This week we’d like to introduce to you a very talented dancer that many of you might already know. Maggie Stack is well known in our community not only for her professional style, but also for her talented skills as a teacher and choreographer. Her ability to motivate raw beginners and challenge advanced contemporary dancers has been an awe-inspiring experience for us here at Acro Enso. We love and respect Maggie and are excited to share her story.
At five years old, Maggie discovered a true passion for dance that she voiced frequently to her mother and father. After a couple years of pushing, her parents finally caved and enrolled her at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at the age of seven. She continued to study dance through her entire childhood. During her teenage years, you wouldn’t find Maggie chatting it up at the local hangout but instead happily sewing her point shoes. Even prom took second place when she chose to perform on the same night. After receiving her BS in Dance from Skidmore College in 2009, Maggie moved to San Francisco to train at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of master teacher Summer Lee Rhatigan. Maggie built her professional career in the Bay working as a dancer and when her greatest teacher, Rhatigan, suggested Maggie become a teacher another passion was born.
Maggie teaches and choreographs for both ballet and contemporary here in Reno. When we asked why she chose these styles to pursue she answered with “I love that ballet is an impossibly difficult language to master. On the other hand, I love exploring the endless possibilities of movement in contemporary work.” After asking her how dance has changed her life Maggie replied with “Dance is my life.” Movement is only half the story though. She goes on to explain that the friendships she’s established over the years in the dance world are one of her greatest joys in life and that she is forever grateful for.
Well that’s all we have for now. We hope you enjoyed learning about Maggie and will come and discover your own movement by sampling any of our dance classes or other disciplines we have available. Or maybe you might visit and meet a cool friend, or two, or three…
These first months of business at Acro Enso have been such an amazing adventure. Up to this point, figuring out how to create a warm and welcoming space for all you movement enthusiasts, has been a huge focus for us, and has required us to make difficult decisions about how to grow this space. Based off recent inquiries we’ve received, we’d like to share a little context on a particular decision we’ve made on whether we should fill our studio with mirrors.
To decide yes or no, we first reached out to a group who would have a very strong opinion on this matter: the dance community. After all, dance is one of our main disciplines, and most dance studios you find are usually filled with mirrors. Surprisingly, we heard a wide range of opinions from dancers, both advocating and opposing mirrors. After going back and forth, we finally reached out to our good friend, Maggie Stack, who is also a highly educated and experienced dance teacher.
Maggie's philosophy on mirrors really struck home with us. She told us that mirrors are a great tool for understanding the body. However, after years of training with and without mirrors, Maggie found that her practice benefited more when she couldn’t see her reflection. Maggie believes, that as a dancer, the key to molding your body into various positions and shapes is a deep, physical understanding that requires you to feel every morsel of yourself from the inside. “There’s so much to investigate,” she remarks - “your bones, muscles, blood, flesh - and it’s easy to forget parts of the body when you’re seeing a one-dimensional version of yourself.” Maggie encourages all of her dancers to tune into the full 360-degree study of the body by directing focus on the self and away from the reference of a mirror.
We understand there are mixed opinions on this topic, however, we agree with Maggie on this concept of connecting with the self. We believe this kind of connection truly inspires authentic movement which is what we're all about here at Acro Enso. So, in the end we decided to not fill our walls with mirrors. We encourage you to come and experience our space for yourself though and share with us what you think. Stay tuned to learn more about Maggie Stack and the classes she teaches at Acro Enso in our next blog. Thanks for reading!!
This week we’re excited to introduce you to Tegroc, the first Breaking (break dancing) teacher to join Acro Enso! Tegroc started Breaking when he was 14 years old and has gained extensive knowledge and talent over the years. He is now a current member of the Vibe Vultures Crew & BLCITY B-boys.
When Tegroc first discovered Breaking in his youth he was captivated by the dynamic, gravity defying movements Breakers could do. He completely immersed himself into Hip Hop culture and went on to enter countless Breaking events. He’s learned from many older generation B-boys including a mentor from the world-famous Rock Steady Crew from New York City!!
What Tegroc loves most about Breaking is the trance like sensation he feels when he dances. He explains how Breaking sends him into a world where he loses himself to the beat of his own self-expression. Tegroc believes this dance form has changed the way he sees the world, and has made him into the confident person he is today.
Tegroc is excited to share the liberating life of Breaking with you. He believes you can really express your personality with this dance form and clear your mind of daily stress. He's looking forward to sharing with you the beauty of Breaking and the creative process of adding your own flavor and style. Come join Tegroc after our Grand Opening on April 6th and experience this awesome movement for yourself. Thanks for reading and have a great week!!
