Antoine Hunter's blessing to Share!

Antoine hunter share his thought and word to the people!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My life as a teacher with Passion

Being deaf is a Culture just like being african american- it not curse but a gift. I just have to learn how to use my gift and understand just like how X-Man in comic book learned to use their power when at 1st they consider their power as a curse. American Sign Lanuage is a language rather just hand movement and sign - it how I comunicate with ALL people in the world. Dance is arts of expression in motion of one heart and visions- rather than just a technique. .

I am very, very, very shocked! To tear! You know for past years I would teach 15 different location running from school to school teaching hearing children or special need children -adult students as well. I love to sub too. I love doing it- many time most place can not afford a dance teacher and more than often I teach for free- I remember back then before Ipod was made I carry my big boom-box from school to school on foot. Sometime it was 4 to 5 different school but each of them were all in a different city or part of town. I run to different school even last month i was teach for california school for the deaf in their class room for free because the teacher want the deaf kids to have something to show on culture day and I taught african dance to children and you know I don't have a car because it a lot work to keep it so I run around town to dance on train and place- and still trying to make sure they( Deaf children who want to dance) have something-

teaching with Drum:
it funny because I would bring drum something to a class sometime to most place i teach african dance at - most of the time kids know about drum and they kno it about keeping the rhythm- but when i taught at california school for the deaf in fremont as guest teacher and of course the student were deaf- but when i hit the drum so hard they did felt the vibration- they would be shocked that they run to the drum to feel it- they put their dance around the drum while i give them rhythm hard on the drum. they kids began to count better with me- they keep that beat in themselve then dance in the form of african dance and began to dance greatly beautiful as they alway did but better understanding of keeping rhythm!

I been never so proud- when they perform for their culture dance-

A gift to Teaching:
I teach pre ballet, hip-hop, jazz and so much more. All ages! I just have the passion to give! I think teaching dance or making up a dance or give time for people to dance their heart out is a blessing to them and a gift because many great dancers I kno in this world do not want to teach or dont like teaching- some would teach if they have too but i do it because I believe i can help get anyone do whatever their in their dance- they tell me what they want to learn and I say ok let figure it out. I believe a teacher need to be a student while they teach be willing to learn something new and figure out puzzle. When I teach my goal is how to make this work for them to do the work of their own expression of dance. I love to teach ballet and care about my student putting their body in correct form - Indeed I stress it but i teach TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE and got from them. If you dont have that fancy "turn out" it ok use what you have.
I teach my adult students because sometime they tell me I dont have a "lot of turn-out" - I said ("it ok, I dont have a lot of hearing either but I use what I have and not having a lot of hearing is a gift to me) because I am able hear thing in the world that other people tend to miss out on. So there must be a reason your turn-out is like that you shall still do great thing with a turn out like that. It a gift to teach.

Teaching is Hard:
As far as how hard it is to be a teach and being deaf. I will tell you i teach after school program, i teach at young women prison in a town call WalNut creek, and other private location. I can tell you it is hard, sometime - you see I am deaf in my Left ear but have small hearing in my right ear and i wear a hearing aid. No matter how wonderful my body maybe build and how well i speak people doubt i can dance because they see my hearing aids. They say show me you can dance? ha of course it any one but i get it mostly because of my hearing aid. They tell me to - "you know I "saw" that you WERE deaf but you area great dancer how do you do that. After they see me dance I am no longer deaf and have the right to teach them how to dance. Alway make me laugh.

Hearing Parent are alway trying to figure if it okay for their chilren to take class forma deaf teacher- after they see their kids smile and dance- it ok! I have 15 kids each ballet class- it get so over full in my class i have to cut 30 student in half and come even more early to work when I teach Pre ballet. I alway believe a good teacher have to watch their young students who are filled with energy all over the room. Most parent tell me that they feel safer with me to watch their childrens and for me i believe it because of my deafness make me be more watchful about everything around me. I want my students safe so I am very watchful.

I play classical music for that class on CD player- when student is ready to began to go a cross the floor - I alway rush back to the speaker to touch it and find the rhythm to make sure my hearing or deaf children are on the beat! Of course it ok to dance off beat but I want to make sure they have rhythm of their heart beat. Sometime classical music d not give big bass- so i have to run all the way to the sterio to get the beat of vibration and then run back to the center of the floor- Which can be a lot of energy taken away from me but no one notice and I enjoy it. In my adult jazz i tell people to find their rhythm what they can feel and hear and dance with that. Even if their are in different count. That music is true to them.

