Chris Uchida gave the dancers a series of simple steps to follow.
Though they were to stay true to the framework of the steps, they were instructed to take the movements to a different level.
"Your challenge is to make it come alive and have meaning for you. Put your personality on it," said Uchida, a former dancer for the Joffrey Ballet.
She taught a master class based on the work of choreographer Twyla Tharp to a group of predominantly high school students at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center on Saturday.
A Tony Award-winning choreographer, Tharp founded Twyla Tharp Dance in 1965, according to the biography on her Web site, www.twylatharp.org. She has choreographed more than 135 stage shows and five movies, and she directed three Broadway productions.
About 35 people attended the master class, which coincided with the Augusta Ballet WinterWorks performance of Tharp's Deuce Coupe.
"It brings in the outside world of dance. It gives them a glimpse of something maybe beyond what they are learning," said Ron Jones, the artistic director of the Columbia County Ballet.
Twenty-five Columbia County Ballet company members attended the workshop.
This is the second year the Augusta Ballet has offered free outreach classes. The Augusta Ballet combines the classes with featured performances.
"This is not to replace anybody's instruction, but to augment it," said Patti Ann Smith with the Augusta Ballet.
Saturday's class and previous workshops have offered different twists on dance styles, such as ballet, hip-hop and modern dance. Those teaching the classes have brought unique qualifications to them.
Uchida danced with Tharp in the 1970s, and she is authorized to teach Tharp's style and choreography.
Rebekah Lowery, a North Augusta High School junior, is accustomed to more formal ballet movements rather than Tharp's modern edge.
"It was so much fun. She (Uchida) was really easy-going," she said. "It's fun to get to do a different kind of dance."
The dance workshop culminated in a performance of one of the numbers in the WinterWorks' show.
Having seen the show Friday before taking the class added another dimension for Tori Scoggins, a John S. Davidson Fine Arts School sophomore.
"I really liked it. It was something I'd never really seen before," she said.
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