This week we'd like to introduce you to Brad Summerhill a rad Tang Soo Do teacher joining us at Acro Enso. If you’re unfamiliar, Tang Soo Do is a karate-based Korean martial art that combines elements of shotokan karate, subak, taekkyon, and kung fu. When Brad first discovered martial arts he was teaching a writing seminar at Truckee Meadows Community College. After class one day, Brad started chatting with one of his students, John Whitehead, over a writing principle.
John mentioned how he studied and taught Karate and how he was able to relate his martial arts practice to the seminar. Not really understanding what this meant, Brad was later invited to come by John’s Karate studio. Brad said that “he’d always been interested and that he’d think about it.” John had looked at him and told him “Don’t think about”, “Do it!” According to Brad, this was his first lesson.
Brad continued his training and received his black belt in Tang Soo Do in 2010 and taught classes with his club organization until he was granted a master’ status (4rth degree) in 2015. He also had the privilege of earning his 1st and 2nd degree recognition by the Grandmaster John Natividad, a Tang Soo Do legend and a karate hall-of-famer. Brad also trains in the martial known as Aikido and has earned 1st Kyu status which is one level below a back belt.
What Brad loves most about Tang Soo Do and martial arts in general is the wide applicability of the endeavor to any mind or body activity. For example, Brad was an expert skier before he ever trained martial arts. Yet through martial arts, he says he became an even better skier and he also found himself becoming a better teacher. Brad explains how the elements of mindfulness and fitness embedded within the study of martial arts has had great application in his life.
Brad is looking forward to sharing the knowledge, the spirit, and joy he’s experienced in his martial arts practice with all of you here soon at Acro Enso. We hope you’ll join us at our grand opening on April 6th where you can meet and get to know our teachers and play with our community. Thanks for reading!!
In anticipation of our upcoming events at Acro Enso, we’d like to introduce you to Sam Tribble, a prominent Cyr Wheel coach of ten years, who is coming to teach workshops soon here in Reno!! Before we share Sam’s story, we’d like to shed some light on the beautiful movement form of Cyr Wheel. A Cyr Wheel is a large metal wheel cased in a flexible pvc skin in which you spin around like a coin on a counter. Cyr Wheel is a fairly new practice in our culture and up until recently, it’s been fairly exclusive. This is because there aren’t many places in the world available to learn Cyr Wheel, and the wheels themselves are expensive and quite difficult to make.
At Acro Enso, we’re passionate about making this beautiful movement form more accessible for the general public to learn. That's why we’ve invested into sixteen Cyr Wheels as well as a specialized 6,000-sf platform that we’ve built by hand. Now that our studio is ready for business, we’re excited and very fortunate to be hosting renowned and experienced teachers, like Sam Tribble, to educate and support our growing movement community.
As an All American Gymnast, Sam was first attracted to the Cyr Wheel because it challenged him in similar ways to gymnastics. Like many youth gymnasts before him, Sam started to coach during and after his time as a student so that he could gain regular gym access and continue his training as an adult. He quickly realized that he had a true love for teaching because of the meaningful impact that sharing has on a person’s well being. After many years of training and teaching Cyr Wheel, Sam became the first USA World’s Team Coach for Cyr Wheel and went on to develop a teacher certification program known as PAT - Progressive Axis Training ™ - to bring up more Cyr teachers like himself.
There are many things that fuel Sam’s passion for Cyr Wheel. To name just a few: it’s low impact and forever challenging; it’s inclusive to everyone with a great capacity for personal expression; and unlike other sports that rely on dominant legs and arms, Cyr Wheel is able to work both sides of the body, which has a huge impact on creating musculature symmetry and movement patterns that benefit our longevity in sports. According to Sam, however, the only reason you need to try Cyr Wheel is because it’s simply so much fun to do!!
We hope that you’ll take advantage of Sam’s time in Reno by joining his workshops at Acro Enso the end of this month and by coming to our Grand Opening on April 6th to see him perform in his wheel. Sign up now to reserve your spot!! You can find more information on these events HERE! Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you soon!!
This week we’re excited to introduce you to Vinnie Lucido, a certified Budokon Yoga teacher, joining our team at Acro Enso. Many of you might already know this mindful human as one of the seasoned founders of our play community. You’ll often see him strolling around town on his one wheel dressed as a werewolf or waving down at you from the top of his towering stilts during fun events. This man of many talents has been practicing Budokon yoga for over five years and is looking forward to sharing his primal movement practice with all of you.
So, you might be wondering what exactly Budokon is. We weren’t quite sure when we first learned of it, so we asked Vinnie to educate us. According to Vinnie, Budokon is a trademark self-help program based on Japanese principles that incorporates three main disciplines: yoga, martial arts, and calisthenics. Vinnie informed us that Budokon originates from the ventures of a martial artist named Cameron, who desired to create a program that combined both his martial arts and yoga practice. After opening his first program Dojo Om, Cameron changed the name to Budokon which translates to ‘the way of the warrior spirit’. Cameron went on to create the Budokon University program to bring up teachers like Vinnie.