Teach in Studio:
You will find me running to touch the speaker to make sure my professional dancer or advance dancer on staying on the beat when I teach Jazz- The count is very point to hold in my world- I want to make sure everyone is able to have that powerful tool. You will see me doign American Sign Language and talking at the same time. Deaf people would say Hey You are talking - and I say yes I am - I do not Do ESL which is english sign language but I do (A.S.L)American Sign Language and speak english. My speech is not perfect but every hearing person say WHO ENGLISH is perfect. I sign and talk because it important for me that everyone understand what I am teaching- I am aware that students who come take my class are sometime deaf but do not want anyone to know even me. They tend to miss out on everything i am saying if I don't sign and If i don't talk hearing people miss out but funny thing is both hearing and deaf benfit from my Sign Lanuage because they have to be expressive in american sign language use your whole body and not just your hand- You can not sign happy and look sad. If you take your thumb and point or index finger together on both hand and place it in front of your eyes and open your thumb away from you index finger and open your eyes wide at the same time - is the sign for suprise and of course is something shock you - you would open your eyes wide. That true with dance too.

My struggle is people doubt I can teach before they see me teach- It doe not matter where you dance but doubt is there when they see my hearing aid. I make my student laugh and ask my question in dance class and even shame them for not trying hard enough when they doubt themself. encourage them when only my mother enocurse me.

Role model!:
My role model to be a great teach is Dawn James from Skyline High School, ( she was on dance teacher cover) a few year ago! ( when i saw her that was my dream to be like her) Mr savage from savage jazz dance company- it seem he could touch someone and make them dance greater than before- it was like her had some kind of power to get get leg high turn faster. Well I want to be like. Teach time I teach I am inspired but also I know I open up a place where people can take my jazz class with any kind of body type with any kind abitly they too can dance their heart out and be free to dance free to express themselve. My mom is the best teach there is because Patient is what i learn from her love of teaching.

(when I was younger - teachers of different kind would let me take class for free because I came with commiment!- So even today where I teach at Alice arts center many people dont have money to take that class and I do not make money from teaching - I dont make money there- because I have to pay for the studio space but often i use my own money to keep that studio I never turn anyone when they can teach but i expect them to pay when they can. Most of my students pay because they know i struggle tokeep th studio open for them to dance there- but they know if they dont have it they can still come to dance working hard. - i believe in giving back)

Teaching outside the dance studio:

I get email everyday about different students or people for that matter; who ask about me about question related to dance being deaf or african american artist as well. Most of them tell me that many of their teacher do not make the time to explain to them about life as dancer, a student, and artist. I have email students or anyone that I never met about how to make a dance resume, how to get ready for an audition, how to dance and work through the struggle of being deaf and staired at. I believe it important because I alway wished someone else explained to me. I knwo teacher get busy but I believe you got make time for people who need your self to get them moving on their own. I dont believe teaching is alway inside the dance studio - I believe teaching dance everywhere- I use youtube alot to teach sign laugage and dance. I express with dance- and arts- sometime i look like I am doing the most goofiest thing but it to show I am human too. I got to different school or events to talk about what it is to be deaf and speak about them reaching their dreams. My passion to get people to give they can reach their dream and give them a chance to get one step or more to reaching their dream.

I dance for 5 different company, I teach at 13 different location, have 2 company of my own, i teavel to express, go to school at St Mary College of California in the LEAP (program for dancer) - and make time for me to kiss my mom and eat her cooking when ever i am in town.

( PLease excuse my gammar - english is not my 1st langauge as american sign lanuage is my 1st language- ESL mean englsih sign lanuage and you say in sign> I am going to the store. But in ASL which stand for American Sign Language you say - (I go store) or you say ( I go store not) which mean I am not going to the store. I struggle with at in writting but i tend to do peom to get people to understand me. Thank you so much and ask me any questions - I do better there. Also reach Sins In-vaild because they are owner of the video - and yes I posted because i had a great message-

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Antoine Hunter Won 2011 CHIME Award in the San Francisco Bay Area

This is a wonderful blessing - we all about it!

