The dancers, led by Friedman and her protege Amity Johnson, practice skips, jumps, plies, and releves. Once the repertory class begins, they assemble themselves into complex arrangements, resembling swans as they bend and bow while practicing the "Mountain Dance," holding onto one another for posture and balance.
Workshop participants will show off their new skills at a final concert performance at the Masonic Lodge on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Julie van Gelder said she's been dancing since the age of 6, and participated in the festival last year, too. "I think it is a privilege to still be dancing," said the Cupertino resident during a break in the workshop on Aug. 19.