The Earth on Turtle’s Back — Isadora Duncan Dance for Children




Thursdays from 4:00-5:00pm, ages 5-7, 10 week session begins September 19

Cost: $120.00. Please inquire about financial assistance.

For questions or registration, please contact Laura at or 413-237-4978

“A child ought to dance as naturally as a plant grows. An inner force ought to come to the surface to find accordance with nature” —Isadora Duncan

Classes weave themes drawn largely from nature into warm ups and dance phrases, introducing children to the philosophy and foundations of Duncan dance. Story, image and musical attunement inspire our steps as we walk, run, skip, and leap along the earth and towards the stars.

Center for the Arts Youth Dance Classes Fall 2019


Classes begin September 9th and run through December 21st, with no class the week of November 25th. Youth classes are a 14-week session for Fall 2019.

Youth Classes: $190 per session

The Center for the Arts dance program is organized by age and taught with an individualized approach to accommodate all students' experience levels.

To register, email us at or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable by cash or check to "NCFA." They can be paid in person on class day or mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Creative Dance

Ages 3-5, Wednesdays 4 - 4:45pm * Ages 5-7, Wednesdays 4:45 - 5:30pm * Ages 4-6, Saturdays 9:30-10:15am

Wednesday classes taught by Jayme Winell, Saturday class taught by Sofia Engelman

Students will learn the fundamentals of dance technique in a healthy, creative environment. Time will be spent on alignment, vocabulary, and foundational steps with plenty of time for dance games, creative movement, and improvisation!

Caregiver/Child Creative Dance, ages 1.5-3 (caregivers and siblings attend) Mondays 9:30-10:15am, taught by Sofia Engelman

Dancers learn the beginnings of basic dance technique through movement games and exercises. Students will gain self-confidence, awareness, coordination, and focus all while engaging their creativity.

Youth Creative Jazz, ages 7-12, Wednesdays 5:30-6:30, taught by Jayme Winell

Students will learn upbeat, exciting moves to a variety of music including but not limited to jazz and pop, and get to experiment with choreography. Emphasis is on strength, alignment, and creative play in a fun and energetic environment!

Youth Modern Dance, Ages 7-12, Tuesdays 5:00-6:00pm, taught by Sofia Engelman

This Modern dance class will emphasize freedom of movement and expression alongside technique. Drawing from traditional and contemporary forms, dancers will expand their kinesthetic awareness through practice of across the floor and center combinations, improvisation, floor work, and performance skills. We suspend, release, and find the floor.

Jayme Winell is a local dance artist, educator, and musician, and the co-director of the Center’s summer ArtPlay! program. She majored in dance at the San Francisco School of the Arts and holds a BA from Hampshire College in dance and theatre for community building. Jayme is a collaborator with the tinydance project, and an ELL tutor in the Greenfield Public Schools. She is thrilled to be teaching at the Center again in 2019!

Sofia Engelman is a local dance artist who enjoys working with students of all ages. Sofia has presented choreographic works independently and alongside partner and collaborator Em Papineau at venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), Judson Church (NY), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), FRESH Festival (CA), The Dance Complex (MA), and School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (MA). Sofia received a BA with highest honors in Dance from Smith College where she studied with artists including Jennifer Nugent, Paul Matteson, Angie Hauser, Chris Aiken, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, and David Dorfman and received the Excellence in Dance Studies Award. Sofia has held artistic residencies at The Living Room (ME) and Ponderosa in Germany, and is a Fall 2019 Artist in Residence at School for Contemporary Dance and Thought and The Dance Complex.

Homeslice Puppetry

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September 7-8, 2019

Join puppeteer and puppet maker Eric Weiss for these unique classes!

Foam & Rod Puppets for Kids: Saturday, September 7, 9:30-11:00am ($20 plus a $5 material fee, or $25 per student)

Simple Mechanism Puppets for Kids: Sunday, September 8th, 9:30am-12:00pm ($40 plus a $10 material fee, or $50 per student)

To register, email or call the Center at 413 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to “NCFA” and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Classes are held in our lower level studio at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free.