The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (MJDC) is pleased to announced the recipients of the 2011 Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME) grant in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.
CHIME, a project of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, is an innovative mentorship program where self-selected pairs of professional choreographers – a mentor and mentee – receive significant support over one year to establish and explore a working relationship that includes, but is not limited to, work in the studio. For more information on CHIME,click here.









CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area is funded by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation and generous individuals. Funding for CHIME in Southern California is provided by the James Irvine Foundation, with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area 2011 Artist Profiles

Kim Epifano has a 25-year history as an award winning choreographer, director, performer, vocalist, educator and collaborator. She is the Artistic/Executive Director of her company Epiphany Productions, which she founded in 1997. Ms. Epifano curates and produces the popular San Francisco Trolley Dances, which is now entering its eighth year and was awarded by the San Francisco Weekly "Best Public Transit Ballet" 2010. In the 1980's and 1990's, Epifano was a key member of two of San Francisco's most collaborative and influential dance companies, the Dance Brigade and Contraband. Her work has been nominated for and awarded several Bay Area Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (IZZIES), won the SF Weekly's Black Box Award in 1998 for Best Dance Ensemble, and placed first in Mexico's Bi-National Competition. Epifano's work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Dance: Creation to Performance program (funded by the James Irvine Foundation and administered by Dance/USA), SF Arts Commission, Grants for the Arts, The Creative Work Fund, and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, among others. She received her MFA in Choreography from U.C. Davis and has more than 15 years of experience teaching dance at the collegiate level. She has taught at and or been commissioned to set work at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, Arizona State, Skidmore College, University of San Francisco, U.C. Davis, UCLA, among others. Her work has been performed internationally, in Mexico, China, India, Ethiopia among others, as well as all over the United Sates. Most recently, Epifano toured to Tunisia, North Africa to present an evening of work for the international festival Mad'Art Carthage and perform outreach with local Tunisian youth. The trip was co-sponsored by the Tunisian government and the U.S. State Department. In April 2010, Epifano traveled to Vietnam with Mudd Butt International to bridge artistic alliances and create a performance piece with young adults from the city of Hue and America. For the last 24 years, Ms. Epifano has been the Co-Director with Sally Davis of the Mudd Butt Mystery Theater Troupe in Telluride, CO. In June 2011, Ms. Epifano's home season will be part of the curated performances at ODC Theater in San Francisco. Her work has been presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Theatre Artaud, Cowell Theater, ODC Theatre in San Francisco, Mondavi Center at UC Davis, Sushi Performance and Art Galleries in San Diego, New York MELT Festival, Colorado Dance Festival, Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, CO, among others. For more information go to

Antoine Hunter is an Oakland-born African American deaf and hard of hearing choreographer, dancer, dance instructor, actor, speaker and poet. He has performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company, as a dance artist/performer/jazz instructor; he has also performed with Nuba Dance Theater, Sins Invalid, Sonic Dance Theater of Epiphany Productions, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Alayo Dance Company, Cat Willis, Push Dance Company, Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company and many more. Mr. Hunter has attended the California Institute of the Arts and is studying toward a B.A at St. Mary's College of California L.E.A.P. He is Founder/Director of Urban Jazz Dance Company, and a faculty member at the East Bay Center of the Performing Arts, Dance-A-Vision, Youth In Arts, Ross Dance Company and more. Mr. Hunter dances with companies from various parts of the world and is traveling around the world performing/teaching, proving that even those with a hearing disability or any kind of disability can reach for their dreams. and

Sara Shelton Mann has directed Contraband in Canada and the U.S. She has received four Isadora Duncan Awards. She was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in Choreography in 2000. Her 2006 presentation ofTe'lios/Teli'os was awarded one of the top ten dance performances in SFCA. She taught intensives in Berlin, Budapest, Stolzenhagen, as well as Freiburg in the summer of 2007. The "Inspirare" Trilogy was presented by ODC Theater in the spring of 2008. She directed Kalpa 1/my life as a turtle in San Diego, created Tribes/zeropoint for the Potsdam International Festival of Dance & Theater, presented at the Schinkehalle Theater, and was a Granada Artist at UC Davis, CA. In 2009, she received the Gerbode Choreographers in Collaboration Award fortribes/dominion with collaborator David Szlasa at YBCA for 2010. Sara's work has been supported by Djerassi Artist in Residence Programs, Commissions, NEA, SFAC, SFF, Zellerbach and Gerbode Foundation.

