The post from studio owner Teri Mangiaratti said it all: “For the record . . . I love this page! Every time I look at it I feel less like a crazy dance studio lady (or at least less like I am the only one!). Thank you all for sharing so openly the ups and downs of this life!”
Everyone who attends one of Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Retreat Center seminars is welcome to join this exclusive Facebook group, where studio owners share advice (“I have a dancer whose parents are always behind on paying tuition . . . ”), trade information (“Do any of you have liability insurance?”), offer up and receive support (“My very first recital is Saturday! Wish me luck!), and vent as only dance teachers can (“Just got back from a nightmare competi
While these are some of the topics Gold tackles in depth during Retreat Center seminars, the conversation continues year round on Facebook. Kate Florian completely agreed with Teri. “This page has helped me through those lonely “Am-I-the-only-one” studio-lady times for sure! Thank you, Rhee, and thank you studio owners for all you do!”
And Rhee Gold replied: “I’m so happy that this page is helping you all out, and I appreciate ALL of you!”
To join the online—and in person—conversation, sign up today for a DanceLife Retreat Center seminar. Three-day sessions begin in June and run on select weekends through November. Visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/# for all the details.
More than a dozen members of the award-winning Maine South Hawkettes dance team told the Township High School District 207 board recently that it was unfair to penalize a coach because of a district policy intended to prevent conflicts of interest, reported the Chicago Tribune.
The brouhaha began after district officials advised Hawkettes varsity coach Jackie Graney that policy prohibits enrolling students in dance classes at her Niles, Illinois-based Studio 22 High TeK, located in the Golf Mill Shopping Center.
“Parents should have the freedom to send their girls to study dance wherever they want to,” said parent Aurora Austriaco, president of the Maine South Hawkettes Booster Club, whose daughter is a member of the dance team. “There are students who go to her studio who did not make Hawkettes, and students who do not go to her who did make Hawkettes, so any misconception that there is a conflict of interest is nonexistent.”
The purpose of the policy prohibiting district employees from enrolling students and accepting payment at an employee-owned private business is to prevent the appearance that undue influence is affecting a student’s participation in school activities, District 207 spokesman David Beery said.
Graney, 25, said after being informed of the policy last year, she told parents and clients that they could no longer enroll in her classes. She declined to say how much business she has lost.
Graney, a Maine South alum and former Hawkette who established her dance studio after graduating from DePaul University, said while she appreciates the support of the parents and team members, she would like to focus on the team’s recent accomplishments, which in addition to first-place ratings at national and state competitions, include winning an All-American School Spirit Award for community service and academic achievement.
To see the original story, visit http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/park_ridge_niles/ct-tl-d207-hawkettes-protest-dance-studio-ban-20130515,0,5236833.story.
In a major loss for Chicago’s dance scene, Luna Negra Dance Theater is shutting down.
The Chicago Tribune said the news comes as no surprise after months of financial difficulties. The troupe put its dancers on hiatus in March and later canceled outings at the Auditorium Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Last month, artistic director and gifted choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano resigned amidst the difficulties. Rebuilding proved too big a challenge.
“Luna Negra is very proud of having provided a wonderful medium in which to celebrate and showcase Latino-inspired dance in the city of Chicago,” Jorge Solis, Luna Negra board president, said in a statement. “It’s been tremendously difficult to come to the conclusion to cease operations, but the financial reality could not be avoided any longer.”
Launched in 1999 by Eduardo Vilaro, the troupe, performing at the Harris Theater in recent years, offered sophisticated contemporary dance by choreographers from such countries as Spain, Brazil, and Cuba, as well as Chicago. Its dancers were among the city’s best.
WBEZ reported that the company’s deficit more than doubled in one year, from $48,475 in 2010 to $121,141 by the end of 2011. Said Veronica Guadalupe, associate artistic director and a former company dancer: “You know, for being a Latin company, for being the only Latin company here in Chicago, we don’t get any support from the Latin community.”
For more information, visit http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-luna-negra-dance-theater-20130514,0,3633330.story or http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-05/latin-dance-company-luna-negra-closes-107192.
The vendor section at the DanceLife Teachers Conference is always a highlight of this four-day event, but this summer promises a virtual overload of dance-centered services and products.
More than 60 vendors—the largest showing ever—have already signed up for the DLTC, set for August 1 to 4 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. And it’s more than just great shopping—this is your chance to get all the tools and information you need to make your studio shine during the coming school year.
Vendors lined up so far include: 3D Dance Network, Angelina Ballerina, Art Stone/The Competitor, Adrenaline Dance, Artists Simply Human: The Workshop Experience, Australian Teachers of Dancing, Backdrops Beautiful, Backdrops Fantastic, BA STAR, Bloch, BRAX Fundraising, Celebrity Dance Competitions, Cicci Dance Supplies, ClassJuggler, and Contest of Champions.
Also, Costume Gallery, CostumeManager.com, Curtain Call, Dance Class by Trimfoot, Dance Era, Dance Sites Done Right, Dance Studio Coach, Dance the Magic, Dance The World, Dancers Inc., Dansco, Dréa’s Dream, Encore Performing Arts, En Pointe Designs, En Pointe Enterprises LTD, Express Payroll, Four Seasons Tours/Rock The Boat Cruises, GTM Sportswear, International Dance Challenge, Jackrabbit Dance, Jay Distributors, Just For Kix, and Katrina Activewear.
Also, M&I Dancewear, Magical Kingdom of Dance, Markel Insurance, More Than Just Great Dancing, National Dance Week, Pacific Floor Company Inc., Revolution Dancewear, Rhinestones Unlimited, Royal Academy of Dance, School Empower, Specialty Mail & Services, Stagedoor Connections, Stagestep, Stars at Sea, Statler Music, Step in Time/Tia’s Dancewear, Talent on Parade, Talmi Entertainment, Theatricals Dance Footwear, TutuTix, Twinkle Star Dance, Weissman Costumes, Yofi Cosmetics Inc., and Worldstrides Heritage Performance.
Visit http://www.dancelifeteacherconference.com/ for details.
On her first attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most consecutive pirouettes/contemporary dance, 10-year-old dance prodigy Sophia Lucia whipped out 47. While that effort broke the record, she tried again—achieving 48 on her second try and a whopping 55 on her third and final attempt.
Lucia set the record during an event March 30 sponsored by Kids Artistic Revue and California Kisses held at her home studio, San Diego Dance Centre in Poway, California, according to the World Record Academy.
The previous Guinness World Record was 36 pirouettes held by Alicia Clifton of Applause Studio in Oklahoma, who set the world record for the most grandes pirouettes à la seconde in 30 seconds (female)—50—on the set of Zheng Da Zong Yi—Guinness World Records Special in Beijing, China.
To see a video of the record-breaking attempt, visit http://www.worldrecordacademy.com/arts/most_consecutive_pirouettes_Sophia_Lucia_smash_Guinness_world_record_213392.html. Lucia’s effort is recognized by Guinness at http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/4000/most-consecutive-pirouettes-contemporary-dance.
Robert Lindgren, a Canadian-born dancer who appeared with major American ballet companies before becoming the founding dean of the influential dance program at the North Carolina School of the Arts, died on Friday at his home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, reported The New York Times. He was 89.
His death was confirmed by his wife, the dancer and teacher Sonja Tyven.
Lindgren was well known to ballet audiences in the 1940s and ’50s, although he was seen less in strictly classical roles than in contemporary ballets and as the Golden Slave in Schéhérazade. He danced with Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre) in New York in the early 1940s and with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1945 to 1952. From 1957 to 1959, he was a soloist with New York City Ballet. He also danced on television, on Broadway, and on State Department tours.
From 1965 to 1987 Lindgren was its first dean of dance at the School of the Arts (now the University of North Carolina School of the Arts) in Winston-Salem, and he also founded and directed its professional ballet troupe, North Carolina Dance Theater.
