DSL NewsWire: New PBT School Annex Expected to Boost Enrollment by 40 Percent

Artist rendering of PBT’s new annex; image courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

At a gala marking the final weekend of its 45th mainstage season, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) last week announced a $20 million campaign that will expand its PBT School and its presence in the region and the dance community at large.

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DSL NewsWire: Tony Waag: Keeping Tap Alive and Moving It Into the Future

Tony Waag; photo by Lois Greenfield

Tony Waag, executive/artistic director of the American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF), talked about tap’s past and future with Broadway World (BW) this week in anticipation of the upcoming Rhythm in Motion contemporary tap dance showcase, set for April 22 to 26 in New York City.

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DSL NewsWire: Hubbard Street to Collaborate With USC’s Kaufman School of Dance

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in William Forsythe’s Quintett; photo by Cheryl Mann

Beginning in summer 2016, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will host a program of intensive workshops at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

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DSL NewsWire: Past and Present of ABT Explored in Live-Streaming Event

ABT’s Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations (1947); photo courtesy Facebook

A three-part retrospective exploring American Ballet Theatre’s contributions to American dance over the past 75 years will be shared with ballet fans across the country through a special live-streaming event this coming Sunday and Monday.

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DSL NewsWire: Company of Nine Down Syndrome Dancers Heads to Disney in June

Foster-Schmidt Dance Company; photo courtesy Sideways

“Be strong, be brave, and be yourself” is the motto of the Foster-Schmidt Dance Company of Roswell, Georgia, and it’s particularly fitting for this troupe of nine Down syndrome dancers who will perform at Disney World in June for the first time.

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DSL NewsWire: Maryland Youth Ballet Looks to Expand Challenged Student Program

Maryland Youth Ballet’s Music and Motion program; photo courtesy Larry Miller

Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring is teaching classical ballet to students with physical disabilities—including some diagnosed with disorders like cerebral palsy and Rett syndrome, which may require wheelchairs and constant care—that some would not expect to see in a dance studio.

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DSL NewsWire: Designers Find Inspiration for Spring Lines in Ballet Class

Ballet-inspired spring fashions; photo courtesy Fox News KMSP

Barre classes—which combine components of ballet, yoga, and Pilates—are the latest exercise trend, and it looks like designers have followed suit. Spring looks included some beautiful nods to dance-inspired style that can be re-created without pointe shoes and leg warmers.

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DSL NewsWire: Harvard Approves New Theater, Dance, and Media Concentration

Harvard Dance Project; photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard staff photographer

A new concentration for Harvard University undergraduates in Theater, Dance, and Media that blends historical and theoretical study with arts practice has been approved, reported the Harvard Gazette.

Interested students will begin taking classes this fall, and the concentration—approved by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)—will officially launch in December.

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DSL NewsWire: April Marks 10th Anniversary for the Ailey Extension

Yoga at the Ailey Extension; photo by Kyle Froman

The Ailey Extension, created to fulfill Alvin Ailey’s life-long commitment of bringing dance to everyone by offering “real classes for real people,” celebrates 10 years of dance and fitness classes this April with new classes and special events.

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DSL NewsWire: First “Dance Swap” Encourages NC Artists to Seek Out New Students, Audiences

Kim Jones; photo courtesy NCDA

Open classes and showings of new works will be featured during the inaugural Dance Swap, an event designed by the North Carolina Dance Alliance (NCDA), the state’s leading membership group serving and supporting the development of dance in North Carolina.

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DSL NewsWire: Marijuana Odors Concern Michigan Studio Owner, Parents

Bessemer city council meeting; photo courtesy Daily Globe

Bethany Hellen, who owns a dance studio in Bessemer, Michigan, attended Monday’s city council meeting along with several parents of dance students to voice concerns about the medical marijuana caregiver who resides above the studio.

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DSL NewsWire: American Dance Institute to Shutter School; Focus on Presenting Dance

American Dance Institute school; photo courtesy American Dance Institute

American Dance Institute, founded 15 years ago in Rockville, Maryland, plans to spend less time teaching dance and more time supporting dancers and presenting new work—including with a New York season next year, the organization announced Friday.

