Jennifer Corbin – Flamenco
Jennifer usually teaches Salsa and now will start a Latin Dance Sampler at the Downtown Dance Collective (DDC). She brings to the DDC a tremendously varied background, steeped in instruction and creativity.
Jennifer has lived in (or been based out of) Montana for most of her life, living in the Flathead and Swan
Valleys for many years. She moved from Kalispell to Missoula in 1999 to work for Montana Fish, Wildlife
& Parks as a fisheries research technician and shortly after entered graduate school, completing her
doctoral research in the beautiful Grand Tetons. During the day, she works as a field researcher and
teaches biology at UM. In the evening, however, Jennifer can be found teaching and rehearsing at the
DDC, which has been her second home for the past four years.
Instruction is not her only vehicle for dance. Jennifer also dances and performs with the DDC’s very own
Espiritu Flamenco, appearing at many venues around the Missoula area, including The Wilma Theater
in The Symbiotic Circus and the Silk Road. In addition, she dances with Patio Andaluz and The Elenita
Brown Dancers and has performed in shows at the Crystal Theater and Missoula Children’s Theater. In
addition to dancing at the studio, Ms. Corbin was instrumental in starting The Brick Room, which hosts
several social dances at the DDC each month, and sits on the committee for Latin Dance Nights. Jennifer
has also worked with Nathan Zavalney at Childbloom Guitar on music and movement workshops for
children, focusing on flamenco and Latin dance rhythms. Most recently, Jennifer worked with Nathan on
the DDC’s latest social dance night, World Dance Party, incorporating facilitated dance to explore Latin
rhythms in a social setting. Other dance collaborations include Flamenco Jam at UM and Gypsy Camp
with Lori Mitchell, another amazing instructor at the DDC.
Flamenco is Jennifer’s passion, but she loves all Latin rhythms, especially those dance forms that
come from the people and tell their stories. Jennifer has studied locally with Heather Adams, Elenita
Brown, and Vicki Lenihan. This summer, she was afforded the opportunity to study flamenco at Festival
Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, featuring Pastora Galván, Adela Campallo, Rafael Campallo,
Olga Pericet, and Alfonso Losa. Jennifer brings this experience and her passion for this art form to her
classes at the DDC.
Colin Maher – Capoeira
The first time I saw Capoeira, I was entranced, though I didn’t know what I was looking at. It wasn’t until I had a roommate who was very involved in Capoeira that I learned about what it was – it’s slavery days roots, it’s music and it’s amazing energy.
My roommate, Instrutor Zumbi of Cordão de Ouro Capoeira, brought me to events, and I was hooked.
My birth name is Colin, though in the Capoeira community everyone calls me Jardineiro (gardener) for my love and once profession of gardening (in Capoeira, everyone gets a nickname). I have trained Capoeira for 10 years with my group, Raízes do Brasil (Roots of Brazil). I first learned in Oakland, CA with Professor Tartaruga and later moved to Santa Cruz, CA where I trained with Mestre Papiba. I am forever grateful for the excellent guidance I received from these amazing teachers. I pass on to my students the strong foundation in the techniques and feeling of Capoeira that they taught me. I moved to Montana in January 2012 for graduate studies in forestry, and though that takes up most of my time, I have no choice but to keep Capoeira in my life; I love it!
Capoeira has such an amazing energy; imagine combining an awesome concert, a great time with friends, a vigorous workout and the adrenaline rush of attack and defense and you begin to approach what Capoeira brings. It is a grounding and ultimately healing experience. I infuse my teaching with this energy and try to cultivate it in my students. I also place great importance in understanding and respecting the traditions, origins and techniques of Capoeira, and make sure my students learn proper etiquette in Capoeira. Most importantly, I seek to develop a community of Capoeiristas (practitioners of Capoeira) here in Missoula so that we can all experience this rich tradition.