For information about the classes themselves, please contact Eric Weiss at, or visit or

Class Descriptions:

Foam & Rod Puppets: This class focuses on how to build a simple Foam and Rod puppet, creating a character, and the elements needed to do so. Students will learn about the use of foam in puppetry and how dynamic it can make your puppet. Students will then proceed to create their character and build their own puppets. Lastly we will manipulate our creations, bringing them to life and learning to move them and give them emotions.

Simple Mechanism Puppets (Grades 3 &up): A puppet mechanism is device that you put inside your puppet to create movement typically by using a cable, pulling a string, or using a wooden rod. In this class we will build a simple mouth mechanism and then construct a foam puppet around the device that they create. Students may then learn to give their puppet a character and practice how to move and manipulate their creation.

For adult puppetry classes click here!

Balloon Twisting Class


Saturday, September 21st, 10:00-11:30
Saturday, September 28th, 10:00-11:30
Saturday, October 5th, 10:00-11:30

Come to one class or all three!

Cost: $20 per child; additional children in the same family are $15
Or $50 per child for the whole series (three classes) ($45 for additional children)

Is your child looking to gain a new skill, start a new hobby, or just have some fun with balloons? This 90-minute workshop is a great place to start learning the art of balloon twisting!

This class will teach your child the basics: balloon safety, how to inflate a balloon and tie a knot (see below), how to twist a basic balloon dog, and more. They will leave the workshop with their own balloon creations to take home! Plus, one lucky child will get to bring home a larger sculpture made by the instructor.

Balloon twisting is a great activity that challenges children to improve their hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and spatial awareness. It also encourages creative thinking, and, of course, it's lot's of fun! For children who are interested in developing the skill over time, it encourages continued, self-directed learning and artistic expression.

This class is most appropriate for children ages 8-12 years. Younger children over the age of three are welcome to take the class if accompanied by a parent. Balloons are not appropriate for children under three years old, as they can be a choking hazard. Twisting balloons are made of latex (not plastic) and are unsafe for those with latex allergies.

This workshops will take place on three consecutive Saturdays. Each class will include the same basics, but we will be learning a different animal in the latter part of the class each week. Children are welcome to sign up for one, two, or all three of the classes.

To register, email or call the Center at 413 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to “NCFA” and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Classes are held in our lower level studio at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free.

Inflating balloons:
The type of balloons we will use in class are not safe or practical for most people to mouth-inflate. I will be bringing pre-inflated balloons. However, if your child wants to learn how to inflate balloons with a pump and / or practice at home, please purchase this pump and bring it to class:

Professional-grade balloons will be provided (with an option to purchase some to take home).

Classes will be capped at ~15 children each week.

Visit the Facebook Event!

ArtPlay Summer Arts Program

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Update: Please visit this page again this fall for new vacation programming coming in 2020!!!

ArtPlay returns to the Center for the Arts in 2019! Register early for this exciting summer program for youth ages 6 to 12 years.

ArtPlay encourages kids to think of themselves as fundamentally creative beings with a fun, interactive, interdisciplinary approach. The program connects youth to local teaching artists through classes and workshops, as well as providing space and structure for youth-initiated performances and exhibitions. Kids will have the chance to experiment with dance, music, drama, visual arts, collaborative play, and more! It's all happening in the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street in downtown Northampton.

Fee: $275-$350 sliding scale. Payments on the upper end of the scale help support our new scholarship program (information available soon), as well as our low teacher/participant ratio. In order to offer individual attention, each week is limited to 15 participants.

There are four one-week sessions: July 1-5, July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 22-26, 2019

For registration details, email us at or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact plus the name and age of the participant. You will be contacted directly by return email or phone according to preference.

ArtPlay participants have access to indoor, air-conditioned spaces as well as outdoor play areas. 33 Hawley offers abundant free parking for easy drop-off and pick-up, and is conveniently located for local, walkable field trips.

ArtPlay is directed by Jayme Winell, an organizer, educator, dancer and musician. A graduate of Hampshire College, Jayme is a collaborator with the tinydance project, a local dance educator, and a physical education teacher at the Commons School. Jayme has also performed with Theatre Truck and the band Flame’n’Peach. Jayme was the founding co-director of ArtPlay in 2018 and is thrilled to be back again this year!

More images from ArtPlay 2018 can be found here!