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DSL NewsWire: Shen Yun Dance Show: Spectacle With a Side of Politics

Shen Yun Performing Arts; photo courtesy Nuvo

What may be Seattle’s most publicized event in the last year, a dance performance called Shen Yun Performing Arts, also is a goad in the side of the Chinese government, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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DSL NewsWire: Two Ailey Favorites Give Up Stage to Run Educational Center

Alvin Ailey’s (from left) Samuel Lee Roberts, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, and Antonio Douthit-Boyd; photo by Andrea Mohin/New York Times

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is losing two of its most treasured members this summer, reported the New York Times ArtsBeat blog.

Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Kirven Douthit-Boyd—who were married in 2013—have been named the co-artistic directors of the Center of Creative Arts, the St. Louis organization where Antonio trained. Before they take up their new jobs on August 15, they will perform their final New York season with the Ailey company at the David H. Koch Theater in June, followed by an engagement in Paris in July.

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DSL NewsWire: Charlip’s “Air Mail Dances” Still Serving as Choreographic Inspiration

Remy Charlip; photo by Lois Greenfield

More than 40 years after artist Remy Charlip first mailed sketches of dance figures to a choreographer to be used as a basis for creating dance pieces, those sketches are again serving as choreographic inspiration.

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DSL NewsWire: Utah Schoolchildren Learn About Physics Through Dance Performance

Weber State University dance; photo courtesy WSU

A child pushes something. It goes this way and that. “The question is, ‘Is that science or is that dance?’ But why can’t it be both?” asks Weber State University (WSU) dance professor Erik Stern.

Stern is collaborating with WSU physics professor Adam Johnston on a new work called A Body in Motion that explores the physics of movement.

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DSL NewsWire: Portland Dance Companies Compete for Space With Breweries, Tech Firms

NWDP’s new dance studio; photo by Christopher Peddecord

In the past seven months, at least four different Portland, Oregon, dance companies have been shunted to new spaces—only some willingly, reported Willamette Week.

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DSL NewsWire: Newcomers and Old Favorites Part of 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; photo courtesy Jacob’s Pillow

Highlights of this summer’s offerings include Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special dance and radio stage production starring public radio’s Ira Glass; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2; the US debut of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart from Germany; the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin’s Intensio; Cuban contemporary ensemble Malpaso Dance Company, performing with Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; and the launch of Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer Lucinda Childs’ Archival Materials Available Online

Lucinda Childs (second from left) and company; photo © 1973 Babette Mangolte, courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1602, New York

A Steady Pulse: Restaging Lucinda Childs, 1963–78 is a new web-based publication that reexamines the early dances of one of America’s most influential contemporary choreographers.

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DSL NewsWire: “Two Tips” Columnist Thelma Goldberg is BDA 2015 “Dance Champion”

Thelma Goldberg; photo courtesy Thelma Goldberg

Dance Studio Life columnist and Massachusetts studio owner Thelma Goldberg will receive the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award from the Boston Dance Alliance at the organization’s May 14 gala.

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DSL NewsWire: DTH Exists to Prove That, in Ballet, Color Doesn’t Matter

Dance Theatre of Harlem; photo by Rachel Neville

“Panel after panel convenes to ask why there are not more dancers of color in ballet. My heart sinks every time. Where is Dance Theatre of Harlem in this conversation?” asks DTH artistic director and former professional dancer Virginia Johnson in a column in Huffington Post.

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DSL NewsWire: Michigan Ballroom Studio Offers Instruction to Wheelchair Dancers

Wheelchair classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills; photo courtesy Facebook

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has hired a new dance instructor to lead an effort to start a wheelchair dance workshop.

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DSL NewsWire: Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular Arrives With a Splash

The Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular has arrived and it’s one show this season that definitely lives up to its name—spec-ta-cu-lar.

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DSL NewsWire: Latest Capezio Tap Shoe Offers First Interchangeable Heel Unit

Cathie Nicholas and the Dada Hoofers; photo courtesy Capezio

The shoe offers several heels crafted in different weights and materials for a wide variety of tone and pitch. A hollow heel unit acts as a sound chamber to produce a crisp sound that is not subdued by marley competition floors, plus heightened amplification. With the Tapsonic, dancers are able to customize their sounds similar to the ways in which musicians can customize the sounds of their instruments.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance Class Helps Mothers, Daughters Make Emotional Connection

Mother & Daughter Classes; photo by Joe Ahlquist/Argus Leader

Mothers and daughters who crave more quality time together have found their way to an eight-week class at BritZa Studios in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, that mingles dance with life lessons in self-esteem, inner beauty, and being unique.