When we asked Vinnie what he loves most about Budokon Yoga he shared his value of how Budokon Yoga allows oneself to experience the true nature of the body, the fluidity of the spine and the balance of the warrior spirit and the yogi presence. But most of all Vinnie loves the story in which the 7 series of Budokon Yoga unfold. Vinnie says this story(featured below) relates to the human in its most primal state and is what keeps him excited about Budokon Yoga!! We hope you’re looking forward to learning the refined movement practice of Budokon Yoga with Vinnie once we’ve opened our doors. Thanks for reading and stay tuned to learn about more teachers joining Acro Enso next week!!
The 7 Budokon Yoga Series
Rolling Salutation Section One - Awakening
The Warrior sits observing self, preparing for the unification of mind, spirit, and body - the greatest of battles. The Warrior rises and begins the rolling salutations. The rolling wave is the letting go of the rigid, clinging mind and the embracing of the effortless flow of time as it passes from new to old. The cobra roll represents the snake that sheds the old skin and old way of thinking, and embracing the now. The floating develops fearlessness and creates internal fire preparing the body for the battle that lies ahead.
Archer Series Section 2 - Divided Mind
The Warrior is now ready to confront the enemy - the divided mind. The enemy is strengthened by the resistance of the Warrior to accept what is. The Warrior must battle with the desire to cling to what has past, or what may never be, and embrace what is now. The archer releases the arrow of truth, and the enemy responds by lunging forward with more illusion. The Warrior defends, and returns with sword in hand. The battle continues.
Section 3 - Pride
The warrior is thrown to his/her back, yet refuses to surrender. The Warrior is battling pride now. The need to be right, to control, to direct the course of things. The rising into chair, the crane, the warrior 2, and flying warrior, proud warrior, to kicking warrior, to warrior 3, and finally to falling warrior.
Dancing Dog Section 4 - Unification
The warrior begins to recognize the emptiness of resisting what is. The battle transitions into a dance of unification. The unwavering courage of the warrior is demonstrated here and harmony is now the goal. The dancing dog represents the dance between the warrior and his/her mind. The half split and lizard poses are an effort to rest during the battle. The reverse prayer represents the prayer for peace. Warrior 1 to coiling dragon demonstrates the sword being thrown to the ground. The war has ended. The Warrior is now one with the mind.
Section 5 - Balance
Now balance must be established and sustained. The warrior now seeks to experience true balance. Finally having unified and become one with the mind the goal is now to demonstrate the balance between mind, spirit and body.
Animals Section 6 - Remembering
The Warrior remembers his/her original state before the divided mind. The animals represent rebirthing and returning to our natural state of single mind. A reconnection to the earth. A returning to all fours and to pure playfulness.
Section 7 - Death & Rebirth
The Warrior is now prepared to die. Opening, surrendering and vulnerability are present. Allowing what is to be, be. And with that the opportunity to return again from the corpse pose to rebirth and finally back to our observation of self. The cycle is complete.
When we were babies, we used touch as a vital tool to gauge the world around us. Our little fingers would grab hold of everything we encountered, and with a speculative coo we would analyze and play with the objects in our hands to learn all we could about their roles in our reality.
This natural inclination for touch was especially true for Jon Gunzel, a juggling teacher at Acro Enso. Jon describes how his desire to handle everything in sight was quite bothersome to his parents for the majority of his childhood, yet his obsession for object manipulation stuck with him well into his adult life, inspiring him to become an avid juggler.
When we asked Jon what he loves most about juggling he told us how he loved how juggling makes him use parts of his brain he wouldn’t normally use day to day and that being able to use both sides of his body simultaneously is an amazing feeling! He continually challenges himself by juggling with everything from balls and clubs, to hoops and knives.
Jon is very excited to share his passion with all of you in his weekly class at Acro Enso. He explains how his inner child is one of the most cherished parts of himself and what he hopes most to give to his students is the ability to tap into their own inner child by stirring that natural desire for touch we all have inside of us. We hope you’ll come find your inner play in Jon’s juggling class, once we’ve opened our doors! Thanks for reading and stay tuned to learn more about the teacher’s joining Acro Enso next week.
When you discover a passion you love, a new path of exploration manifests in your life. As you journey down this path and gain insight, you start to meet the community around you who also shares the love for this passion . Once you’ve dipped your toe into the collected wisdom of this community, your world begins to open up to a network of valuable connections and resources that help you grow your passion.
