by Nina Pinzarrone
Tip 1: In the 1950s, composer-lyricists Robert Wright and George Forrest adapted many of these pieces for their musical Kismet; for example, the lilting 4/4 “Gliding Dance of the Maidens” became “Stranger in Paradise.” I like to use this piece for a barre or center fondu, stretch, port de bras, or adagio, or for a lilting women’s dance in character class.
Tip 2: For Scheherazade, Fokine used Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, op. 35—an 1888 suite based on stories from The Arabian Nights. This suite contains wonderful material for creative movement and character classes.Read More
In Sweet Briar’s dance program, students explore creative expression while gaining practical experience. For more than 40 years, the program has drawn on traditional and modern dance techniques and newer styles such as aerial, with an emphasis on and intensive training in choreography.Read More
by Samara Atkins
Tip 1: When you’re building up choreographic phrases, repetition is key to students’ understanding of the sequencing. Repeating a section several times, breaking down the more difficult moves as you go, helps students remember what you’re teaching.
Tip 2: Playing with tempo changes is also helpful once you’ve taught the entire phrase.
by Karen White
Dance intensives are called that for a reason—generally, a lot of learning is crammed into a limited time. The dancers are expected to rise to the occasion—fast—in an unfamiliar atmosphere where everything from experiencing new movement to finding the bathroom can prove challenging.
Dancers who spend one, two, or three weeks of their summer with the bicoastal School of Creative and Performing Arts (SOCAPA) tackle all that—plus they perform in one or more professional-quality dance videos.Read More
Words from our readersRead More
by Ryan P. Casey
What if the trick to getting more people to tap dance was getting them to attend a fitness class?
That’s the premise behind Sole Power, a tap workout program Riverdance alumnus Aaron Tolson conceived in 2013 that fuses basic tap dance with cardio and strengthening exercises.Read More
by Patrick Corbin
Tip 1: When I teach or coach forward leaps (grands jetés), this phrase gets good results: “Push carry!”
Tip 2: Teaching young dancers to run with both strength and abandon takes time and persistence.Read More
by Bonner Odell
A fusion of dance, martial arts, and healing arts, Nia is a cardio fitness technique performed barefoot to music from around the world. Through a mix of simple choreography and guided improvisation, Nia instructors emphasize sensation and internal experience over outward aesthetics in an effort to cultivate awareness of one’s body, mind, emotions, and life as a whole.Read More
“Safe and Sound” by Heather Turbeville: In December, I started physical therapy for my hip. It wasn’t my first time in PT; it wasn’t even the first time I went for my hip. But it was the first time I told my physical therapist, “It bothers me in dance class—but I’m not going to stop dancing.”
“Remembering Debbie Reynolds” by Thom Watson: When Debbie Reynolds appeared in her first leading film role as Kathy Selden in the 1952 musical classic Singin’ in the Rain—at age 19—she had been studying dance only a few months.Read More
by Rhee Gold
Creating choreography is an opportunity to be an artist, to make a statement, or to entertain. An audience, except perhaps for dance teachers or judges, isn’t generally impressed with spectacular feats; the average audience member doesn’t even know the difficulty of a given move. However, an audience always responds positively to performances that elicit an emotional response or provoke thought.Read More
by Karen White
Guided by occupational therapists, early childhood development specialists, and pediatric physical therapists, Gomez created a system for teaching hip-hop that could be understood by students with learning differences and special needs and that could help these students reach some of the physical, social, and cognitive goals set by their medical teams.Read More
by Thelma Goldberg
Tip 1: For a well-organized class that moves smoothly from one activity to another, create a set playlist that complements your lesson plan.
Tip 2: Choosing appropriate music for tap performances can be challenging.
by Bonner Odell
There is one group that is especially close to Susanne Liebich’s heart and to whom she owes the idea to start Dancing Wellness: adolescent girls. She created her first wellness program, which she named GirlPower!, just for them.Read More
Videos of note (new and not)
2. Lincoln Center at the Movies Presents Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations
3. Dance for PD: At Home, vol. 1
4. Gotta Dance
by David Arce
Tip 1: Remind students to take their time moving into B-plus, making sure to plié generously and present a fully turned-out heel before straightening the standing leg.
Tip 2: The circular port de bras, toward and away from the barre, is important for all students to practice, as it develops strength, flexibility, and musicality.Read More
What’s up in the dance community
-NDEO President Thom Cobb Remembered
-Ballet Companies’ Seasonal Spirit Saves Nutcracker
-Liz Lerman Recognized With ADF Educator Award
-American Tap Company Triumphs Over Travel Woes
Summer—what better time to think about wellness, the perfect addition to any dance curriculum? Discover GirlPower! workshops that promote well-being in tweens/teens, a revamped Nia practice, and the tap-and-fitness mix of Sole Power. For a cool summer intensive idea, check out the film-and-dance combo at School of Creative and Performing Arts. Then help yourself to our annual list of summertime teacher trainings!
Plus, a program that teaches hip-hop to students with physical and cognitive challenges, and our annual list of summertime teacher training opportunities.Read More