Newsies Choreographer Glad that Show’s Positive Impact on Male Dancers Will Continue

Tony Award–winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli, in rehearsals for the Newsies national tour, spoke to CT Now of the crowds of young boys at the stage door throughout the Broadway run, and of young male dancers who came up to him thanking him for his choreography, saying that they want to dance in the show some day.

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September 2014 | Write It Down

One of the most important habits a dance teacher can acquire is to write down everything and store it in an organized fashion—in other words, make a habit of notation. In the August issue, we tackled one aspect of notation: music. Now it’s time to look at ways to document choreography.

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August 2014 | Write It Down

Choreography has become a never-ending task for studio teachers, which means they’re on a relentless quest for quality music and fresh inspiration. They face overwhelming pressure to outdo the previous year’s work and meet the expectations of students and their parents. Choreographers need to acquire a vast amount of music and fill thousands of counts with movement, all while showcasing the specific strengths of their students. Often, these demands lead them to rush the choreographic process.

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Learn How to ‘Seize the Day’ with Choreography Tutorial led by Broadway’s Newsies

As part of the “Get Up and Go” program that encourages kids to lead healthier lifestyles, choreographer Christopher Gattelli and the Broadway cast from Disney’s Newsies have released an online dance tutorial that takes kids step-by-step through the famous “newspaper-shredding” section of the show’s “Seize the Day” production number. “Get . . .

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Virginia Commonwealth University Announces Appointment of Dance Department Chair

Following Sherrod’s 15-year career performing, touring, and teaching with Philadanco under Joan Myers Brown, as well as with Urban Bush Women, Inc., she earned a M.Ed in dance education and an Ed.D in dance pedagogy and theory from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Spiced-Up Choreography

The traditional cramproll combination of step, step, heel drop, heel drop in the basic RLRL or LRLR pattern is an important staple in many dance routines. Consider the following ideas to add variety and new challenges for your students.

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MIT Senior Uses Choreography to Help Girls Understand Math Concepts

Well aware of the shortage of women in math and the sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior Kirin Sinha has created a new curriculum called Shine that uses choreography to help 12- and 13-year-old girls understand math concepts.

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On My Mind

Recently I met Amanda (not her real name), a dance teacher who broke down while she explained that she had once loved teaching. Now it was nothing but stress. When she started teaching, she said, things were simpler: “All I had were toddlers; they loved class and so did I.” Now, she said, “I have students of all ages who are jealous of each other, and the parents question every move I make. They call or text me because they do not like my choreography or to blast me because they think tuition costs are too high. Almost everything I do is wrong!”

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Classroom Connection

To help students learn to remember choreography, let them become the teachers. This method works with both recreational and competition dancers, though it seems to benefit the latter most because as team members, they must learn their choreography quickly.

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UT Video Dance Organization Encourages Others to Reach for their Dreams

University of Texas at Austin senior Jonathon “JT” Thomas created I Got Sole with five friends in 2012 to provide an outlet for dancers, videographers, and visual arts wanting to express their dreams, reports the Daily Texan.

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Ballet Dancers, Symphony Musicians, Exhilarated by Original Collaboration

The dancers of Miami City Ballet and the musicians of New World Symphony have spent most of their careers doing what they’re told by teachers, choreographers, conductors, and directors. But Tuesday evening, members of both ensembles presented a show of choreography created by the dancers and live music that they put together entirely on their own, a collaboration that’s unprecedented for both.

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Brenda Bufalino Leads Discussion on Past, Present, and Future of Tap Choreography

Tap maven Brenda Bufalino led an engaging discussion and presentation on the past, present, and future of tap dance choreography at “Tap Talks/Tap Films,” a new discussion series by the American Tap Dance Foundation, reported Broadway World.

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Moving Passages

Writing is a solitary pursuit. The tools, spare: pen and paper or a computer, one’s imagination, and a story to tell or idea to convey. Choreography, too, can frequently be a singular occupation: there’s the dancemaker alone in the studio; the score he or she has chosen; and an idea, a message, a story to impart.