The school’s graduates became visible in American companies as diverse as Ballet Theatre, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, New York City Ballet, the Paul Taylor Company, and Nederlands Dance Theater.
Lindgren resigned as dean in 1987 when Lincoln Kirstein invited him to be his successor as director and president of the School of American Ballet. He left in 1991, reportedly over disagreements about widening the curriculum.
Drawing on his own professional experience, Lindgren remained a believer in training dancers in several dance idioms and styles. To see the full obituary, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/arts/dance/robert-lindgren-89-ballet-dancer-and-college-dean-is-dead.html?_r=0
The Ballets Russes—the most innovative dance company of the 20th century—propelled the performing arts to new heights through groundbreaking collaborations between artists, composers, choreographers, dancers, and fashion designers. The relationship between those artists and the ballet is explored in a free exhibit at Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art, “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music,” running now through September 2.
Founded by Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev (1872–1929) in Paris in 1909, the company combined Russian and Western traditions with a healthy dose of modernism, thrilling and shocking audiences with its powerful fusion of choreography, music, and design. Showcasing more than 130 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, and posters, “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes” also incorporates film clips in a theatrical multimedia installation.
Diaghilev’s success depended primarily on his ability to identify and bring together the most creative artists of his day, from artists Léon Bakst, Natalia Goncharova, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Giorgio de Chirico, to composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Erik Satie.
The exhibit is on view Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm, and Sundays 11am to 6pm at the National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Visit
The USA International Ballet Competition, North America’s oldest international ballet competition, has put the call out for competitors, volunteers, and others looking to join in with the upcoming event, set for June 14 to 29, 2014, in Jackson, Mississippi.
The USA IBC is a two-week “Olympic-style” competition where dancers vie for gold, silver, and bronze medals, cash awards, scholarships, and jobs. It provides an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence; to showcase their technical skill and artistic talent; to provide a forum for communication and intercultural exchange; and to educate, enlighten, and develop future artists and audience support for the art of dance.
Next year marks the competition’s 35th year and its 10th quadrennial competition. Edward Villella, recognized as one of America’s most celebrated male dancers and the founding artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, will chair the international jury for the 2014 edition.
Friends of USA IBC is now recruiting new members. This fun, co-ed group supports the USA IBC throughout each year by volunteering as office assistants, planning fundraising and Friends membership events, volunteering for USA IBC work committees, manning USA IBC and Friends information booths, and being local and national advocates for the USA IBC.
Between 800 and 1,000 volunteers are needed to run the two-week competition. Members gather twice a year, once at a membership event and once at a fundraising event. For more information, visit http://www.usaibc.com/friends/.
Dancers can begin applying for next year’s competition in June, and online applications will be available soon. For more information, visit http://www.usaibc.com.
Houston Metropolitan Dance Company presents a free evening of dance under the stars June 7 at 8:30pm featuring an excerpt of The Vessel, a multi-media dance theater work by Houston Met resident choreographer Kiki Lucas, and Air by Larry Keigwin.
Also on the program are new works by Jason McDole and 2013 emerging choreographer Ricky Ruiz, Lucas’ Rebound, and the Houston Met Too Youth Company in a work by guest choreographers Sydney Skybetter and Jessica Hendricks.
The performance will be held at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston.
The Arts in Motion Academy in Matawan, New Jersey, will sponsor their fourth annual benefit performance this week for the Andréa Rizzo Foundation’s nationwide fundraising effort Dance Across America.
The event is set for May 17 from 6 to 10pm at St. Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 645 Roosevelt Avenue, Carteret, New Jersey. Dance directors Kimberly Tam and Amy Boyle will oversee the benefit performances of both the academy’s Performance Company and its hip-hop company, UFP Dance. (Members of UFP have competed on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.)
The evening will include dinner for guests, a DJ, and a 50/50 and basket raffles.
Tickets are $28 for adults and $17 for children. Only a small number of tickets will be available at the door. To purchase tickets, contact Arts in Motion Academy at 732.970.3967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on The Andréa Rizzo Foundation visit www.DreasDream.org.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio and Farmers Market in The Woodlands, Texas, have joined together to sponsor a flash mob event to show support and raise funds for Adam and Adrienne Davis on May 18 at 10am in the Grogan’s Mill Center. Adrienne was an Arthur Murray dance instructor in San Antonio and more recently at the Boston Arthur Murray Dance Studio who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“We remember seeing Adrienne in San Antonio at our state meetings,” said Brian Pablo, instructor for Arthur Murray Dance Studio-The Woodlands, told the Cypress Creek Mirror.
“Understanding her passion to dance makes us all ache for her. It helps define who she is—it’s her life—and she shares it with others.
“We’re doing this flash mob event to show our support for her and help her make this recovery. She has such a passion for dance and strong determination to do it again even with a prosthesis. We’re hoping to have a big turnout for this short event. We want it to be one that will show that Texans are with Adrienne and all of the Boston Marathon survivors supporting and cheering them on.”
The event will be held at Grogan’s Mill Center, 7 Switchbud Place, The Woodlands. For information on Adrienne’s progress, visit www.gofundme.com/AdrianneFund.
The concept hardly sounds like a hit: a dance contest for unknowns often doing unusual dances, reports News OK. Yet Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, which launches its 10th season Tuesday and Wednesday, continues to tap into what eludes other dance shows: the purity of the art.
“There is no question they have not seen it all before,” says Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer and judge. “That is the joy of seeing dance develop. I do believe every season these kids get better and better. The one thing dancers have (over singers) is if you are tone-deaf, you still sound as bad you did three or four years ago. If you are a dancer and train hard for three or four years, there is improvement.”
And the dance is diverse, introducing viewers to krumping, jookin’, whacking, and popping and locking. SYTYCD alumni have gone on to Broadway (Newsies, Rock of Ages), movies (Step Up, High School Musical), and TV (Bunheads, the pros on Dancing with the Stars).
If Lythgoe could give advice to the dancers vying for the top prize of $250,000, he would tell them, “Be fearless. Also while it is a dance show as well, let your personality shine through—how you are relating to what is going on, because those are the things people want to see as a person. If you get the steps 100 percent perfect, that’s great, but how are you feeling?”
After the two-night premiere, the show runs only on Tuesdays. To see the full story, visit http://newsok.com/so-you-think-you-can-dance-leaps-into-10th-season/article/3808153/?page=1.
There’s a gorgeous woodland setting, a newly built oversized cabin, fabulous catered food, and friendly colleagues. Even with all that, the main thing that brings studio owners back again and again is the satisfaction of a personalized DanceLife experience.
Three-day DanceLife Retreat Center workshops come complete with all the motivational support and business-organizational advice that you’d expect from dance education expert Rhee Gold—but in an intimate session of no more than 30 participants. At the Retreat Center, Gold speaks to YOU personally, in information-filled lectures and informal chat sessions.
Have a difficult situation or a challenging problem? In this intimate, relaxed setting, he’ll be happy to brainstorm solutions with you, point you in a new direction, or offer some advice gleamed from his lifetime growing up, working, and thriving in the dance studio industry.
Session start in June and run through the summer and fall. Check it all out today at www.danceliferetreat.com.
The annual Fall for Dance Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two free performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, New York City, on September 16 and 17. Both nights will feature New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and STREB Extreme Action Company, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The performances will precede the regular festival, which runs from September 25 to October 5 at New York City Center.
Every year the two-week event emphasizes the vast range of genres in dance—and makes it accessible by selling all tickets for the same $15 price. The 2013 festival will feature 24 companies. Among those joining for the first time are BODYTRAFFIC, a contemporary company based in Los Angeles; Colin Dunne, an Irish dancer who has crossed over into other genres; Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc., a modern dance company known for its sharp sense of humor; Sara Mearns, a principal at New York City Ballet; London’s venerable Royal Ballet; and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, a choreographer who emphasizes intercultural dialogue.
