KDA is pleased to present the Master Class Series: Arts + Mentoring in partnership with Garden Pathways.  With generous support from the Arts Council of Kern and Stria, the Master Class Series is rooted in mentoring young people through the arts. Under the guidance of professionals in the field, dancers are encouraged to explore a variety of dance related resources to further develop their dance education.




February 4 | CONTEMPORARY MODERN – Emily Schoen – Director/ Choreographer of Schoen Movement Company, Dancer for Keigwin + Company

April 22 |CONTEMPORARY JAZZ – Saleemah E. Knight- Professor or Dance, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

More Master Class Dance Guest Artists + dates will be announced soon!



Sunday, April 22 
10:00 “Mixed Level” Contemporary Jazz Class
11:30-12:30 Mentor Session
12:30-1:00 Q&A Session and Discussion (open and free to the public)


Location: KDA Dance Studio at Garces Memorial High School

Ages 10 – 18

Minimum 3 years dance experience required.

Cost: $5/KDA Members, $10/non-KDA Members

Not a KDA Member?  JOIN HERE

Professional Development Observations Rates AVAILABLE – Contact info@kerndance.org


The Master Class Series: Arts + Mentoring is rooted in the mission to mentor young people through the arts, specifically dance.  Through the guidance of professionals in the field, dancers will be encouraged to explore a variety of dance related resources to further develop their dance education.   Dancers will train in technical dance disciplines, learn about anatomy and injury prevention, dance history, music theory, dynamics, aesthetics, body awareness, and performance.

At the culmination of each master class session, dancers will experience intimate time with each dance guest artist as they are mentored about a future career in dance.  Additionally, master class dance guest artists will outline their experiences, influences, and expertise in the field of dance during a Q&A session that will be available for students and the audience to pose questions.

Master Class Dress Code:

  • Females – Form fitting clothing, preferably leotards and tights. Yoga pants, bicycle shorts and form fitting tops are also acceptable.  Please NO BAGGY DANCEWEAR.
  • Males – Form fitting clothing, preferably tee shirts, jazz pants/black tights.  Dance belt, if needed or suspenders to hold up tights. Gym shorts and/or bicycle shorts are also acceptable. Please NO BAGGY DANCEWEAR.
  • Feet – shoes will be determined based upon the specific class.
  • Hair – Hair must be swept back and secured properly.

Safety Clause – No gum or wrist/finger jewelry is allowed during class.  Please be prepared to have kneepads for every class.

Master Class Essentials:

Dancers are encouraged to bring the following:

  • Water
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Notebook/Journal
  • Yoga Mats
  • Knee Pads
  • Appropriate Foot Attire: Ballet Shoes, Jazz Shoes, Tennis Shoes, and Black Socks


Master Class Q&A and Discussion with Saleemah E. Knight:

Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

KDA Dance Studio at Garces Memorial High School

Family and friends of participating dancers are invited and encouraged to attend.

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. 




KDA aims to provide high quality, educational experiences for young artists at a minimal cost. You can help others to participate in the Master Class Series by becoming a donor.

  • $35 affords dance shoes for one master class participant
  • $75 provides water and snacks for 10 master class participants
  • $100 affords ten dance student scholarships
  • $500 affords an entire dance wardrobe (leotards, tights, shoes) for master class participants
  • $1500 affords one dance guest artist honorarium
  • $5,000 affords an entire Master Class session


Emily Schoen has received the Gibney Dance boo-koo grant for emerging artist in NYC, a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship nomination by METdance in Houston, and was called “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. She has danced for Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Nejla Yatkin, the Metropolitan Opera in works by Doug Varone and Mark Morris, the 50th Anniversary Rolling Stones Reunion Tour, and has been with Keigwin + Company since 2011. Her own group, Schoen Movement Company, has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joe’s Pub, and recently at the Tunisian National Theater in Tunis, Tunisia with the support of DanceMotion/USA, the US Embassy in Tunis, and American Dance Abroad. SMC has also produced Happy Hour dance shows in breweries, and the mini dance film series “Ten Tiny Dances” which is viewable online. She sets work on companies and universities throughout the United States. She graduated from the University of Arizona with her BFA in Dance and BS in Nutritional Sciences, and is a proud Wisconsinite! www.schoenmovementcompany.com 

Catch Emily live on tour with Keigwin + Company at Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, CA. on Saturday, February 3 at 8:00 PM!

Saleemah E. Knight is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist in the concert and commercial dance realms and a professor of dance at the highly-acclaimed USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Saleemah holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona School of Dance. Her dance technique training, stems from reputable concert dance companies, such as Gus Giordano Chicago, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and River North Chicago. As a performer Saleemah has been a featured dancer in Disney’s world renowned production, The Lion King Broadway Musical and has danced alongside internationally known recording artists and icons, such as Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Jillian Michaels, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris, Tyrese and many other prominent commercial artists.

Saleemah’s choreographic expertise has grabbed the attention of entertainers worldwide. She has been the selected choreographer for various performers, ranging from MTV Asia, to The Bay to the A Tour, featuring well-known recording artists Bosko Kante, E-40, Rick Ross, Lil’ Jon and Busta Rhymes and has done artist development for Akon’s singing sensation, Tami Chynn. Saleemah has been the selected movement coach and artistic director for Latin rap artist Daddy Yankee’s “Limbo” music video and was the choreographer for his “La Noche de Los Dos” music video ft. Natalia Jiménez, both directed by Jessy Terrero of Cinema Giants (formerly known as Terrero Films).
Saleemah was also commissioned by Cinema Giants to choreograph the “Que Viva La Vida” music video for international Puerto Rican pop artist, Wisin (formerly of Wisin y Yandel) as well as the “La Malquerida” music video for Latin pop princess, Chiquis Rivera.

Saleemah E. Knight currently teaches Jazz Dance technique as well as theory courses in the areas of world studies, jazz history/culture and popular culture on faculty at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, choreographs productions and teaches master classes worldwide. She is also the artistic inspiration behind a line of youth- inspired dance active wear called Saleemahwear. Saleemah is known for her outstanding instruction and choreography in Jazz, Jazz-Funk and Contemporary Jazz. She continues to bring her academic expertise, professional, and vibrant attitude to recording artists, dance studios, performing companies and academic universities worldwide.