At Acro Enso, partner acrobatics is a passion we love to explore and learn. One of the resources we use in our community to grow this passion is quality coaching from teachers like Aaron Lind, a founder of the Lift School of Acrobatics. When we asked Aaron why he values quality coaching in partner acrobatics, he shared with us his philosophy that good coaches are trained to help you find the right technique that fits your unique body type. Since the same technique doesn’t apply to everybody in partner acrobatics, having personalized instruction from an experienced coach becomes very beneficial to the understanding and application of your practice.
When Aaron first learned partner acro and experienced quality coaching like this, he says he was astounded by his teachers’ abilities to accurately assess his individual body mechanics. He made amazing progress in his training with the help of famous partner acro coaches like Niko Douwes and Jean-Luc. He was so inspired by their quality coaching that he decided he also wanted to help others this way and become a partner acrobatics coach himself. He’s trained many acro partnerships and with the help of his colleagues and community he created a program through the Lift School of Acrobatics to train and certify acro teachers as well.
At Acro Enso, we’re so excited to be working with skilled coaches like Aaron to learn and coach quality partner acrobatics to our community. We hope that you will join us for the upcoming immersions and workshops happening soon with Aaron this year to experience his expertise first hand! For more information on upcoming events check out their Events Page. Thanks for reading and have a great week.
Have you ever joined a yoga class and experienced an unforgettable moment that had nothing to do with the yoga? Perhaps you were stretching low into your downward dog, when your nose picked up on an unmistakably familiar odor drifting from a fellow classmate who hadn’t made friends with a shower in the past few days? Or maybe you were attempting a difficult movement and became totally lost because the couple in front of you were chatting through the teacher’s instruction?
Situations like these are unpleasant to say the least and may prove quite disruptive to your overall class experience. If you’ve been through something like this then you probably agree that there’s an art to being a good student that every person would benefit from learning. Just as creating a delicious meal depends on the individual ingredients, the makings of a quality class depends on the effort of all the participants.
To help spread awareness of what it means to be an ethical student at Acro Enso, we will be asking all of our guests to read and sign an ethical student agreement before attending our classes. We know that a piece of paper isn’t going to change habits like poor hygiene, however, what this does allow for is a means to address these issues head on. If a fellow student is consistently disruptive during class, teachers will be able to approach him or her with the signed agreement in order to work towards a mutually beneficial solution. At Acro Enso we value your quality class experience and are excited to share this with you soon once we’ve opened our doors!
The Acro Enso Ethical Student Agreement
I __________________ acknowledge my responsibility as a student at Acro Enso, to abide, to the best of my ability, by the following ethical student guidelines.
As an ethical student, I agree to…
- Practice consent at every opportunity
- Accept responsibility for my actions and behavior
- Encourage and support new faces in class
- Respect and communicate boundaries
- Report dangerous, inappropriate, or disruptive behavior
- Respect the teacher’s program and instruction
- Set a model example for new and beginner students
- Mind my personal hygiene and presentation
- Practice nonviolent, gender neutral, and nonsexual communication
- Respect the time to ask questions and the time to listen
- Take care of the equipment and space I use
- Be present and mindful with my teacher and classmates
- Support the quality of my class by practicing the guidelines of the ethical student
If you’re a parent with young children who love fun activities, then you probably know what it’s like to be a personal taxi driver for your kids, rushing them from one hobby to the next after your day job is done. Once you’ve completed your fare and accepted that there is no tip for your service you must decide how to pass the time while your little ones complete their martial arts lesson or dance class. Many places require parental presence for these 30 minute to hour long classes; however, if this isn’t the case, you most likely wait around anyways because of how small this window of time is. Once they’ve finished, you hustle home to begin their school night routines, then you’re off to bed to do it all over again in the morning.
If this description fits you, then you probably know how difficult it is to find time in your tight schedule for the hobbies you enjoy. Even on the off days when your kids don’t have anywhere to be, you’ll need to find a babysitter before you’re able to take that yoga class you like or that jazz class you’ve always wanted to try. At Acro Enso, we understand the demanding schedules of parents and we empathize with their struggle to find time for fun. We believe parents deserve to play just as much their kids do. This is why, at Acro Enso, we’re creating a family focused program that benefits both parents and their kids.
You won’t need to sit around while your child attends one of our dance or acrobatic classes because you’ll have the opportunity to join one of our many adult classes that run concurrently alongside your kid’s class. If a class setting isn’t your cup tea, then you might enjoy our open play hours where you could spend time having fun with your entire family or you could take advantage of our supervised playtime while you work out in our fitness area or enjoy an independent passion like cyr wheel. Once we’ve opened our doors Acro Enso will be a place for the entire family to enjoy. To learn more about our movement center and our offerings, visit our website or social media and contact us anytime. Thanks for reading!!