In addition to the free Central Park shows, the festival is marking its 10th year with three world premieres, commissioned by City Center, from choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (for Ballet Hispanico), Justin Peck (for Mearns), and Liam Scarlett (for The Royal Ballet).
To see the original story, visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324744104578473363390480102.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.
Merrill Brockway, a director and producer who brought high art to millions of Americans by presenting many of the 20th century’s greatest dancers and choreographers on the PBS television series Dance in America, died on May 2 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to The New York Times. He was 90.
Brockway’s work introduced many people to George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, and other giants of dance. Dance in America premiered in 1976 with the Joffrey Ballet, and later became part of the PBS series Great Performances.
Modeled after the dance numbers in Fred Astaire movies, Dance in America became known for showing dancers’ bodies mostly in full. Brockway said his collaboration with Balanchine influenced that approach.
“If you notice, all Fred Astaire movies are full figure, and Balanchine ballets are like that,” he said in an interview in The New York Times in 2011. “So we devised acceptable shots, and we came up with those together. If you watch TV now, it’s like they’re taking pictures. In dancing you can’t just take pictures, you’re telling a story.”
A pianist and World War II Army veteran who gravitated toward the budding television industry in the 1950s, Brockway became interested in dance, he said, after a classmate at Columbia University took him to see Martha Graham. In his 2010 memoir, Surprise Was My Teacher, Brockway wrote: “I saw a tiny lady dancing a solo. She grabbed my gut, swung it around, tossed it in the air, slammed it to the ground, then tenderly picked it up and cradled it. I would be, forever, Martha Graham’s disciple.”
To read the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/arts/television/merrill-brockway-producer-of-tvs-dance-in-america-dies-at-90.html?_r=0
Michelle Spillman emphasizes to her students that there is always room to grow as dancers and students—and hope that her example of attending this summer’s DanceLife Teacher Conference will help to hammer home that point.
“I tell them all the time that I love taking class almost as much as I love teaching it,” Spillman, owner of Dorr Dance Academy in Dorr, Michigan, said. Perhaps that is why her students entered a video about Spillman and her love of teaching in the recent DLTC video contest and won her a full scholarship to this summer’s DLTC, set for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona. “They were trying to keep it a secret, but I found out anyway,” she said. “I am not sure if all dance teachers feel that they have the most dedicated and amazing students in the world, but I am certain that I do.”
While Spillman looks forward to the wide variety of challenging technique classes and insightful, motivational teaching seminars that will be offered, her husband [Lee Spillman, studio office manager] will be taking advantage of the many business and marketing classes especially designed to help studios run efficiently and effectively. “It will be our first time attending, and hopefully, the first of many.”
Spillman’s scholarship was provided by MusicWorks Unlimited, a company she knows well. “I love MusicWorks and have attended their conventions for the past four years. They have an outstanding program for teachers and an extensive library of music that is age-appropriate and wonderful.”
For more information, visit www.dancelifeconvention.com.
University of Illinois dance Professor Tere O’Connor’s selection as a Doris Duke Artist Award winner will bring him an unrestricted $225,000, plus another $25,000 to pay for an audience-development project, and another $25,000 to put toward his retirement.
The News-Gazette reported that Duke award winners are culled from a pool of artists who have won at least three designated national accolades during the preceding decade. Among those given to O’Connor: U.S. Artists Rockefeller Fellow, 2009; Guggenheim Fellow, 1993; and three New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards.
He also has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, and other organizations.
In addition to the national recognition, the UI College of Fine and Applied Arts recently gave O’Connor one of two research awards. “Tere is a great example of an artist who maintains an active, cutting-edge practice while also being highly engaged on our campus,” college dean Ed Feser told the UI News Bureau. “He very much helps put Illinois ‘on the map’ in dance.”
O’Connor, an internationally known choreographer, joined Dance at Illinois in 2006. Based in New York, where his Tere O’Connor Dance Company is located, he spends the spring semesters at Illinois.
“I love the work I do with the students here,” he said. “The choreographic product I make is not divorced from my teaching and advocacy for dance. And those experiences all kind of converge in the dances somehow.”
New York City’s Dance Parade, now in its seventh year, was originally founded in response to the restrictive 1926 Cabaret law that was still in effect and stated that three or more people couldn’t dance in a bar or restaurant unless it had a cabaret license.
An article in the Examiner said that during former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 1997 quality-of-life campaign, police cracked down on drug problems in certain urban nightclubs, and the largely-forgotten Cabaret law became a quick way to shut down out-of-control nightclubs. (Backers of the original 1926 law were looking in part to stop interracial public dancing.)
In 2006 a New York State Supreme Court ruled that social dance could not be differentiated from aerobics, and therefore was not considered an expressive form of art protected by the first amendment, leaving the Cabaret law to remain in effect. In an effort to demonstrate that all forms of dance are expressive art forms, Dance Parade founder Greg Miller obtained a parade permit in 2007 for 75 organizations to celebrate as many diverse cultural and movement forms as possible.
The 2013 parade, set for May 18, will include 200 dance groups, more than 10,000 dancers, and 75,000 spectators. The parade is a colorful explosion of beautiful costumes, decorative floats, lively music, and diverse ethnic dance styles including African, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Asian; social dance styles, including swing, salsa, and tango; hip-hop, club dancing, and more. Traditional dance forms such as ballet, modern, tap, and jazz are also represented.
The parade begins at Broadway and 21st Street at 1pm, continues south through Union Square, turns east onto 8th Street, and ends at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. The post-parade DanceFest running from 3 to 7pm will feature on-stage performances, dance lessons, workshops, kids’ activities, and dance parties.
To see the original story, visit http://www.examiner.com/article/ny-dance-not-art-dance-parade-2013-continues-to-overcome-outdated-ideas.
Each year for the past five years, L.A. dancer Sammy Zweben has returned to her New Jersey home to hold DANCE 4 A CAUSE, a fundraising event for The Andréa Rizzo Foundation’s nationwide fundraising effort, “Dance Across America.” This year, she’s doing it again.
DANCE 4 A CAUSE will take place May 11 at 6pm at Jazz Unlimited, 201 Route 73 South, Marlton. More than 70 dancers will participate in this two-hour event, which features dancing, raffles, food, and fun. Young dancers have been raising money in anticipation by holding bake sales, “rose” sales, and frozen yogurt nights.
“Dance Across America” is one of many fundraising efforts created by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to bringing dance therapy to children with cancer and special needs in pediatric hospitals, public schools, and Ronald McDonald houses across the country.
All proceeds collected from this event, along with Zweben’s West Coast event, Charity Cabaret, held last month in L.A. with the help of partner Amy Turner, will benefit Dance Across America.
Students of the Harlem School of the Arts and their family members will learn about a new training partnership between the HSA dance faculty and American Ballet Theatre on May 21 at 7pm.
The training partnership, which will incorporate ABT’s National Training Curriculum in HSA’s dance curriculum, will be explained with a lecture-demonstration presented by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre at HSA’s Theater, 649 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York.
Beginning this fall, ABT will train HSA’s dance faculty in the principles of its National Training Curriculum, a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines, consistent with the best practices in the fields of sports psychology, child/adolescent development, nutrition, and training.
JKO School principal Franco De Vita will conduct master classes at HSA throughout the year and serve as an advisor to HSA faculty, in order to effectively integrate the new ballet curriculum into HSA’s diverse offering of dance techniques, including jazz, tap, modern, African, and hip-hop.