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DSL NewsWire: Six Master Classes for $25 Part of Movement and Dance Weekend

Movement and Dance Weekend; photo courtesy Alex Shukoff

More than 30 affordably priced classes for all skill levels in a variety of genres will be offered as part of Movement and Dance Weekend, presented by Rochester, New York’s Nazareth College Department of Theatre and Dance from today through Sunday.

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DSL NewsWire: Mark Morris’ Ode to Joy, L’Allegro, Shown on Great Performances

Mark Morris Dance Group in L’Allegro on PBS; photo courtesy MMDG

One of the best-loved dances by one of the world’s greatest choreographers—Mark Morris’ 1988 L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato—will be broadcast on television for the first time this March 27 at 9pm EST on PBS’ Great Performances program.

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DSL NewsWire: Mark Morris, Nureyev, 2015 Inductees into NMD Hall of Fame

Mark Morris in rehearsal; photo by Amber Star Merkens

Innovative contemporary choreographer and company director Mark Morris and ballet luminary Rudolf Nureyev have been chosen by the National Museum of Dance as the 2015 inductees into its Hall of Fame.

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DSL NewsWire: Parisian Audiences Defy Critics by Showing Love to American Musicals

Singin’ in the Rain; photo by Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

American musicals were rarely performed in France in the past, but have been a huge hit in recent years, reported NPR.

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DSL NewsWire: Performances, Free Talks Part of Peabody Dance’s 100th Celebration

Peabody Dance Centennial; photo courtesy Peabody Dance

One hundred years after opening its doors, Peabody Dance welcomes alumni, guest artists, and scholars to Baltimore, Maryland, for its Centennial Celebration during the weekend of March 26 to 29.

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DSL NewsWire: Story of Prancing Elites’ Determination to Dance Told on Oxygen

The Prancing Elites; photo courtesy Facebook

A new Oxygen docu-series, The Prancing Elites Project, tells the story of an African American, gay and gender non-conforming dance team from Mobile, Alabama, that challenges societal norms while overcoming obstacles with passion and wit.

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DSL NewsWire: Tap Company Attracts New Audiences by Presenting Story Shows

Choreographer Mark Yonally; photo by Mina Bloom/DNAinfo Chicago

When tap dance choreographer Mark Yonally was performing with a touring circus a few years ago, he would watch the whip artist and the contortionist warm up before shows.

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DSL NewsWire: LED Smart Shoes Turn Your Dance into a Light Show

LED smart shoes; photo courtesy No New Folk Studio

They’re like the light-up shoes of your childhood, the ones that blink and flash, activated by the pressure of your tread—but cooler than that, reports CNET. Orphe, developed by Japanese startup No New Folk Studio and currently seeking Indiegogo backers, is a programmable performance shoe fitted with 100 full-color, serially controlled LEDs, advanced motion sensors, and a Bluetooth module—designed to enhance and become a part of your dance moves.

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DSL NewsWire: Square Dancing in Steep Decline; Fans Try Legislation to Stem Tide

Square dancing; photo courtesy Square Dance Magazine

The nation’s square dancing population has declined by 700,000 over the past 30 years, according to United Square Dancers of America. Lawmakers in 31 states have tried to reverse that trend by making it their official state dance.

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DSL NewsWire: SYTYCD’s Travis Wall and Twitch to Mentor This Season’s Contestants

Travis Wall and Stephen “Twitch” Boss; photo courtesy Variety

So You Think You Can Dance will be bringing two of its alumni on board when it returns this summer for season 12. Travis Wall and Stephen “Twitch” Boss will join the competition dance series as mentors to the top 20 finalists.

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DSL NewsWire: Precious Puppies Help to Ease Job Stress at American Ballet Theatre

ABT’s Lauren Post and Pickles; photo courtesy Instagram

Ballet dancers have a tough life: so how about a softer, cuddlier look at the dance life, thanks to Instagram.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer and Students Discover Limitations Can Spur Creativity

“Ten Tiny Dances;” photo courtesy Kali Raisl

“Ten Tiny Dances,” a Tacoma, Washington, dance event that raises funds for scholarships at Tacoma City Ballet, sets a challenge for choreographers and dancers: to fit expressive movement into short works on a 4-by-4-foot stage set squarely in the middle of an audience.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance+ Festival Going Strong for 25 Years in Saratoga Springs

Dance+ Festival; photo courtesy Facebook

The 25th annual Dance+ Festival will offer classes in over a dozen different styles of dance and movement for dancers and non-dancers of all ages and levels on March 29 at the National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York.

