Welcome To The Dancewerks Family

Talk to any dancer that has had the privilege of the Dancewerks experience and you’ll probably hear something like this: “It was extremely family oriented and such a nice environment…we value your philosophy in dance.”  In a world of instant gratification, rhinestones and flash-in-the-pan trends, the Dancewerks experience reacquaints its dancers with the tradition and simplicity that makes this art form so rewarding: old-fashioned hard work, honesty and opportunity.  The foundation of Dancewerks is built on technique-based classes, limited class size, hands-on correction, personal classroom attention, and instructors with professional, real life dance experience.  For those of you who are new or unfamiliar to the Dancewerks experience, Dancewerks is the brainchild of director, founder, creator and all-around dance guru Ellen Werksman.  The organization consists of a commercial production company, werkshops/studio classes and a semi-professional concert dance ensemble.

For the better part of two decades, each of the Dancewerks pieces lived on its own, but this year is debuting together as a collective whole.  Werksman explains this move: “My life circumstances changed, which allowed me to take a step back, to not be so inundated with the work and really realize what was best for the organization and all of the dancers that came through it.” One of Werksman’s weighty tasks is helping people understand a company of this magnitude.  People are used to organizations that have a single focus and single skill to market; this just isn’t so for either Dancewerks or Ms. Werksman.  The consummate “yes-girl,” Werksman’s diverse and versatile career has helped shape Dancewerks to be multi-dimensional.  From Star Search, to the runway, nightclub to concert stage, Ellen Werksman’s career is nothing short of impressive and full of the rich opportunities she provides for any dancer that crosses her path.  The Dancewerks organization is an amalgamation of these professional experiences.  If Werksman can be a dancer, teacher, choreographer and just about anything else you could imagine, than her company should be all of those things as well.  Her professionalism is recognized by everyone who’s ever come in contact with her, something that now benefits Dancewerks dancers looking for contacts and opportunities in the real world of dance.

Ellen Werksman’s goal is simple: to support dancers and help them discover, for themselves, where they can fit in the wide world of dance.  Instead of trying to create versions of herself in her dancers, Werksman inspires dancers to be the best version of themselves through their artistry.  Never one to ignore where she came from Werksman honors the legacy of her own teacher, Leona Bataille, by generously awarding scholarships to hundreds of dancers across the country.  No matter how many students she teaches, how many professionals she employs, Ellen Werksman will never look past someone.  Some of the best dancers she has had in her semi-professional company, Midwest Dance Collective, were those that were often looked past at their studios.

Dancewerks offers the training, opportunity and attention Ms. Werksman sought as an aspiring dancer and professional.  The organization emphasizes collaboration, education and often acts as a dance resource, helping students, parents, teachers and studio owners alike.  Any dancer looking for a lasting, nurturing and unwavering guide in their dance journey needs to look no further; you’re already part of the Dancewerks Family.