“Over the past few years, the Harlem School of the Arts has experienced a rebirth, returning to the core values instilled by its founder, Dorothy Maynor, offering its students access to world-class training in the arts. To that end, this alliance with American Ballet Theatre will further enhance the quality of dance training provided at HSA for the future dancers of the world’s stages,” said Yvette L. Campbell, president and CEO of the Harlem School of the Arts, the sole New York City provider of quality arts education in music, dance, theater, visual arts, and musical theater.
Florida Southern College in Lakeland students will be able to study dance and learn choreography as part of a new musical theater major in a brand new dance building now under construction.
The Ledger reported that groundbreaking ceremonies were held this week for the Wynee Warden Dance Studio, named for Winifred “Wynee” Warden of Orlando, a major benefactor of the private college. The construction of the building is part of the school’s Fine Arts Department expansion, and will be completed in spring of 2014.
Anne Kerr, president of the school, said she was inspired to start a dance program after talking with students. “Every year I host a series of dinner conversations with groups of students,” she said. “For years, students have requested more dance classes, especially ballet and, believe it or not, ballroom dancing.
“While we will emphasize a classical ballet program, we will also offer noncredit classes in ballroom dancing. I am excited to add this important dimension to our performing arts curriculum. It also helps us with our new musical theater major [launching this fall], which of course, requires dance. There will also be dance classes tailored to fit the various dance requirements of our productions.”
The new, 4,700-square-foot studio building will be constructed at the southwest corner of Johnson Avenue and Park Street. The college will tear down an older home previously used for office space to make way for the building.
To see the full story, visit http://www.theledger.com/article/20130506/NEWS/305065040/1134?Title=Florida-Southern-College-to-Build-New-Dance-Studio.
Shari Trujillo of On Your Toes School of Dancing in Rapid City, South Dakota, will be celebrating her studio’s 10th anniversary with a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, to attend the DanceLife Teacher Conference—thanks to a video contest scholarship sponsored by Hollywood Connection Dance Convention and Competition.
“I am so thrilled and beyond thankful to Dance Studio Life magazine, Hollywood Connection, and to everyone who ‘liked’ my video to be able to have won this opportunity,” she said to DSL. “Living in South Dakota and being a smaller studio, I didn’t even think it would be possible to win. This couldn’t have come in a better year. I am celebrating my studio’s 10th year in August. So this is the cherry on top.”
Trujillo said when her senior competition team shows her the video they had created, “we all cried watching it because it was so touching and meaningful.” As a solo teacher/studio director handling more than 30 classes a week, she could never find the time to attend the DLTC convention and do “something just for me.”
“I think I am most excited to get to learn things to bring home to share with my studio, and also to talk to someone else who is in the field I’m in,” Trujillo said. “I don’t think everyone understands a dance teacher unless you are another dance teacher, and I’m excited to just be with ‘my kind.’ ”
The DLTC is set for August 1 to 4 in the luxurious, five-star Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will include four ballroom/theater spaces running simultaneously with technique classes, business seminars, and motivational sessions. Visit www.dancelifeconference.com for more information.
A new dance competition, World-Class Talent Experience, held its premiere event at The Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas with celebrity judge Lauren Gottlieb of So You Think You Can Dance, and is making plans for a 20-city tour for the 2013-14 dance competition season.
Competing dancers received instant feedback from Gottlieb and fellow adjudicators Lindsey Leduc, Giordano Dance Chicago company member; and Menina Fortunato, executive director of The Hollywood Summer Tour.
The World-Class Distinction winner was awarded a custom master class at the competitor(s)’ home studio with Leduc, and scholarships awarded included a full scholarship to Gus Giordano workshop in Chicago and partial scholarships to The Hollywood Summer Tour in LA. The chosen Premiere Choreographer received a full scholarship to the Dance Teacher Web Expo in Las Vegas.
Competition co-founders Jevan and Shawna David have a combined 25 years in the entertainment industry. Jevan has managed and directed productions for MTV Music Awards, Macy Gray, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind & Fire, and The World Series of Poker. Shawna has performed with Les Folies Bergère, Don Arden’s Jubilee, in The Killers’ “Spaceman” music video, and in an opening gala event for Natasha Bedingfield.
It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for the Camden Sophisticated Sisters drill team, who made their national TV debut on Dancing With the Stars, wowing audiences with their energetic dance to Beyoncé’s hit, “Give Me Bodied.”
ABC News reports that the Camden, N.J., nonprofit program empowers hundreds of teen boys and girls, younger children, and even adults, all through the art of dance.
As part of “You’re Not Dreaming” week on Good Morning, America, where people doing extraordinary things in their community are recognized on the show, the drill team members were surprised by a video message from pop star Beyoncé, and learned they would be receiving custom-made uniform sweaters and backpacks.
When asked what she hoped the members would get out of this surprise, Tawanda Jones—who founded the program 27 years ago after her high school dance team lost funding—easily replied, “More self-esteem, motivation, dedication, self-discipline. I’m so proud of my babies.”
The drill team is as much about education as it is about dance. Camden is one of the most violent and poverty stricken cities in the country. Jones said she created the drill team because there was “a major need for structure and discipline in our community, especially for young ladies.”
In a city where fewer than 50 percent of high school students actually graduate, the CSS drill team has had a 100 percent graduation rate. “These kids . . . they are survivors,” she said. “They’re like the light in Camden.”
To see the original story, visit http://news.yahoo.com/camden-sophisticated-sisters–dance-group-inspires-youth-in-tough-camden–n-j—community–112200846.html. To learn more about Camden Sophisticated Sisters and see their performance on DWTS, visit http://camdensophisticatedsisters.org/.
When Rhee Gold was designing his new DanceLife Retreat Center, top priority was creating an environment where dance teachers and studio directors could relax, chill out, and feel the pressure of the dance studio business lift off their shoulders.
Inside, the comfortable cabin-in-the-woods feel encourages seminar attendees to stretch out on the plush rug or sink into an overstuffed coach in the great room, nibble a snack in the inviting kitchen, or check emails as the daylight stream in through the elegant wall-to-ceiling windows.
Outside, take a dip (or just dip your toes) in the sparkling in-ground pool, join a conversation on the open-air porch, or admire the deep woods view while taking a break on the patio. And everywhere, helpful staff persons (including Gold himself!) are on hand to make sure you are comfortable and content.
In between all that relaxing, Gold leads you and other seminar attendees through business and creative-oriented sessions guaranteed to help you take a fresh look at your studio business—and rejuvenate your lifelong passion for dance education.
Three-day sessions start in June. For all the details, visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/#.
When a dance studio’s trailer filled with props was stolen right before a big dance competition, a group of Kearney, Missouri, dance dads got out their hammers and paint brushes and went to work.
This past weekend was going to be a big one for a group of about 100 young dancers out of Studio 320 in Kearney, all set to compete at the Spotlight Regional Dance Competition at the Overland Park Convention Center. Then, on Friday morning the studio owner discovered their prop trailer parked behind the studio was missing.
“Why would somebody take a trailer full of kids props? So it was just shock,” Tara Meinert, the owner and director of Studio 320 told FOX 4 News.
She frantically called police, because the competition was the next day. But the fathers of some of the dancers came up with a plan.
“Then we went to the hardware store and pulled everything out of the hardware store and about eight dance dads met and we knocked it out,” said Jason Ross.
“It was so cold we were using a hair dryer to dry the paint, so we could put more coats on it,” said Cody Pennington. The fathers were still building well into the competition. Meinert said the stolen props were worth a total of $2,500.
To see the original report, visit http://fox4kc.com/2013/05/04/dads-to-the-rescue-after-kearney-dance-groups-props-stolen/.
Frederic Franklin, a charismatic British-born dancer and ballet master who was known for his stylistic versatility and his inexhaustible energy—he performed into his 90s—died May 4 in New York City, according to The New York Times. He was 98 and lived in Manhattan.
