2022 – 2023 Classes and Workshops

The Charleston Gaillard Center serves students and the others throughout the Lowcountry by offering curriculum-based workshops, master classes, pre-show lectures, and more. All of these programs are designed to bring the arts to the classroom, the community, to you.

Please contact Sterling deVries at sdevries@gaillardcenter.org with any questions.


Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Master Class & Mock Audition
January 26, 2023
Intermediate & Advanced Dancers (13 years and older only)

$30 Registration Fee

Learn more…

Please join the Charleston Gaillard Community and Education Program for a ninety-minute master class and mock audition with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Led by co-founder and co-artistic director, Desmond Richardson, and Associate Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director, Meg Paul, and including company dancer, Jillian Davis, intermediate and advanced students will learn a variety of Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s exercises including center, adagio, across the floor combinations, jumps and turns.

The master class will also include a mock audition where students will have the opportunity to experience the process of an audition and learn what goes into the process.

Students should wear form-fitting clothing, socks or ballet slippers (socks should be black or flesh tone).

Please arrive at the Gaillard Center to check in at 4:30pm. Check-in will be located on the second floor of the Gaillard in front of the performance hall doors.

About Desmond Richardson, Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director

Desmond Richardson was the first African-American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre, and is hailed by The New York Times as one of the greatest dancers of his time. Nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the original Broadway cast of Fosse and deemed a standout in the Tony-Award winning production After Midnight, Richardson is highly esteemed by the concert dance and American theater community. He appeared in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway production Movin’ Out, and had his singing debut in Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s The Look Of Love, choreographed by Ann Reinking and Scott Ellis. 

Richardson has appeared on celebrated stages across the world, namely The Metropolitan Opera, The Kennedy Center, Paris Opera, The Bolshoi Theatre, The Mariinsky Theatre, The State Kremlin Palace, Teatro Massimo, and Teatro alla Scala. He has been a member and invited guest of prestigious companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Frankfurt Ballet, Royal Swedish Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, to name a few. 

Richardson, a Young Arts Finalist and Presidential Scholar, has received numerous awards including the Dance Magazine Award, Capezio Award, Ailey Apex Award, L.A. Ovation Award, Bessie Award, YoungArts Alumni Award, and most recently the Roosevelt “Rosey” Thompson Award presented by the Presidential Scholars Foundation.  In the spring of 2109, Richardson received an honorary doctorate degree from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in recognition of his extensive contributions to the field of dance.

Richardson has been a celebrity guest performer and choreographer for productions across media such as the American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, City Center’s Encores! series, Italy’s AMICI, and international franchises of So You Think You Can Dance. Richardson has been featured by famed artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Elton John, and Aretha Franklin, and he appears in celebrated films such as the Oscar-Award winning Chicago, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, and the recent independent film, Fall to Rise. He has worked with fashion icon, Tom Ford, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, and recently contributed to Grammy-Award winning Jill Scott’s video Back Together, which features dancers from COMPLEXIONS. 

Internationally and domestically, he is a master teacher for dance programs such as the New York’s All Stars Project, YoungArts Miami, United Way, The Pulse, NYCDA, and ASH. He served as co-creative director and choreographer with David Monn for the Park Avenue Armory Gala Masquerade. Richardson is currently guest artist in residence at USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and is the visiting adjunct professor of dance at Southern Methodist University. 

About Meg Paul, Associate Artistic Director/Director Complexions Academy

Meg Paul brings a wealth of significant professional experience in classical and contemporary ballet and Broadway performance, choreography, and teaching artistry. Her career spans four decades and encompasses a wide range of national and international experience in performance, choreography, directing, teaching, program development, community engagement, and arts management.

Paul has worked closely with important dance pioneers in the field and has performed master works from the repertoire and artistic direction of Gerald Arpino, Robert Joffrey, Twyla Tharp and Dwight Rhoden, to works by Petipa, Ashton, Nijinsky, Massine, Balanchine, Forsythe, and Alonzo King. She was a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet/NYC and has extensive national and international touring credits. Paul performed both leading roles and served on the creative team and as dance captain for Twyla Tharp’s Tony award-winning Broadway musical, Movin’ Out. Her awards include The Princess Grace Award, winner of The International Dance Competition of the Americas, Detroit Renaissance Hero Award, Sue Nine Endowment for Faculty Achievement Award, Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts Teaching Award, and the Copperfoot Award. 

Co-founder of World Arts Inc., Paul’s New York City-based performing arts agency celebrated a decade of representing and producing tours for national and international companies including Nacho Duato’s Compania Nacional De Danza, Les Ballets De Monte Carlo, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Les Grand Ballets Canadian, Dance Cuba, Les Ballets Africains, Washington Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and more.

Paul was Director of Dance at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, curating and directing National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway for three seasons.  National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway engaged hundreds of local performers and pre-professionals to train and perform with ballet and Broadway professionals. For her work on National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway, Paul was honored as a recipient of the Detroit Renaissance Hero Award by the Detroit Free Press. During her tenure, she curated, directed, and produced Music Hall’s annual 313 Choreography Expo highlighting Detroit’s creative impact with other major cities. 313 Choreography Expo served as an incubator and career launchpad for many local Detroit artists and companies while fostering artistic collaborations, dance education, and community engagement.

From 2010-2022, Paul served in many roles at Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, including Associate Professor of Teaching, Recruitment Coordinator for Dance, and Director of Dance (2018-2022). Paul curated and directed the Complexions Detroit Summer Intensive at Wayne State University for nine seasons.