Benjamin Levy is a choreographer, dancer, and director based in San Francisco who is recognized for his cutting-edge interdisciplinary works that explore the nuance and drama of human intimacy. After earning his BA in Dance and Marketing from U.C. Berkeley and performing with Joe Goode Performance Group, Levy founded LEVYdance in 2002. LEVYdance very quickly became known for its innovative works and collaborations and in 2004 was named one of the "Top 25 Companies to Watch" by Dance Magazine and awarded a San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. Levy has also been awarded a Choreographic Fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, an Emerging Choreographer Award from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and creative residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The Silo. As Artistic Director for LEVYdance, Levy has presented original works at prestigious venues across the nation and internationally, engaged distinguished collaborators including Kronos Quartet, Keeril Makan, Mason Batas, Colleen Quen and Rick Lee, and established a unique recognizable artistic aesthetic for LEVYdance.

Jill Togawa has worked as a dancer, choreographer, innovator and community builder in her native Hawai'i, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 30 years. She founded Purple Moon Dance Project, which explores the continuum of intimacy between women and illuminates less visible and unheard stories from our communities, through the integration of non-western and western dance forms and aesthetics and interdisciplinary collaboration. In her creative projects she creates circles of collaborators – multicultural, intergenerational and spanning different disciplines – to texture each work with their diverse experience. With Purple Moon she began producing The Community Healing Garden Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco (2003), which has become a biennial event bringing together artists, healers, community leaders and diverse communities to celebrate life and honor our ancestors.

Michelle Fletcher loves movement, story, and architecture. After graduating with her BFA in dance from North Carolina School of the Arts, Fletcher pursued a career in ballet. Deciding that ballet company life was not for her, Fletcher returned to school to study choreography at Florida State University. Highlights from Fletcher's FSU education include teaching undergraduate theater majors, working as a demonstrator and rehearsal assistant to Dan Wagoner, and performing an original work choreographed by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet director Benoit-Swan Pouffer. Upon graduation, Fletcher packed her bags for the west and immediately founded Here Now Dance Collective with fellow FSU graduates. With Here Now and the help of amazing collaborators, Fletcher has produced 2 full-length evenings of dance and participated in over ten curated performances in the past two years. Fletcher is currently working on The Apology Project, which investigates the way we ask for forgiveness on a daily

CHIME in Southern California 2011 Artist Profiles

Lionel Popkin's dances are characterized by his blend of humor, subtle sensuality, precision, sly wit and raw physical power that The Village Voice says, "yields first to the senses" and then to "intimate adventures". His work comes from a deeply sensory and unabashed kinesthetic curiosity that places vibrant individuals within an imagistic or abstract landscape, propelling his audience to have a highly visceral and physical experience. Popkin has had his choreography presented nationally and internationally at numerous venues including Danspace Project and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City; The Getty Museum, REDCAT, and Highways in Los Angeles; the Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series, On the Boards in Seattle; the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia; Sushi Performance in San Diego; and The Place Theater in London. As a dancer, Lionel has performed throughout the US and Europe in the companies of Trisha Brown (2000-2003), Terry Creach (1996-2000) and Stephanie Skura (1993-1996). From 1999-2000 Lionel was a Choreographer-In-Residence at the Susan Hess Studio in Philadelphia, PA. He has received grants from the City of Los Angeles' Department of Cultural Affairs, Danspace Project's Commissioning Initiative, the Jerome Foundation, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the New York State Music Fund, The Puffin Foundation and the Durfee Foundation. He has created commissioned work for San Diego's Lower Left Performance Collective's Satellite in 2005, Nejla Yatkin in 2006, and Li Chiao-Ping Dance in 2009. Lionel is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique and has served on the faculty at Bates College, London's Laban Centre, Sarah Lawrence College, Temple University and the University of Maryland. Lionel is currently an Associate Professor of Choreography and Performance at UCLA. For more information see

Arianne MacBean is the Artistic Director of The Big Show Co., a dance-theater group based in Los Angeles. The Big Show Co. has been presented in New York City at the DIA Center for the Arts and WOW, and in Los Angeles at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, UCLA's Armand Hammer Museum, Unknown Theater, Highways Performance Space, and REDCAT as part of Studio and The A.W.A.R.D. Show! MacBean has been a Guest Artist at Scripps College and LA Valley College and is a seven-time grant recipient from the city of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, most recently, as an Artist-in-Residence. She holds a BA in Dance from UCLA and a double MFA in Dance & Critical Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. MacBean is currently the Chair of the Dance Department at Oakwood School in North Hollywood.