Franklin, known in the dance world as Freddie, had a genial but magnetic stage personality that made him popular everywhere he performed.
His repertory ranged from the Prince in Swan Lake to a cowboy in Rodeo and Stanley Kowalski in a choreographic version of A Streetcar Named Desire. As a principal dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Franklin was often paired with the Russian ballerina Alexandra Danilova to form one of the great partnerships of 20th-century ballet. The stage was a second home for him, and he never really stopped performing.
In his later years he portrayed mime roles like Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, the Witch in La Sylphide, the Tutor in Swan Lake, and the Charlatan in Petrouchka—all to warm applause.
Franklin founded the National Ballet of Washington in 1969 and directed it until it disbanded in 1974. He also served as an adviser to Dance Theater of Harlem, Oakland Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and other companies.
Franklin occasionally choreographed ballets of his own. The most durable was Tribute, created for the Ballet Russe in 1961. He won special acclaim for his revivals, which were notable for both their choreographic accuracy and their theatrical vividness.
For Dance Theater of Harlem, his staging brought fresh life to Schéhérazade, Michel Fokine’s 1910 drama about unfaithful harem wives. Franklin altered none of the traditional steps; instead, he invested them with fresh dramatic motivation. He also preserved the traditional steps for the company’s Giselle. Yet by changing the setting of this 1841 classic from the German Rhineland to the Louisiana bayous, he encouraged his cast to dance with unusual emotional intensity.
The recipient of many awards for lifetime achievement, he was named a Commander of the British Empire in 2004.
To read the full obituary, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/arts/dance/frederic-franklin-inventive-ballet-star-dies-at-98.html?_r=0.
“Thank you for giving me such a golden opportunity!”
Misty Christopher-Mollitor of Dance Dimensions of SWFL wrote to Dance Studio Life to thank Jackrabbit Dance and all the companies who sponsored scholarships in the recent DanceLife Teacher Conference video competition.
“I have wanted to attend a DanceLife Teacher Conference for years, and something has always taken priority. It always seems that my family, my kids, studio priorities, or finances take the front seat, and my ‘want list’ sits anxiously in the back seat waiting for a turn. Every time I start a new dance season, I regret that I didn’t get to attend the convention to get the much-needed fresh motivation and fresh ideas for the upcoming year.
“This year there are no more excuses! Rhee Gold and the DLTC are now in the front seat, and I’m driving full steam ahead to get a healthy new outlook on dance, my business, and my career, thanks to all of you!”
Christopher-Mollitor, who has been teaching for 30 years and runs two studios in two states, knows firsthand the often “overwhelming, exhausting” job of a studio director, and didn’t even realize DLTC scholarships were available until her students submitted a winning video.
“As I listened, tears rolled down my face at the beautiful things that the students said about me and all the time that it took to make the video. It really made me feel loved, and past emotions of not being appreciated were all erased. It’s amazing what ‘Thank you’ and other kind words can do!”
“This video was the beginning of becoming more inspired, and ready to teach and carry on my love for dance for many more years to come. The trip to Arizona to the DLTC will be one of my greatest gifts, and just what I need as a teacher/owner to continue to share my love of dance with students and families for years to come.”
To learn more about the DLTC, summer and fall session at the DanceLife Retreat Center, and other programs for dance teachers and studio owners, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com and www.danceliferetreat.com.
A campaign has been set up by dancers in England to inform their colleagues in the commercial dancer world about their rights within the sector and to improve working conditions, according to The Stage News.
Dancers United UK, a campaigning body that has been founded by working artists in the industry, wants to put a stop to unpaid work, which is often advertised as “good exposure,” and to establish guidelines for minimum rates of pay.
The founding members also want to tackle issues such as guaranteed lunch breaks, the availability of drinking water on sets, and payment for overtime. Reimbursement for transport costs and for dancers expected to wear their own clothing while performing also need to be looked into, according to the organizers.
For its campaign, It’s Up to Us (http://www.dancersuniteduk.com/), Dancers United UK has joined forces with UK-based union Equity to help secure better standards.
Shannelle Fergus, one of the founders of Dancers United UK, said that commercial dancers, who will appear in promotional films, at festivals, in music videos and live shows, do not have the same regulations available to them as other dancers, such as those in the West End. She said that rates of pay have decreased “dramatically” over the past five years for commercial dancers and that if this continues it will be “detrimental” to their careers in the future.
“The fact that payment has gone to a standard that is lower than before, to possibly no payment at all in the future is potentially really detrimental to what is a career for us.
“We want to be on stage and performing, it’s something we are passionate about, but that sometimes gets taken advantage of and blurred with the fact it is our livelihood. We need to get a bottom line for standards and dispel the idea that dancers should be working for free,” said Fergus.
To see the original story, visit http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2013/05/dancers-campaign-launched-to-improve-working-conditions/.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) presents the 23rd annual Rhythm World, a festival of performance, education, and community outreach programs, July 22 to August 4 in downtown Chicago.
Founder and director Lane Alexander will lead a master faculty in two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes, student showcases, tap jams, a cutting contest, and conferences for the field at the American Rhythm Center, located in the Fine Arts Building, as well as faculty concerts at the Jazz Showcase and The Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Intensive residencies will be led by Chicago native Ted Louis Levy (an Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee), next generation tap phenomenon Jason Janas, and international tap performer Charles Renato from Brazil.
The faculty for courses, workshops, and master classes includes Alexander, Bril Barrett, Julie Cartier, Zada Cheeks, Starinah Dixon, recent Princess Grace Award winner Michelle Dorrance, Martin “Tre” Dumas, Derick K. Grant, Jason Janas, Lisa La Touche, Nico Rubio, Sarah Savelli, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jumaane Taylor, Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Sam Weber, Mark Yonally, Nicholas Young, and guest teachers from Brazil including Marina Coura, Charles Renato, and Leonardo Sandoval.
Other special features include a KIDS Program for intermediate tappers ages 9 to 12, After World Adult Courses, and two programs where masters mentor students in ensemble work: the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) for advanced students, and PrepTEC for intermediate-level tappers.
Performances include an opening night (July 29) Jazz Showcase and JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concert July 31, August 1, and August 3. For full details, visit http://www.chicagotap.org/Performance-Education-Detail-Festival/rhythm-world-2013.aspx.
Some days don’t you just wish you could vent about the crazy, complicated dance studio world to someone who truly understands? Then sign up for one of the summer sessions at the DanceLife Retreat Center and spend a weekend with adults who know exactly what you’re going through—and who care.
Limited to 30 participants, DanceLife Retreat seminars are not only a chance to learn successful strategies for running both the business and creative end of your studio, but three blissful days surrounded by colleagues with a passion for quality dance education. Rhee Gold has spent his entire career encouraging teachers and studio owners to stay strong, believe in themselves, and focus on providing the best dance education they can for all their students—a dance philosophy rooted in positivity that’s shared by educators from across the country and the world who attend his seminars and conventions.
Come spend a weekend in Gold’s rustic hideaway in the pine forests of Norton, Massachusetts, and make personal connections that you will keep for a lifetime. Not only do attendees trade advice and troubleshoot issues as they enjoy scrumptious catered meals and informal jam sessions, the conversation with these new friends continues every day on the DanceLife Retreat Center Facebook page.
Talk dance, make friends, relax. It’s the perfect summer self-indulgence.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday sessions are set for June 14 to 16, July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21, August 16 to 18, and August 23 to 25; plus July 7 to 9 (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday). Visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/ for all the details.
The community of Roxbury, Massachusetts, had high hopes for its newest public school back in 2003. There were art studios, a dance room, even a theater equipped with cushy seating. A pilot school for grades K-8, Orchard Gardens was built on grand expectations.
