Bethesda Dance: Free Ballroom Dance Classes for the Community

Bethesda Lutheran Church offers free ballroom dance classes for the greater New Haven community in the spring semester. Classes take place at 450 Whitney Ave., where free parking is available. Bethesda member Christina Castaneda is passionate about using dance to build comm-unity and promote well being. She has taught professionally for over twenty years and is excited to offer her gifts to Bethesda’s neighbors and friends. Singles and couples of all levels of experience are invited to join hour-long sessions on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. Attendance is flexible and there is no commitment. Freewill donations of $5 per week to the church are always appreciated, but not necessary. The first weeks of the semester are dedicated to tango, followed by fox trot and rumba. The atmosphere is fun and casual. Find details and monthly schedule at www.BethesdaNewHaven.org/dance. For information and to sign up, email BethesdaDance@yahoo.com.

Christina Castaneda has studied dance since the age of 3 and has trained in various styles including Lyrical, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and American Style Ballroom. She received intense Ballroom coaching from Wanda Deagen, under whose direction she competed professionally in Las Vegas at the World Promotions Ballroom Competition. Christina then attended New York’s Summer Dance Fest
Teacher Workshop hosted by the Broadway Dance Center earning a Certificate of Recognition from Dance Teacher Magazine. Christina brings over 20 years of teaching experience to New Haven and is enthusiastic to be part of the local arts education community. Info: Lars Gjerde, Music Director, music@bethesdanewhaven.org, (585) 200-8903.

Family Holiday Show in New Haven to Support Refugees

The Bethesda Music Series presents a performance of the family-friendly holiday opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, on Sunday, December 11, at 7:00 p.m. The one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti was first performed on Christmas Eve, 1951, by the NBC Television Theater.

Amahl features a child in the lead role. Catchy music, colorful costumes, and captivating dance scenes make up the hour-long performance. Front rows are reserved for children. The event is free and open to the public.

A free-will offering will be collected with all proceeds going to IRIS, a refugee resettlement agency in New Haven featured in the media for their welcome extended to Syrian refugees. The Bethesda Music Series is proud to help people in need in our city and around the world. We appreciate any gifts to the important work of helping refugees, which is so appropriate during the Christmas season.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a story of a poor shepherd boy’s encounter with three kings and the miraculous healing of his crippled leg when he offers his crutch as a gift to the holy child. Performed by opera students from Western Connecticut State University, directed by Margaret Astrup, Amahl has become an annual tradition for the Bethesda Music Series.

About the Bethesda Music Series

For over twenty years, the Bethesda Music Series has presented concerts to raise funds for social outreach in Greater New Haven, supporting agencies such as Life Haven, Immanuel Baptist Shelter, Christian Community Action, Habitat for Humanity, area summer camps, and after-school tutoring. Concerts are free. Handicap accessible, free parking. Go online to http://www.bethesdanewhaven.org for information or to join our electronic mailing list.

Contact Information: Dr. Lars Gjerde, Artistic Director, music@bethesdanewhaven.org, (585) 200-8903.
Dr. Margaret Astrup, Music Series Chair, AstrupM@wcsu.edu, (860) 796-3444