April 22, 2021
Presidio Theatre Presents Series of In-Person Arts and Wellness Courses in Its Outdoor Plaza
Welcoming the public back to reconnect and heal through movement, play, expression, and activism.
San Francisco, CA, April 22, 2021 – The Presidio Theatre will welcome the public back with a series of in-person arts and wellness classes presented in its beautiful outdoor plaza May 17 through June 23. Five different courses of six sessions each will encourage and empower participants to reconnect with themselves and others and heal through movement, play, expression and activism. Three instructors will lead the courses: Lance McGee, Johnny Huy Nguyen and Sonja Riket. The series has been programmed with the guidance of Ilene Serlin, PhD, an award-winning psychologist and dance-movement thearapist who is part of the American Psychological Association COVID-19 Task Force and Matthew Keefe, Presidio Theatre Director of Development and Communications. The cost for each six-course series is $90-175. A complete list of courses may be found below and the Presidio Theatre is located on the historic Presidio of San Francisco at 99 Moraga Way.
Presidio Theatre Executive Director Robert Martin said, “It is with great pleasure that we announce our official reopening after a year of being shuttered due to COVID-19. I can think of no better way to welcome the public back to the Theatre after such a long and challenging year than through our new Wellness Series of outdoor classes taught by a team of experienced and inspiring artists.”
Planning for the Wellness Series has taken advantage of decades of research in the fields of neuroarts and art therapy that have demonstrated what artists have known for millennia. The arts and creativity play a critical role in our ability to heal from trauma and injury, experience and regulate emotions, form personal and cultural identities, build relationships and belonging and connect with the physical and natural world.
All classes will take place in the outdoor plaza of the Presidio Theatre. In compliance with CDC and City and County of San Francisco health department guidelines, participants’ temperatures will be taken upon arrival and participants, instructors and staff will be required to wear a mask and maintain a minimum of six feet of distance at all times.
About the Presidio Theatre Wellness Series Artist-Instructors
Lance McGee is a health & wellness consultant, drama therapist, and circus performer. He leads regular trainings on self-care, mindfulness, and trauma-informed care. He worked for six years as a school-based counselor in Oakland Public Schools and developed a Trauma-Informed School framework for Bay Area school teachers. McGee has performed around the world as the Clown Prince Unique Derique, and has won international attention for his work in South Africa, Scotland, Taipei, London, Paris and Tokyo.
Johnny Huy Nguyen is a dance artist and teacher based in unceded Ramaytush – Ohlone territory (San Francisco) and a second generation Vietnamese American. His practice is centered on the body, recognizing its power as a place of knowing, site of activism, gateway to healing, and crucible of imagination. Drawing from 14 years of experience with fluency in movement modalities including street dance, contemporary, modern, and martial arts, his aim is to be in reciprocity with his students, serving as a guide in their personal journeys of finding joy, healing and empowerment within their bodies.
Sonja Riket is a Somatic Movement Therapist®, Certified Feldenkrais® and BodyMindCentering® Teacher, Somatic Educator and award-winning Dance Educator. She has decades of experience in movement and dance training, performance and teaching. Besides her worldwide modern dance career, spanning 30 years and 3 continents, Sonja studied many forms of ethnic dance, such as Argentine Tango, Flamenco, Indian, African, Balkan as well as the somatic modalities of Alexander Technique, Authentic Movement, Qi-Gong, Aikido, Zen meditative practices and Jungian psychology. Since 2000 Sonja has taught her own synthesis of somatic approaches with Argentine Tango as a dance of relationship: “Intimate Embrace Tango”. As faculty of the SF Community Music Center, she teaches “Embodiment and Expression for Musicians” and Argentine Tango Dance. Sonja is a guest lecturer at the Institute for Holistic Health studies at SF State University.