But as the NBC Nightly News reported, the dream of a school founded in the arts, a school that would give back to the community as it bettered its children, never materialized. Instead, the dance studio was used for storage and the orchestra’s instruments were locked up and barely touched.
The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was ranked in the bottom five of all public schools in Massachusetts.
That was when Andrew Bott—the sixth principal in seven years—showed up, and everything started to change. “We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the arts.
In a school notorious for its lack of discipline, where backpacks were prohibited for fear the students would use them to carry weapons, Bott’s bold decision to replace the security guards with art teachers was met with skepticism by those who also questioned why he would choose to lead the troubled school.
But now, three years later, the school is almost unrecognizable. Brightly colored paintings, essays of achievement, and motivational posters line the halls. The dance studio has been resurrected, along with the band room, and an artists’ studio.
The end result? Orchard Gardens has one of the fastest student improvement rates statewide. And the students—once described as loud and unruly, have found their focus.
To read the full story and see the broadcast report, visit http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/01/18005192-principal-fires-security-guards-to-hire-art-teachers-and-transforms-elementary-school.
In what is a significant loss for the Chicago dance community, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, the audacious and imaginative artistic director who has led the Latino-rooted Luna Negra Dance Theater here since 2010—and transformed it into a company of great sophistication and experimentation—has stepped down from his post, effective immediately.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that Sansano is returning to Spain this week, and plans to focus on his choreographic work. According to a prepared statement, he also has expressed “a commitment to remain with Luna Negra artistically, moving forward in a project-based capacity.” But several of his finest dancer-collaborators, including Monica Cervantes of Spain and Eduardo Zuniga of Chile, have already left for home because of visa issues. And the rest of the dancers have been put “on hiatus.”
Last week, the company, which has been suffering from previously undisclosed financial and administrative problems for many months, announced it had canceled its spring program of new choreography at the Museum of Contemporary Art, including a planned commission with another Spanish choreographer.
Luna Negra’s recently arrived executive director, Esther Jeles, announced the launch of an international search for a new artistic director. But Sansano—who, since taking over for Luna Negra founder Eduardo Vilaro has brought thrilling new choreography and visual design to the Chicago stage, and assembled a troupe of exceptional dancers from here and around the globe—will be a difficult act to follow.
Pam Crutchfield, a longtime supporter of the company, has refused to serve on the search committee for a new director. And as she put it: “The truth is, these artists are irreplaceable.”
Two popular DanceLife Teacher Conference master teachers, Roni Mahler and Madame Peff Modelski, will join Dance Theatre Southwest director Patricia Dickinson in a series of workshops to be held at three United Dance Merchants of America (UDMA) Dance Resource and Costume Show locations this fall.
The new UDMA Dance Seminar Workshop aims to provide an extra opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills for teaching techniques to young students. Classes will run 90 minutes and will be taught by a different master teacher in each city: Patricia Dickinson in Atlanta (October 5 from 1 to 2:30pm), Roni Mahler in New Jersey (October 12 from 10 to 11:30am), and Madame Peff Modelski in Chicago (October 19 from 10 to 11:30am).
Following the theme “Celebrate Teaching: Exploring Ways to Teach Technique,” material will
focus mostly on ages 6 to 13 and apply to every level and any dance style. Using ballet and contemporary dance, the class will break down how to teach the basics: turnout, extension, placement and alignment, jumps, turns, moving through space, and more. The class will combine fun and easy demonstrations, plus discussions. Teachers are welcome to wear comfortable, danceable clothing and participate, or observe and take notes.
UDMA shows are free and open to all dance teachers and studio owners. Admission to the seminars is $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 800.304.UDMA (8362) or email email@example.com with questions. For the latest UDMA news, visit http://www.udma.org/.
Sarah Jessica Parker will be executive producing a documentary web series about New York City Ballet that features behind-the-scenes access to the dance troupe, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
City.Ballet is being created by AOL and will premiere this autumn. According to Vanity Fair, Parker has been on the NYCB board for a couple of years, and was the impetus for last year’s collaboration between the ballet and famed designer Valentino. Valentino designed costumes for the 2012 Fall Gala.
To watch the web series video teaser, visit http://on.aol.com/show/coming-soon-originals-517756965/episode/517762236?icid=aolon_cityballet_bfbpost1. To see the original story, visit http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/aol-newfront-15-new-shows-449070.
The Casting Firm is searching for charismatic, creative, or just plain crazy families who dance together for a new ABC primetime dance competition show, Family Dance Off.
Families will be chosen to perform their routine on a Hollywood stage for a chance to win a cash prize. Family members do not need dance training or experience—anyone who likes to boogie down in the living room or at family get-togethers is welcome to submit a video to the Casting Firm. Choreographed routines can be in any dance genre: hip-hop, pop, jazz, modern, ballroom, Latin, country, or a family’s own distinct style.
Families must include one member who is 21 or older, and one member under age 18. The Casting Firm has found cast members for shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Swamp People, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Redneck Rehab, Tattoo Rescue, and others.
Questions about the casting process can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. For full details on submitting a video, visit http://thecastingfirm.com/family-dance-off-now-casting/
It’s recital season, and we all know what that means—running around and last minute details, headaches and heartbreaks, problems piling up, and that sinking suspicion that there’s no way all those dances will ever be clean . . . !
Need to de-stress? Visit the DanceLife Retreat Center Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/#!/DanceLifeRetreatCenter?fref=ts), and spend a minute with studio owners and teachers who understand exactly what you’re going through. Peruse the uplifting messages and video snippets from Rhee Gold, then take a gander at the latest news about what’s planned for this summer’s sessions at the Retreat Center—a secluded hideaway built in the woods of Norton, Massachusetts, by Gold just for teachers and studio owners like you.
Or, as Gold says: “No students, no parents, no mob scenes: simply about you and your business.” Sound good? Registration is now underway for six summer sessions. Visit www.danceliferetreat.com for details.
A fabulous drag queen edged out a precocious little girl with special powers on Tuesday morning, when nominations for this season’s Tony Awards were announced, reported USA Today.
The homegrown musical Kinky Boots, with a book by veteran writer/performer Harvey Fierstein and a score by first-time Broadway composer Cyndi Lauper, earned 13 nods, the most this year and one more than the critically celebrated British import Matilda the Musical.
Other productions that got a lot of love from Tony nominators include acclaimed revivals of Pippin (with 10) and Golden Boy (eight), and a revised version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (nine).
Duking it out for Best Musical will be Bring It On: The Musical; A Christmas Story, The Musical; Kinky Boots; and Matilda: The Musical. Best Revival of a Musical nominees include Annie, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Pippin, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Taking a bow as nominees for Best Choreography are Andy Blankenbuehler for Bring It On: The Musical, Peter Darling for Matilda: The Musical, Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots, and Chet Walker for Pippin.
The Tony Awards will be presented at Radio City Music Hall on June 9. To see the full list of nominees, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/04/29/tony-awards-nominations-live/2116433/.
Aeternum; photo courtesy Official London Theatre
Christopher Wheeldon’s first work as a Royal Ballet Artistic Associate, Aeternum has won the award for Best New Dance Production at the Olivier Awards with MasterCard, reports Official London Theatre.
Wheeldon’s 21-minute piece, which was presented as part of a mixed bill with George Balanchine’s Apollo and Alexei Ratmansky’s 24 Preludes, featured Royal Ballet principal Marianela Nuñez—who won the Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award—at its dark, menacing heart. Nuñez’s performances in Diana & Actaeon and Viscera with the Royal Ballet also factored into her win.
In winning the award Aeternum triumphed over fellow nominees Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire and Nederlands Dans Theatre 2’s Cacti.
In musical theater news, Bill Deamer won the Autograph Sound Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Top Hat. Deamer was previously nominated for his work on Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre hit The Boy Friend, and he was also responsible for creating new choreography for the 2011 hit Love Never Dies, as well as touring productions of Evita! and Jekyll and Hyde.