d. Sabela grimes is a multi-hyphenated artist, choreographer and educator whose work transforms speech and sound into a visual performance with movement that is electric on transmission. Sabela has conceived and presented a body of dance theater work that has consistently stretched beyond the boundaries surrounding contemporary notions of Hip Hop culture and aesthetics. Projects such as World War What?Ever?, 40 Acres & A Microchip: Salvation or Servitude, Sankofa and his evening length tour-de-force BULLETPROOF DELI exemplify his propensity to funktion as performer, choreographer, writer, composer and costume designer. His work continues to journey through the present future of Hip Hop's past and the corrugated spaces of its many incarnations. Sabela has been a principal dancer and artistic contributor with Rennie Harris Puremovement. He holds a MFA in choreography from UCLA's World Arts and Culture Department. His Funkamental and MediKinetix dance/movement workshops explore the physical/metaphysical efficacy and transformative qualities of Black dance practices.

Emiko Sugiyama was born in Tokyo, Japan and began dancing classical ballet at the age of seven and moved to Davis, CA in 1999. She studied Physical Therapy at U.C. Davis and Sacramento College. Soon she met B-boys in Davis, Sacramento and the Bay Area, and attended various breakin' events as a competitor. She became a member of Flexible Flave. In 2001, Emiko moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dance career and she joined the hip hop dance company, One Step Ahead, performing in several venues. In 2004, she moved to New York City and became a member of Illstyle and Peace Production and has been performing with them nationally and internationally, including Russia, Poland, Liberia and Canada. While she lived in NYC, she taught at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance and other studios. She was invited to compete in breakin' battles in San Francisco, Paris and London. In 2008, Emiko produced all the elements of a Hip Hop youth summer camp called "Hiphop Island" in Philadephia. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles working with Illstyle and Peace Production and the Hiphop Island Los Angeles chapter, as well as working as a producer for the J.U.i.C.E. Hip Hop Festival. Her credits include: Sacramento Kings (NBA and WNBA) half-time show, Breakestra music video "Get Your Soul Together," Warp Tour in Las Vegas, Thalia feat. Fat Joe music video "I Want You," Lipton Tour 2003 on ABC Good Morning America, KRS One, Warren G and Lil Ai music video and a NIKE Town in-store commercial. Emiko aspires to share not only her skills and abilities but also her individuality and personality through dance.

Oguri, a native of Japan and a resident of Southern California since 1990 conducts Body Weather Laboratory a forum for investigating the body and environment. He works site-specifically in the California desert and urban landscapes – plazas, architectures, streets – as an improviser and with musicians. He develops multimedia works using literature, daily life imagery and simple materials to transform space and time with

Prumsodun Ok is an artist, critic, teacher, writer, and organizer actively engaging and connecting diverse communities through his practice. He has taught both Cambodian classical dance and filmmaking through out California and seeks to make the traditional arts relevant and accessible
in contemporary society. His original works contemplate and exemplify what Rene Daumal describes as "the avant-garde in antiquity" and have been supported by the Flourish Foundation, Arts Council for Long Beach, Durfee Foundation, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora; they have been shown at venues such as REDCAT, CounterPULSE, Highways Performance Space, Red Poppy Art House, Pieter Performance Space and Dance, and KUNST STOFF arts fest.

Photos: Top to bottom; left to right: Emiko Sugiyama (photo by Ritchie Ramirez); Benjamin Levy (Ana Teresa Fernandez); Oguri (Eoin McLoughlin); Antoine Hunter (Matt Haber); d. Sabela grimes (Jorge Vismara); Prumsodun Ok (Navin Moul); Kim Epifano (Derrick C. Jones); Antoine Hunter (Matt Haber); Sarah Shelton Mann (LissaIvy Tiegel); Benjamin Levy (Ana Teresa Fernandez); Jill Togawa (Lucy Pemoni); Michelle Fletcher (Matthew Lewis); d. Sabel grimes (Hannan Saleh); Emiko Sugiyama (David Walden); Lionel Popkin (Steven Gunther); Arianne MacBean (Will Taylor); Oguri (Arturo Patten); and Prumsodun Ok (Phyras Men).

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
149 – 9th Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 861-3940

Monday, January 3, 2011