman and CEO, MVE Institutional, Inc.

rt l Conce

ua ’s Ann r o o l F n Woode of The

Jim Driscoll, VICE CHAIR Community Leader Damien Jordan, Immediate Past Chair General Manager, Retired, American Funds/Capital Group Companies, Inc.

Richard C. Hunsaker, Treasurer President, Hunsaker Management

Epiphany owen, secretary Partner, Government & Regulatory Law Rutan & Tucker, LLP

Joan Beall Community Leader Catherine Chase Senior Vice President, Credit Suisse Private Bank MARIA CIRESE Parent Representative Community Leader

Samuel, Class of 2021

When you Support a Star of The Wooden Floor’s Annual Concert you make an impact in two ways:


You help underwrite a student’s participation in the Annual Concert, which is a leading transformational experience that encourages our youth to think differently about themselves, to push through obstacles, and emerge as strong and confident leaders.


Students like Samuel receive words of encouragement to let them know that who they are, and what they have to say matters; that their months of hard work preparing for this performance have paid off; and that their community is behind them.

Frank Foster Principal, Residential Strategies, LLC Frank Hall Vice President Resource Development, Retired, St. Joseph Health

Support a Star

Sharon Hartshorn Community Leader

Support a Star today, using the enclosed envelope where you will also find space to write a message for a Stargram, which will appear backstage at the Annual Concert to congratulate our students on their remarkable achievement.

Virginia Hunsaker Community Leader Yvonne M. Jordan Community Leader JEREMY KROUT President and CEO, Environment Planning Development Solutions, Inc. Catherine MacIver Senior Vice President, Bank of America Retail Products Group

Or, make your gift online at

Danny Melita Community Leader Yvonne R. O’Neill Certified Public Accountant, O’Neill Financial Management Luz Orozco Parent Representative Community Leader

The Role of Endowment in Our Future Story

Cyrus Parker–Jeannette Dean of the College of the Arts, California State University, Long Beach JUDith f. POSNIKOFF, phd Managing Director, Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co., LLC

It is our privilege each day to serve students like Lizzy, featured on the front page, as she overcomes obstacles and works toward her “future story.” And, we continue to ask ourselves, “How can we make sure The Wooden Floor is here not only for Lizzy, but for children like her of the next generation?”

DAWN S. REeSE Executive Director and Co-CEO, The Wooden Floor Melanie Ríos Glaser Artistic Director and Co-CEO, The Wooden Floor Kristy Santimyer-Melita Community Leader Jim Slaughter Attorney at Law, Slaughter & Slaughter, LLP Larry Stofko Executive Vice President, Innovation Institute, St. Joseph Health Mary E. TOLAR Vice President and Senior Strategic Program Manager, American Funds/Capital Group Companies, Inc.

The Class of 2014 is Bound for College!

We congratulate our 10th consecutive class where 100% will graduate high school on time and immediately enroll in higher education, outperforming their socio-economic peers threefold. Boston University Joshua Gomez

DePaul University Sophia Saenz

Cal Poly Pomona Kimberly Herrera Victoria Miranda

Golden West College Andrea Calderon

San Jose State University Lizeth Vivanco

William Yingling III Community Leader

CSU Dominguez Hills Andrea Sosa

Irvine Valley College Stephanie Angel Isabel Castaneda Alex Perez Priscilla Romero Edgar Soto

Beth Burns, Board Emerita Founder of The Wooden Floor and Artistic Director (’83-’05)

CSU East Bay Jaimie Aguirre Nathally Haddad

Northern Arizona University Jossue Murillo

CSU Monterey Bay Catherine Ocampo

San Francisco State University Abigail Nolasco Yesenia Garcia

Barbara Yingling Community Leader

Socorro Vasquez, Board Emerita Community Leader

CSU Channel Islands Wendolyne Rincon

Santa Ana College Stephanie Avila Alison Chavez Azalea Martinez Melissa Peraza Andrea Velador UC San Diego Jane Alvarado UC Irvine Itzel Garcia UC Riverside Jatziry Hernandez

Photography by: Kevin P. Casey and Christine Cotter

Thank you to the major supporters who have come forward this summer for the students of The Wooden Floor, including: 4 ©The Wooden Floor | summer 2014

The segerstrom foundation

Supporters have found meaningful ways to help strengthen and extend our programs for many years into the future through The Wooden Floor Legacy Society. As we plan for the long term, we are honored to work with supporters like you to use vehicles such as property, life insurance, bequests, and trust designations, to provide resources that will enable under-served young people to discover and realize their full potential.

If you are interested to see whether a legacy gift for endowment is right for you, please contact Keegan Bell at 714.541.8314 ext. 140 or

"Dance Up" Summer 2014 - The Newsletter from The Wooden Floor  
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