Deamer paid tribute to Special Award winner Gillian Lynne, saying: “There’s a lady out there who is going to be awarded something special later on called Gillian Lynne and I believed in what she taught me as a choreographer . . . she said to me ‘Never change your belief, always do what you believe’ and she was right. I am so happy I can’t tell you. It’s the best thing that has happened in my life.”
To see full news on the Olivier Awards, visit http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest-news/#/?rows=10&q=&sort=go_live_date_dt%20desc&start=10
Running a dance studio can be a challenging, frustrating job, but after just one three-day weekend session at the DanceLife Retreat Center, you’ll not only remember why you started your business, but you’ll have plenty of new strategies to help you glide through years to come.
Registration is now underway for 2013’s summer sessions: June 14 to 16, July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21, August 16 to 18, and August 23 to 25 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday); plus July 7-9 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday).
Here’s a sneak peek:
• The Personal Side: discover that it is OK to pat yourself on the back for a job well done; strengthen your leadership skills and boost your overall effectiveness; learn strategies to handle the tough parents, negative attitudes, and “know-it-alls”; gain the confidence to run your classroom and school the way you know is right.
• Profit Centers: in-house dancewear sale options (wholesale vs. referral programs); income-generating master classes and other in-house events; costume profits, deposits, and distribution; recital tickets, fees, and bundling options; summer income generators such as camps, intensives, and unique concepts to jumpstart fall enrollment.
• Business is Business: build customer loyalty and improve student retention; protect your trade secrets, student lists, and other key business documents; learn to delegate with confidence; work the numbers/determine how much income that class really generates; create an organized and efficient business structure; find practical solutions for collecting tuition, costumes deposits, entry fees, and other payments.
• Faculty and Staff: benefits of non-compete contracts, job descriptions, handbooks, and more; employee compensation and benefits; good communication with your employees.
Sound good? Check out www.danceliferetreat.com for all the details. Sessions are limited to 30 participants. Book today!
Career Transition For Dancers, the only nonprofit organization in the United States solely dedicated to helping thousands of dancers take their first steps in discovering rewarding careers when performing is no longer an option, will be one of this year’s recipients of the 2013 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre, reports Playbill.com.
The Tony Awards Administration Committee will make the presentation on June 8 at a private cocktail party. Other 2013 recipients include literary and talent agent William “Bill” Craver, veteran production stage manager Peter Lawrence, and The Lost Colony, an outdoor symphonic drama based on the story of the first English colonists, now celebrating its 76th anniversary.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to “institutions, individuals, and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories,” according to press notes.
Career Transition For Dancers was born of a 1982 conference at Lincoln Center, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, several foundations, and performing arts unions, and chaired by Agnes de Mille. With more than 5,800 active clients today; offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago; and a mobile National Outreach Project, Career Transition For Dancers has provided more than 60,000 hours of individual and group career counseling and awarded millions in educational and entrepreneurial support to aid dancers.
The American Theatre Wing’s 2013 Tony Awards will be broadcast live June 9 on CBS, and are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
For more information on Career Transitions For Dancers, visit http://www.careertransition.org.
Hundreds of people are being checked for norovirus after dozens of dancers fell ill following a Candance competition in Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, Canada, two weekends ago, reported CBC News.
The virus hit dancers and their family members after the event, which was in Saskatoon and attracted hundreds of participants from dance groups and schools across the province. “We had kids going down, parents getting sick, siblings [on the following] Monday and Tuesday,” Wendy Spicer, director of the Martin School of Dance in Regina, told CBC News Friday. “They just kept dropping like flies.”
Officials from the Saskatoon Health Region say between 250 and 500 people are showing symptoms of the virus. The dance competition ended on that weekend, but people are still contracting the virus, which is similar to the stomach flu but more intense.
“We’ve been following up with the dance schools and receiving reports of student illness amongst their dancers and between 25 and 50 percent of students who attended the dance competition are reporting symptoms,” Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Saskatoon’s deputy medical health officer, said Friday.
To see the original story, visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2013/04/26/sk-dancers-norovirus-130426.html.
It’s always exciting when a dance teacher realizes a student’s artistic talents extend past the studio. Now that Marianne Kelley has been awarded a DanceLife Teachers Conference scholarship thanks to a video created by her student Molly Jenks, the teacher has another assignment in store for the talented dancer.
“I plan to give her a very special assignment to create a promotional video for the studio as her next project,” Kelley said of Molly. “She has always exhibited leadership qualities, and this proves that she certainly has a knack for direction as well. I have taught Molly for eight years, and it warms my heart so much that she nominated me.”
Kelley, an instructor and studio manager at Jessica Morgan’s School of Dance in Midlothian, Virginia, is the recipient of a scholarship sponsored by Studio Director software. (Also winning a scholarship from Studio Director was Don Flores of Element Dance Studio in Hillsboro, Oregon.)
She’s looking forward to “gaining fresh approaches to teaching that I can pass on to my fellow teachers,” focusing on teaching techniques, and learning about time management, discipline, and placement. As a mother of five, she also sees the conference as a chance for some “me” time.
“It will be nice to be doing what I love, in the company of many like-minded individuals. I hope to make new friends, and have some fun too!”
She’ll be joined at the DLTC by her fellow Jessica Morgan’s School of Dance instructor, Christy Costello Burke, winner of a scholarship sponsored by Costume Gallery. Some of the other contest winners include: Jackrabbit Dance Scholarship, Misty Christopher of Dance Dimensions of SWFL, Cape Coral, Florida; and MusicWorks Scholarship, Jade Greenough of D’ette and Company Dancers of Austin, Texas.
To learn more about the DLTC, visit www.dancelifeconference.com.
The Student Dance Association at West Virginia University in Morgantown will hold three performances in honor of The Andréa Rizzo Foundation’s nationwide fundraising effort, “Dance Across America,” this week.
Benefit performances by the student-choreographed and student-run club are set for May 2 at 7pm and 9pm and May 3 at 7pm at the Falbo Theatre, located in the Creative Arts Center on WVU’s campus. Appearing will be special guests from the WVU Irish Dance Club, WVU alumni, and Momentum Dance Studio in Clarksburg.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $9, and can be purchased in advance at the Creative Arts Center box office or in the Mountainlair Student Union.
“Dance Across America” is one of many fundraising efforts created by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to bringing dance therapy to children with cancer and special needs in pediatric hospitals, public schools, and Ronald McDonald houses across the country.
Adrienne Haslet, a professional ballroom dancer who had part of her leg amputated after being injured in the Boston bombings, is to appear on tonight’s Dancing With the Stars, reports the Daily Mail.
Haslet, who has become a symbol of American resilience after the attacks, said she is “honored” to make a guest appearance on the April 29th show. DWTS host Tom Bergeron, a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, last week promised viewers that Haslet will appear. “We were all very moved by her inspirational outlook. We’ll tell you how we hope to be part of her recovery,” he said.
The blast from the second explosion knocked Haslet off her feet from about four feet away. The Boston woman, an Arthur Murray Dance Studio employee, thought she was going to die when she looked down and saw how her body had been mutilated. Haslet crawled toward a restaurant door, before someone dragged her toward a staircase. Her husband, although also injured, took off his belt to make a tourniquet for her. Then others arrived to help and soon she was in a triage area where someone wrote a number on her forehead.
“I just prayed that I had a number that was high enough to get help,” she said. “I just kept screaming out, ‘I’m a ballroom dancer! I’m a ballroom dancer! Just save my foot.’ ”
She’s had one surgery to amputate her left foot, and another in which doctors amputated more of the same leg below her knee. “I absolutely want to dance again and I also want to run the marathon next year,” said Haslet. “I will crawl across the finish line, literally crawl, if it means I finish it.”