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Book by Dance Magazine Editor At Large is a Journey Through the World of Concert Dance

Through the Eyes of a Dancer (Wesleyan University Press) is a carefully curated collection of reviews and essays, written by Dance Magazine’s editor at large, Wendy Perron, reports Jennifer Edwards in The Huffington Post.

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Showtime Shakeup

The annual recital is unquestionably one of the most important events on a dance school’s calendar. It’s a rite of passage for dancers and a choreography showcase for teachers—and it is one of the biggest and best ways for studio owners to market their schools.

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2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Fine-Tuning Performances

During performances the audience looks at the dancers’ faces first, and then moves on to the choreography and technique. To encourage students to explore facial expressiveness without feeling embarrassed, try this between barre exercises: have them close their eyes and then call out expressions for them to try.

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Classroom Connection

Musical theater class can involve far more than choreography done to Broadway tunes. Here’s your chance to work weekly with your students on one of the most difficult skills to grasp—how to create and sustain emotion and/or character.

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Good Old-Fashioned Broadway Tapping Goes Viral with Cups Video

Tap-dancing is one of those old-fashioned throwbacks that theoretically shouldn’t be cool anymore, says the Huffington Post. But it requires such incredible—and incredibly subtle—skill that when done well it will blow you away every time.

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California Preprofessional Company Invites Public to Learn, Perform, this Saturday

Imagine Ballet Company, a preprofessional company from Bakersfield, California, will hold a public, free, three-hour class of training and choreography that will culminate in a flash mob–style dance performance on October 12 in Beach Park.

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FYI What’s up in the dance community

“It was a good fit.” And with that pun, Sarah Hall Weaver described the impetus behind a public art and fund-raising project by the National Museum of Dance—24 five-foot-tall pointe shoes, decorated by area artists and sponsored by local businesses, scattered about the tourism town of Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Dancing Big

A normal week might find Jimmy Locust teaching 20 classes at his studio in Stamford, Connecticut. Or he might be on a plane to Los Angeles or Hawaii to choreograph a music video. Or a camera crew might be following him as he prepares for an upcoming performance with his acclaimed youth performance team, Hip Hop’s Finest. Life keeps the diminutive Locust, who is four feet nine inches tall, on the move.

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Kennedy Dance Theatre Company Concert Features Classical and Contemporary Work

Enchanted Evening, Kennedy Dance Theatre’s upcoming concert presented by Ballet Jeté and KDT’s Vaganova Ballet Department, will showcase new original choreography from choreographer and KDT ballet mistress Milena Leben, former prima ballerina with the Croatian National Theatre.

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Thinking Out Loud | Hip-Hop Gold

For 18 years, my studio’s enrollment has remained steady. I have seen students graduate from high school and move on, only to be replaced by little ones now old enough to join Fundamentals of Dance, a class for the youngest dancers. Some students move away while an equal number of dancers change studios and come my way. Yet attracting male students to the school and sustaining their enrollment was like picking apples off a pear tree—until I added hip-hop to the roster.

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Ask Rhee Gold

Do you have any advice about working with competition kids and determining who is in the front row, back row, etc.? These are 7- and 8-year-old kids in their second year of competing. It is only a group of 10, so the majority of times they’re in either the first or second row. I try to rotate them as much as I can, but there are always the stronger ones I need at that age. It bothers me because I always try to make sure they all feel important and a part of the routine. How should I base which dancers are in the front row—do I assess them or give preference to the kids who have been with the studio longer than the others?

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2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Pas de Cheval

My training as a very young child included a step that is seldom done now. A favorite of mine, it was “the horsey step” (pas de cheval, or “step of the horse”). The foot is pointed devant and the arm is extended in front, in line with the foot, palm down, and eyes looking at the hand. The foot is then brought toward the supporting leg in a circular movement to approximately ankle height and returns to the pointed position, and at the same time the wrist and head lift.

