New Beginnings

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! If asked six months ago where I'd be in the Fall of 2015, I would have never guessed the correct answer. A big thank you to Director Kristen Sadler Pittman of Rock City Dance Center for giving me a new dance home!

In an attempt to cover all bases and provide for as many dance student needs as possible, RCDC recently decided to launch a new ballet conservatory program headed up by Mary Beth Tilley. Ms. Tilley was a my ballet mistress for Ballet Arkansas from 2009-2010 and is one of the sanctioned teachers for my approach to teaching.

I will be acting as the master teacher in the program and am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach SuganoSystemBallet from beginning up to advanced levels. It is an exciting time, and I am grateful to both Ms. Pittman and Ms. Tilley for allowing me to share and advance this teaching methodology with their student body. Because the program is "by audition only,” students are committed to the time and work necessary to reap the full benefits of the program. Classes are small and therefore individual attention can be provided.

In addition to settling into a new studio, I’ve begun working on a new project with Drs. Kenneth Laws (my partner in crime!), Virginia Wilmerding, CEO of the International Alliance for Dance Medicine and Science who also sits on the Medical Advisory Board for American Ballet Theatre, and Donna Krasnow, Associate Editor for Dance for the publication Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Stay tuned to find out what the project is all about!


I will be holding a two-week workshop at Rock City Dance Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, located at 10720 Rodney Parham (to the right of Footlights).

Monday-Thursday, August 17-20 and August 24-27
$20 per class (cash only please)

Week 1:
Contemporary ballet will be taught the first week. The barre will be based on Complexions NIQUE technique (Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden). Jonathan Bostick, who will be guesting with Ballet Arkansas's Visions, will be teaching the centre floor. Clark Erickson will be accompanying.

Week 2:
Turns! And a few jumps…Get ready to jump into Fall!

Happy 2015!

Here we are again, that time of year! This year six of my students will be participating in the YAGP regionals in Dallas: juniors Victoria Binz, Mary Claire Cogbill and Annabeth Hall, and seniors Katherine Clevenger, Kathryn Latham and Emily Shellabarger. Sadly, two weeks ago, Erik Kim broke his toe while executing the most gorgeous revoltade! Perhaps he'll be well enough to compete at another venue. Four out of the six will be performing contemporary pieces as well as classical variations. The choreographers for these pieces are Jonathan Bostick, a former dancer with Ballet Arkansas under my artistic direction (his photo is on the "Links" banner page!), and Deanna Karlheim, a current dancer with Ballet Arkansas under the artistic direction of former Ballet West principal, Michael Bearden.

Exciting news! Kate Buck Jr., social media guru extraordinaire, will be working with me full time in Arkansas. Kate studied with me for years and knows my methodology and approach inside and out. I look forward to our daily collaboration and discussions.

And last, but not least, composer Clark Erickson and I are collaborating on a new piece of contemporary choreography slated to be performed in mid-May. Clark not only team taught the "music week" for my summer intensive but also accompanies the ballet classes at YAGP in Dallas. I know my students always appreciate his familiar face in these classes.

It looks like a busy but fulfilling year ahead, and I look forward to seeing what else 2015 has in store! 

Guest Teaching and Summer Intensive

Well, at least it didn't take a whole year to write again.

I’m excited to announce that I will be guest teaching at the prestigious dance studio the Prodigy Dance and Performing Arts Centre in Plano, Texas! [Director/Owner: Camille Billelo]. It will be fun to be teaching talented young dancers alongside my former student Jennifer Litaker (Chambers)!

Also, from August 12th-28th I will be holding my first SuganoSystemBallet workshop, the "Last Gasp of Summer" intensive at Shuffles & Ballet II in Little Rock, Arkansas. I think it will be an exciting three weeks. In the first week, we’ll be discussing the science of ballet (anatomy, kinesiology, physics along with conditioning of specific body parts needed for ballet). In the second week, we’ll focus on the music of ballet--not the music itself but more about how to listen and hear it, how to utilize it to express artistry, jump higher, turn more, and improvise. The third week will consist of performance practicum. As a performer, what are things that can be pulled out of the dancer's toolbox? Pianist and composer Clark Erickson will be working with me to enhance the learning experience by sharing his knowledge with the dancers as well as offering musical accompaniment.

Book Release!

Physics and the Art of Dance is now available for purchase!
Synopsis (courtesy of Oxford University Press):
Physics and the Art of Dance gives all who enjoy dance - whether as dancers, students, teachers, or fans - an opportunity to understand what happens when human bodies move in the remarkable ways we call dance. How, for instance, do dancers create the illusion of defying gravity? Or of starting to spin when in the air with no source of force to act on their bodies? You may observe some dancers using their arms in a way that allows some to jump higher than others. What is that technique, and why does it work?

In this second edition, author Ken Laws - a physicist with years of professional dance training - teams with veteran dance instructor Arleen Sugano to provide new step-by-step experiments for dancers. "What you see" sections describe the way physical principles form the framework within which some movements exist. The complementary "What you do" sections allow dancers to experience how those physical analyses can provide them a more efficient means of learning how to carry out those movements. Throughout, the book shows how movements are first artistic expressions, and secondly movements of the body within the framework of easy-to-understand physical principles.

To read the entire synopsis and purchase the book, visit the OUP site or