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DSL NewsWire: “Curriculum in Motion” Science Teacher on Third Pair of Jazz Shoes

School science teacher Dan Gray rehearses Curriculum in Motion; photo courtesy of David Dashiel for Jacob’s Pillow

When he retires at the end of the school year, Monument Mountain Regional High School teacher Dan Gray will be remembered as much for the contributions he made through his dancing shoes as he will be for the lessons he gave in the biology lab.

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DSL NewsWire: Charity-based Competition Presents $50,000 to Utah Food Bank

Ginette Bott of the Utah Food Bank accepts a $50,000 check from Will Dance For Kids; photo by Chelsey Allder/Deseret News

Will Dance for Kids Project, an organization that raises funds for children’s charities through dance and dance competitions, earned $50,000 for the Utah Food Bank through a weekend competition.

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DSL NewsWire: Video and Share Moves and Music with New Free App

Jusmove app; photo courtesy Amarillo Globe-News

Gray’s Studio, an Amarillo, Texas, photography and video business, will soon offer a video-based social network they hope will tap into the artistic drive that supports thousands of dance studios across the United States.

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DSL NewsWire: National Museum of Dance Heats Up Winter With Tango Exhibit

Antón Gazenbeek and Natalie Laruccia; photo courtesy Natalie Laruccia

Visitors to the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York, can learn about the history of the Argentine tango, view rare footage, and even learn the dance itself through a new exhibition, 125 Years of Tango: A Walk Through the History of the Dance, running through March 2016.

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DSL NewsWire: Info on Duncan Dancers and Educators Sought for Online Archive

Isadora Duncan; double exposure photo by Richard Stoots from the collection of Janaea Rose Lyn

Duncan dancers, teachers, choreographers, and scholars throughout the world are urged to share information about themselves with the Isadora Duncan Archive committee now in the process of producing a digital archive representing the vast legacy of the modern dance pioneer.

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DSL NewsWire: Struggling Ballet San Jose Launches Emergency Fundraising Drive

Ballet San Jose; photo by Alejandro Gomez

Financially troubled Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley has to raise $550,000 by March 14 or face its possible swan song, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

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DSL NewsWire: Edward Villella’s Choreography Featured in Televised Ice Show

Meryl Davis and Charlie White; photo courtesy Shall We Dance On Ice

Miami Ballet founder and former New York City Ballet principal Edward Villella is also an accomplished choreographer for ice skaters. One of his pieces, “The Three Smokers,” will be featured during ABC-TV’s Shall We Dance On Ice, airing March 7 at 4pm EST.

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DSL NewsWire: 8-Year-Old Dances With and Without Prosthetic in First Solo

Alissa Sizemore; photo by Heather Sizemore

Seven-year-old Alissa Sizemore was playing with a group of kids last May when Naples, Utah, police say she ran into the street, where her right foot became pinned under the wheel of a passing UPS truck.

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DSL NewsWire: Free Printed Recital Tickets Now Available to TutuTix Customers

TutuTix printed tickets; image courtesy TutuTix

TutuTix announced that it will begin offering free printed tickets to all dance studios and performance companies who use TutuTix to sell recital tickets online.

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DSL NewsWire: Coach Fired Over Use of “Inappropriate” Song Sues School District

Lisa Joling; photo by Megan McCormick/News-Herald Media

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Equal Rights Division is hearing the lawsuit between a former dance team coach and the Marshfield School District.

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March-April 2015 | On My Mind

Photo by Mim Adkins

I’ve been in the dance education field for a long time, and over the years I’ve noticed some changes, particularly in regard to student performances. Long before the current generation started dancing for awards, generations of young dancers performed for something quite simple: applause.

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March-April 2015 | Make It Modern

Ana Marie Forsythe, chair of The Ailey School’s Horton Department, says the lack of ambiguity in Horton technique makes it appealing to students. Photo by Eduardo Patino

For some educators, the thought of teaching modern dance raises terrifying questions. How do you do it best? How do you know you’re qualified? What is modern dance, anyway? Others ask: why do my students need modern training? Aren’t those techniques old-fashioned and outdated?

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