BTI Dance Institute Opens in Logan Circle

Long before moving to the District, Alvaro Maldonado resided in war torn El Salvador as a youth.  Free dance classes at the National Ballet School kept him away from the violence and gangs that surrounded him and the lessons he learned in the classroom truly changed his life.  “I wouldn’t be able to be here without dance,” he said.  “Dance transformed my life and I hope to use the power of dance to transform the lives of others.”

Alvaro Maldonado (source: Luis Gomez Photos)

Inspired by his personal experience, Maldonado, who is also a nutrition consultant and co-owner of personal training gym Fit on 17th Street NW, began to implement dance programs in his home country, as well as other troubled areas in Central America.  According to Maldonado, the goal of the program is not to create dancers, but instead to inspire students and provide them the tools needed to succeed in life.   He now brings this transformational outreach program to District schools and youth groups through BTI Dance Institute, which opened its doors on 14th Street NW last weekend.

In addition to its outreach programs, BTI Dance Institute has both an adult and youth dance training program.  To promote its repertoire of classes and to test out the current schedule of its adult dance training program, the studio is offering free classes until Friday, July 23rd.  First time students and experienced dancers alike will have the chance to try a variety of classes before regular rates go into effect this Saturday.  They will also be able to purchase discount cards at reduced rates before the 24th.

The success of the first few weeks of BTI Dance Institute is not only important to keep the studio going, but it is also key to building a solid financial base for its youth dance training program scheduled to start this September.  Maldonado, who serves as the Founder and Artistic Director of BTI Dance Institute, hopes to train the modern dancers of the future through this program.

Students of BTI Dance Institute’s youth dance training program will take dance history and other relevant academic classes, as well as daily technique and modern dance classes.  Graduates of the program will receive a diploma in contemporary dance concert performance and will be prepared to audition for modern dance companies all over the world.

Students interested in the training program and ballet dancers who have been out of practice may be interested in BTI’s Classical Ballet Performance Workshop with Elizabeth Wisenberg of the Stuttgart Ballet.  The two week intensive workshop runs Monday through Friday 10:30am-12:30pm from August 16th until August 27th.  Total cost for the workshop is $190, but students can also pay for drop in classes with Wisenberg.  Dancers who participate in the workshop will take an hour of technique class and an hour of repertory to learn one of the well-known pieces from “Swan Lake.”  The workshop culminates with a small performance of the “Swan Lake” piece for family and friends at the studio.

Maldonado noted that BTI is still working on its studio but hopes to complete everything over the next couple weeks.  Classes will be adjusted and added to meet the needs of the studio and its clientele, but hip hop and flamenco fans will be disappointed to hear that these types of classes will not be included in the roster.  For more information about BTI Dance Institute, visit their site or read Lawrence Luk’s story from Express.  You can also read this story and see more photos on local blog Borderstan.

10/05/10 Update – BTI Dance Institute recently added hip hop classes to their schedule.

1/15/11 Update – As of February 12th, classes will be held at 1643 Connecticut Ave NW.

12/6/11 Update – BTI Dance Institute will be closing as of December 9th, 2011.

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About Cecile
Cecile Oreste is an arts marketing and public relations professional living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @cecileoreste.

2 Responses to BTI Dance Institute Opens in Logan Circle

  1. Luis Gomez says:

    Very nice interview!

  2. Pingback: Latin Jazz Dance Class at BTI Dance Institute « danceDC

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