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Jonathan Charles Smith, Beloved Sam Houston State Assistant Professor of Dance, Dies

Jonathan Charles Smith, an assistant professor of dance in the Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre & Musical Theatre, will be remembered today (February 20) during a memorial beginning at 11am in the University Theatre Center’s Erica Starr Theatre.

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Trisha Brown Wants Her Company to Continue On Without Her

Trisha Brown, a dance experimentalist of the 1960s and ’70s who went on to help define contemporary dance performance, has decided to withdraw from leading the company she founded because of health problems but has given her blessing to its continued existence, reported The New York Times.

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Young Dancemakers Company Seeks NYC High School Students Passionate about Dance

Young Dancemakers Company, a free summer dance ensemble of New York City teens dedicated to creating their own original choreography and performing it in free touring concerts citywide, will be holding auditions for the 2013 company on March 10 at 11am at DANY Studios, 305 West 38th Street, New York.

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Diablo Ballet’s New Work to be Created with Help from Internet Fans

Diablo Ballet is reaching out through the internet to cull choreography ideas from dance lovers around the world for The Web Ballet, to be performed March 1 and 2 at the Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium in Walnut Creek, California, as part of the ballet’s Inside the Dancer’s Studio series.

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Sarasota Ballet Invites the Public ‘Inside the Studio’ Through New Series

The Sarasota Ballet’s “Inside the Studio” series, four informal talks about the organization and its repertoire, will begin January 24 with a sneak preview of Will Tuckett’s choreography for a company world premiere that will debut on February 1.

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2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Music and the Mirror

Sometimes counts alone are not enough when it comes to finding musicality in a routine. Hip-hop routines are usually beat-heavy and accented, less fluid than lyrical or contemporary.

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Celebrity Dance Choreography Contest Winner Seeks Dancers for Public Performance

Auditions will be held this Saturday for a new dance work by Talia Favia, a choreographer who has assisted Mia Michaels on So You Think You Can Dance and who is the first winner of Celebrity Dance’s CREATE Competition.

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Rhee Gold Brings Motivation to Your Next Dance Organization Event

You probably know that Rhee Gold’s Project Motivate seminars help studio owners generate more income, learn new strategies for 21st century marketing, become better organized, and learn new teaching and choreography concepts. But what you might not know is that you can bring Gold and his Project Motivate magic to your next dance teacher organization event.

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Pennsylvania DMA Chapter 10 Unites to Help Former Dancer Struggling with Leukemia

Members of Dance Masters of Pennsylvania Inc., Chapter 10, were moved to action after hearing a status update during a grand body meeting about a former competitive dancer’s expensive fight against leukemia, and organized a fund-raising dance workshop called Danspirations for Emily.

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Intent and Expressiveness

There was a time when the goal of modern dance technique training was to make all dancers look as much alike as possible. That day has passed. Today most choreographers expect dancers to bring themselves to the movement they are given, and in many cases, to participate in the creation of the movement itself.

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Cultivating Creativity

Dance studios and programs across the country tend to put most of their emphasis on nurturing budding dancers and give little thought to offering training, support, and opportunities for young choreographers, particularly aspiring teenage dancemakers. But look harder and you’ll find that choreographic mentorship is thriving in three North American programs.

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Thinking Out Loud | Virtual Rehearsal

I slapped some ice onto my purpling Achilles tendon, but I could tell I was going to have to rest it. So I emailed the director of A Little Night Music, a production for which I was contributing choreography. A string of email brainstorming correspondence followed, and I began to write out instructions, reminders, and notes for the rehearsal in the event that I could not attend. Fortunately, the show was three weeks into rehearsal with staging and choreography already plotted out. But that night was an important run-through of Act 2, which I felt I could not miss. As a joke, I wrote, “Too bad we can’t have a video conference!” To which the assistant director replied that we could—via Skype, so that I could “watch” the run-through.

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