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Dance Mentorship


February 1-19, 2021

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Photo by Gema Galina


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  • 15 technique classes

  • 12 rehearsals

  • 3 moderated discussions with guest speakers

  • 1 on 1 coaching with FACT/SF Artistic Director and certified Countertechnique teacher Charles Slender-White 

  • choreography skills developed

  • Work alongside FACT/SF company members 

  • Dance film screening featuring mentees on Sunday, February 28th at 3pm PST


Week 1 ~ February 1-5

Week 2 ~ February 8-12

Week 3 ~ February 15-19

Pacific Standard Time:

3-4:15 pm Technique

4:30-6 pm Repertory

Mentees can choose to participate in one, two, or all three weeks of the program. It is also possible to participate in technique only, repertory only, or both. Technique and rehearsals take place Monday through Thursday, while Fridays are special movement practice sessions with Guest Artists and Discussions with Guest Speakers.

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Photo by Mark McBeth

Photo by Kegan Marling

About the Mentorship 

This 3-Week Dance Mentorship entails enhancing technique, developing choreographic skills, the creation of two dance films, and relationship building. The goal is for mentees to work with Charles Slender-White and FACT/SF company members and take away specific movement execution tools and choreographic skills that they can use in their own practices as dancers and directors, as well as build long lasting relationships in the field. 


Charles will primarily investigate concepts of topography, perspective, and counterpoint. These orienting frames will be utilized for creation as well as compositional tools that will be defined and deployed. The FACT/SF dancers will participate alongside HAVEN mentees as collaborators and coaches.


Guest speakers will enhance the mentorship by shedding light on 'what makes a good dance' by speaking from different perspectives; (curator, collaborator, critic). 


The two dance films that are created (one on HAVEN mentees and the other on FACT/SF) will premiere together at a HAVEN Haus event on Sunday, February 28th at 3pm PST. HAVEN mentees as a guest can attend the screening for free.

drop-in FRIDAYS

If participating for an entire week doesn't work with your schedule, join us for class and/or discussions on Fridays! $20 drop-in fee for the class and/or discussion. To register, email:

(Times listed below are PM PST)

February 4

4:30-6 Discussion with SAMUEL MELECIO-ZAMBRANO 

February 12

3-4:15 Special Guest RILEY WATTS

4:30-6:00 Discussion with CLAUDIA BAUER dance writer and critic

February 19

3-4:15 Special Guest ROSANNA TAVAREZ

4:30-6 Discussion with Christy Bolingbroke, Executive & Artistic Director of National Center for Choreography

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Photos by Gregory Lorenzutti



Charles Slender-White (Artistic Director of FACT/SF) is a contemporary dance artist, instigator, and organizer based in San Francisco. As a performer, teacher, choreographer, and advocate, he has worked in more than fifty cities across twelve countries on four continents. Slender-White is optimistic about the future of dance, regularly creates new work, and is one of 36 Countertechnique Teachers worldwide.


Over the last 15 years, Slender-White's choreography has been performed domestically in North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, and throughout California, and internationally in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Russia, and Hong Kong. His work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, US State Department, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, numerous family foundations, and hundreds of individual donors.


After graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Dance & Performance Studies and English Literature, Slender-White began his career in Yekaterinburg, Russia with Tatiana Baganova’s Provincial Dances Theatre. Slender-White is a long-time fan of pioneers William Forsythe, Pina Bausch, and Merce Cunningham, and he has had the privilege of studying extensively with Anouk van Dijk, Elizabeth Streb, Ellis Wood, Carol Murota, and Lisa Wymore. Collectively, these makers, and their aesthetics and ideologies, have played a significant role in shaping Slender-White’s creative process and choreographic works.


photo by Kegan Marling

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FACT/SF is a San Francisco-based contemporary dance company, founded in 2008 by Artistic Director Charles Slender-White as a platform for organizing collaborators, building community, and creating choreography. FACT/SF regularly performs in the San Francisco Bay Area, maintains a core group of local collaborators, and has developed an extensive international network of colleagues and partners. 


FACT/SF’s mission is to create aesthetically diverse and rigorously crafted performance events that encourage viewers to feel intensely, think critically, and broaden their perspectives. By providing artists and administrators with jobs and performing frequently for the broader community, FACT/SF increases the visibility and viability of the performing arts, stretching its boundaries and ensuring its survival.

In addition to presenting the works of Slender-White, FACT/SF’s program, Fieldwork, supports and engages with dance artists by offering co-production grants, fiscal sponsorship, mentorship, consulting services, and on-going classes. FACT/SF also curates and produces an annual dance festival and two annual workshops. 

guest artists & speakers


Samuel Melecio-Zambrano was first exposed to dance in the womb, as his mother and father salsa-ed their way about the living room. In 2018, he received a BFA in Dance from the University of South Florida (USF), where he performed works by Robert Moses, Kara Davis, Xiao Xiangrong of Beijing Normal University, Michael Foley, Christian Denice, and others. After graduating, Samuel was a member and collaborator for Tampa City Ballet’s debut season. He then moved to Melbourne, Australia to study Countertechnique  with founder Anouk van Dijk and other certified teachers. Following a fruitful stint as an avocado picker in Queensland, Australia, Samuel moved back to the United States with a farmer's tan and a bit of perspective. Now a freelance dancer in San Francisco, he has worked with FACT/SF, Robert Moses' Kin, Kinetech Arts, Kristin Damrow & Company, and Mark Foehringer Dance Projects.  


Photo coming Kel Lynn Photo







  • 15+

  • previous dance training & passion for movement

  • performance experience or curiosity about sharing dance with others

  • desire to adapt, create, connect, and contribute 



There is no fee to apply. 

Send the following materials to​

  • Video Statement of Interest (talk to camera about yourself and why you are interested in Dance Mentorship at HAVEN). Please include which weeks (1, 2, and/or 3) you’d like to partake in.

  • Biography and/or Resume 

  • Links to Application Video(s)​

Please upload your Video Statement of Interest and Application Videos to Dropbox,  Vimeo, or Youtube, and provide links (include passwords if needed). Videos that need to be downloaded will NOT be considered.




Please include the following in your application video(s):

  • 1 minute of improvisation 

  • 1-3 minutes of performance or rehearsal footage (on stage if possible, but any setting acceptable)

Send links  (include passwords if needed) that connect directly to videos posted to Dropbox, Vimeo, or Youtube. Do NOT send videos that need to be downloaded. 



Applications accepted until programs have reached capacity. If a program has reached capacity, we will indicate as such in bright red on our website. 


$400 per week / $1200 for 3 weeks

$150 technique only per week

$250 repertory only per week


Full and partial scholarships are available for mentees that apply and are accepted. 

Step 1 - apply

Step 2 - receive notification of acceptance

Step 3 - send the following materials to

  • Written Statement of Financial Need

  • Two Letters of Recommendation

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