“Attending conventions with my dancers is fun, but I don’t feel like I retain as much because I am focusing on the girls and not myself.” That comment from Susan Knisely of Dance Academy in Thomasville, Georgia, is certainly not a complaint, but an explanation of why she is “beyond excited” to be the winner of a 2013 DanceLife Teacher Conference video contest scholarship.
Knisely’s senior tap class and performance group—dancers who are actively involved in studio fundraising for causes such as breast cancer—created the winning video, which featured instructors, moms, and Knisely’s six-year-old granddaughter. “I was very touched and surprised when I saw the video,” she said. “Most of the group was there when I heard that I had won, and saw my ‘happy’ tears.”
Attending the DLTC has been on Knisely’s wish list for a long time, she said. “Several of my friends are teaching there this year, so I am looking forward to seeing them, as well as taking classes from all the amazing faculty members. I am just so excited that I will be with so many other dance teachers at one time!”
Knisely’s scholarship was sponsored by D.A. Designs Dancewear. Some of the other 15 scholarship winners and sponsors included Carolyn Hoffman of Main Street Dance Academy, Marshalltown Indiana, who won the Weissman Costumes Scholarship; and Lauren Flores of Element Dance Studio, Hillsboro, Oregon, who won the Dance Studio Life Scholarship.
The DLTC is scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit www.dancelifeconference.com.
The world-renowned Mariinsky Ballet’s recent performance of the risqué Fokine ballet Scheherazade was a highlight of the Abu Dhabi Culture Festival, with the ballet selling out the 1,100-seat Emirates Palace auditorium in conservative, strait-laced Abu Dhabi on its first visit to the United Arab Emirates.
The New York Times said visits to the Middle East by touring dance companies are becoming increasingly frequent, and are helping to popularize classical ballet in the Gulf region. In mid-April, the Sofia Ballet from Bulgaria performed Don Quixote in Dubai, while the Royal Danish Ballet, accompanied by the Royal Danish Orchestra, performed La Sylphide and the third act of Napoli in Oman in January.
“We would like to explore the Mideast market more,” Yuri Fateyev, director of the Mariinsky Ballet, said in an interview. “It’s important for us to be here to see if the audience responds to high quality classical art like this.”
Classical dance is facing tough financial times worldwide, with governments cutting back financing during the crisis years and high-priced ballet shows having to compete for younger audiences against more-accessible forms of entertainment.
The prospect of reaching new markets, with new financing and new audiences, is attracting the companies. In turn, their higher profile in the region is encouraging the development of local talents, reflected in the opening of the Dubai Dance Academy in 2011, a school teaching pure classical ballet to both children and adults.
To see the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/world/middleeast/ballet-gains-a-toehold-in-the-middle-east.html?ref=dance&_r=0.
The Irish dance community is rallying in support for Jane Richard, the 7-year-old from Dorchester, Massachusetts, who lost a leg in last week’s Boston Marathon bombings that claimed the life of her 8-year-old brother, Martin, reports the Nice Deb blog.
For the past four years Jane has attended Tuesday Irish dance classes at the Clifden Academy of Irish Dance in Milton, Massachusetts. Owner and dance instructor Eileen Dillon Dinn told the Irish Voice that Jane “lives to dance,” and schools all over the U.S. have started fundraising to provide financial assistance to the Richard family.
Events and activities include:
• A Facebook page, Wrapping Jane in Our Love (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wrapping-Jane-in-Our-Love/477212572350202), is collecting T-shirts from Irish dance schools all over the world to make them into a quilt for the tiny dancer. As of Thursday morning, shirts had been received from 468 studios.
• In Boston: Dance Out for Jane (https://www.facebook.com/events/448828438535122/), an evening of Irish music and dancing by Boston area college dance groups, as well as New England solo and céilí World Champions, will be held tomorrow (April 27) at 7pm at the John Hancock Back Bay Event Center, 180 Berkeley Street. Tickets are $26.20 and are available in advance only at www.biddingforgood.com/danceoutforjane. Every penny raised will go towards the Richard Family Fund.
• In New York: a Dance Out for Jane event will be held tomorrow (April 27) from 1 to 6pm at The Kerry Hall, 305 McLean Avenue in Yonkers, All musicians, singers and dancers are invited to show their support for the Richards, with 90 percent of proceeds raised going towards the family fund, and 10 percent donated to the Leukemia Foundation. (http://www.irishcentral.com/news/-Irish-Dancers-rally-for-Jane-Richard-in-New-York-and-Boston-204464591.html#ixzz2ROTq9nqd )
• In Kansas City: a Dance Out for Jane fundraiser (https://www.facebook.com/events/121283458067964/) with performances by Kansas City Irish dancers and Irish bands will be held tonight (April 26) at the Irish Center in Union Station. Doors open at 6:30pm. Admission is $10 ($25 for families) at the door, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. One hundred percent of the money raised will go to the family.
• Dance Out for Jane online auction runs through May 1. Items include dancing and feis supplies, Aer Lingus tickets, Red Sox tickets, and more. (http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?vhost=danceoutforjane)
• Red Sox for Jane Facebook page (htthttps://www.facebook.com/RedSoxsForJane?ref=ts&fref=tsps://www.facebook.com/RedSoxsForJane?ref=ts&fref=ts) is asking for donations of Irish dance socks, which will be dyed red and distributed for a donation.
“Being a studio owner is NOT a job for the weak,” said Nikkie Frost of Studio Dance in Kentwood, Michigan, one of 15 scholarship winners in the DanceLife Teacher Conference video contest. Frost contacted Dance Studio Life to express her gratitude and thanks as the winner of a scholarship sponsored by the dance competition and convention company, Dancers Inc.
“As a studio owner and instructor, I try to get out to as many conventions as I can. I only ever dreamed of making it to a DanceLife Teacher Conference . . . the ‘mack daddy’ of all conventions,” she said.
Although her studio has only 75 students, a video made by parents and students received almost 400 “likes” to propel Frost into the finals. “August can’t come soon enough. I really look forward to taking class from the best of the best. Learning from amazing people like Misty Lown will be unbelievable. She is brilliant and I can’t wait to learn more from her!”
Other DLTC scholarship winners included Michelle Spillman of Dorr Dance Academy, Dorr, Michigan, winner of the MusicWorks Scholarship; and Linda Mercer-Botelho of Onstage Academy of Performing Arts, Fall River, Massachusetts, winner of the Center for the Performing Arts in Memory of Caitlin Ledwell Scholarship.
The 2013 DanceLife Teacher Conference is scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona. To learn more, visit www.dancelifeconference.com.
When Milton [Georgia] High School graduate Spencer Maxwell finished school, he expected to attend Florida State University and get a business marketing degree. Now, a year into his studies, he is opening a new business in Alpharetta that is dedicated to the high school class he loved the most.
Maxwell and partner Jen MacQueen—a professional dancer, choreographer, and elite gymnast—will open what can best be described as a Cirque-themed dance studio this summer called Cirque Freaks, reports the Revue & News.
“I realized I wanted to do Cirque the rest of my life,” he said. “It becomes a part of you, but how do we make money off this?”
The answer was to open a Cirque-themed studio in a space off GA 9 in Alpharetta, Forsyth County, where students can learn how to work with Cirque apparatuses such as aerial silks, Spanish web, Chinese pole, aerial straps, the barge, rings, static trapeze, and the Cyr wheel.
The partners expect to have eight employees during the summer, a number that could expand to about 15 in the fall. All the employees would be teachers. “There’s a feeling of play you get to revisit as an adult,” MacQueen said. “People would be nicer if they get to play more. Hanging from the monkey bars, you get a sense of freedom. It’s just fun.”
For more information, visit www.cirquefreaks.com. To see the original story, visit