Currently, Paul serves as Rehearsal Director for Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Academy Director for Complexions Contemporary Ballet Academy, and ballet faculty for Adrenaline, Revive and National Dance Conventions. Paul teaches masterclasses worldwide. 

Paul is certified in Vinyasa Yoga, Progressing Ballet Technique, Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, and Dance Equity Association.

About Jillian Davis, Dancer

Jillian Davis (Dancer) from Kutztown, PA and began her ballet training at the age of 3. She studied with Risa Kaplowitz and Susan Jaffe at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Princeton, NJ. Jillian attended San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and LINES Ballet programs. Jillian has been a company member with Complexions since 2014. She has been part of Dwight Rhoden world premieres including Headspace, Strum, Gutter Glitter, Star Dust, Bach 25, Woke, Love Rocks, and a world-premiere solo, Elegy. She has also performed installation works by Desmond Richardson and an excerpt of Approximate Sonata by William Forsthye. Along with being a dancer with Complexions, Jillian is part of the core faculty for Complexions Dance Academy. 


You asked, and we answered! The Gaillard Education & Community Program and PURE Theatre are expanding our highly successful Summer Theater Intensive by adding an additional session during the school year for student actors in grades 7 through 12. In this 9-week intensive, actors will be cast in, study, rehearse, and perform a full production.

Classes will focus on critical (and also fun to learn) performance skills: vocalization, characterization, motivations, movement, blocking and staging, and some cool conversations with the designers and technicians who make it all happen behind the scenes and backstage. We will even throw in a few theater games. Classes and performances will be held at Cannon Street Arts Center, the home of PURE Theatre.

Scholarships are available. Please contact sdevries@gaillardcenter.org.


PURE Theatre is a professional regional theatre in Charleston, SC that creates consequential theatre experiences by and for a diverse gathering of artists and audiences. PURE produces work that inspires thought, ignites dialogue, and heightens consciousness, and contributes to the urgent exchange of ideas, viewpoints, aspirations, and inspirations of our community. PURE Theatre is committed to the highest standards in theatre education and draws from the extensive training and experience of its 20 member Core Ensemble of professional actors and directors. Theatre training at PURE joyfully explores the creation of theatre by delivering peak educational experiences that reinforce confidence, amplify social-emotional aptitude, and develop critical “success skills” which students will utilize throughout their lives.

Romeo and Juliet risk everything to be together. In defiance of their feuding families, they chase a future of joy and passion as violence erupts around them.

Location: All classes and performances will be held at Cannon Street Arts Center
Cost: $450 per student
Limited availability.

Monday and Wednesday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

Session 2 Dates:

  • 4/3 & 4/5
  • 4/10 & 4/12
  • 4/17 & 4/19
  • 4/24 & 4/26
  • 5/1 & 5/3
  • 5/8 & 5/10
  • 5/15 & 5/17
  • 5/22 & 5/24

Final Performance: Thursday, May 25th at 3:00pm


A program brought to you by the Charleston Gaillard Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Engaging Creative Minds, and Charleston Symphony.

Teacher Professional Development for Dance Integration
February 25, 2023
6pm-7pm Workshop
7:30pm | Charleston Gaillard Center Presents Humans 2.0 by Circa

Please join us for a mini-professional development on integrating movement into your classroom followed by drinks and a performance! Learn more…

Be our guest for HUMANS 2.0 By Circa.

Three hours of recertification credit; this is open to kindergarten to fifth grade classroom and related arts teachers.


A symphony of acrobatics, sound and light, this is next level circus by Circa.

Ten bodies appear in a flash of light. They move in harmony for a fleeting moment and then descend into a sinuous trance. Towers grow and decay, bodies leap and are caught, as physical limits are pushed to their extreme. Can we ever find a perfect balance or is adapting to constant change the only way forward?

This next chapter of Circa’s internationally acclaimed Humans is a tightly woven choreography of bodies, pulsing with music by composer Ori Lichtik and revealed in Paul Jackson’s dramatic lighting. Created by circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Humans 2.0 is intimate, primal and deeply engaged with the challenge of being human.

Humans 2.0 is commissioned by The Mondavi Center, UC Davis

Support for this program is made possible by generous donors who have committed time and resources to the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Dance Initiative.



Workshops are offered both in-person and virtually.

In addition to poetry, Marcus is an award-winning graphic designer and musician. He’s published nine poetry books and has been recognized by NPR, the Kennedy Center, The Washington National Opera, PBS Newshour, and more. Learn more about Marcus here.

Poetry Workshop Opportunities

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students a poetry lesson that shines a light on each student’s personal story. During the lesson, students will learn the impact of the written word, and realize that their voice matters. During the experience, they will write two poems using guided prompts. At the end of the lesson, students will have the opportunity to share their work.

Ekphrastic poems are a common tool used by poets to make their poems come alive. Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use various images – famous paintings, album artwork, video game images, and more – to guide students in writing poems that are vivid descriptions of a scene.

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students all about one of the most-used figurative language tools: alliteration. During the lesson, Amaker will show examples of alliteration in well-known poems and lead the students in writing their own fun and impactful pieces.

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use figurative language tools (alliteration, rhyme and repetition) to guide students in writing poems inspired by music. Students will hear examples of spoken word and be given the tools they need to write their own!

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will guide students on a deep understanding of metaphors and how to use them in their writing.



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