Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

FYI | Club’s Training Program Marks 75th Year

What’s up in the dance community   Tradition and innovation met August 12 as the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston’s Dance Education Training Course celebrated its 75th anniversary during graduation ceremonies at the Hilton Boston/Woburn. The 69 soon-to-be teachers, clad in white formal wear, promenaded in a grand march before family, faculty, and alumni just…

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FYI | Giordano Foundation Holds Benefit

What’s up in the dance community Gus Giordano’s dedication to jazz dance is common knowledge. Perhaps less known is how Giordano supported the genre at the ground level—by giving scholarships to young students hungry to travel to Chicago to learn jazz under his direct tutelage. “I grew up seeing him help thousands of dancers,” Amy…

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December 2016 | Jazz Hands-On

by Karen White

Questions about what jazz dance is, where it lives, who does it and why drove discussions at the conference, Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice, held July 21 to August 3 in Newport, Rhode Island, hosted by the dance program at Salve Regina University. Hailed by attendees as a rare opportunity for educators, historians, choreographers, and master teachers to come together in celebration of jazz dance, the conference addressed not only the jazz lexicon but issues of race, relatability, and respect that impact how the art form is taught and viewed.

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September 2016 | Page Turners

Books of note (new and not)
1. Sweat, Tears, and Jazz Hands: The Official History of Show Choir from Vaudeville to Glee
2. How It Feels to Fly
3. My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights
4. Ballroom! Obsession and Passion Inside the World of Competitive Dance

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May-June 2016 | FYI

What’s up in the dance community
❱ Training to Teach Special Populations
❱ Defining Jazz Dance
❱ Entrances and Exits

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May-June 2016 | Bright Biz Idea | Clothing That Fits

“What will my child need?” may be the most common question studio owners are asked by new students’ parents. What style and color leotard? A ballet skirt or not? What about tap or jazz or hip-hop?

Some studio owners send customers to retail stores or fill clients’ needs from a stash in a supply closet. Others create small boutiques in the lobby or run full-inventory retail stores as part of or separate from the studio. Still others partner with dancewear suppliers that serve their clients and offer incentives to studios. Here, we take a look at both sides of that equation, with both dancewear companies and the studio owners who partner with them chiming in.

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March-April 2016 | Powerhouse of Jazz

To say that Jackie Sleight exudes charisma is akin to saying a lion sports a mane.

Like a bolt of electricity, Sleight (pronounced “slight”) zigzags around the stage at a recent L.A. DanceMagic (LADM) convention class, belting out directions, corrections, and humor-filled tidbits. Wearing black yoga pants and mid-calf boots and flicking her fire-red hair, she’s an über-mom for a sea of eager teenagers jazzing to a recording of “Vegas Lights” by Panic! At the Disco. Sleight wants the best for them, and in her purview nothing less than aiming for perfection is acceptable.

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December 2015 | Broadway’s Ben Vereen

From the outside, it appeared as if the mall’s best days were behind it. Ben Vereen walked casually, quietly, through a side door and into the Wiregrass Church’s auditorium, a surprisingly sleek theater-ready space in Dothan, Alabama, where rehearsal for Patti Rutland Jazz’s weekend show, “Ignite,” would begin momentarily.

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December 2015 | Page Turners

Books of note (new and not)
1. Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches
2. What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
3. Hip Hop on Film: Performance Culture, Urban Space, and Genre Transformation in the 1980s
4. Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced With Fred Astaire

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December 2015 | Name That Dancer

With so many performances and competitions to prepare for, technique to drill, and choreography to experiment with, teachers often don’t think they have time to teach dance history, a topic often associated with college programs. Some instructors may have only 30 or 45 minutes with a class. Others may not know how to make history relevant and exciting to students, or how to do it while keeping the class moving. And it may seem unfair to require students to read articles or conduct research as part of a dance class, in addition to their regular schoolwork.

Fortunately, there are many ways to engage students in learning about dance icons, styles, and events of the past, and teachers who are more than happy to share their methods for making history come alive in their studios.

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February 2015 | Classroom Connection

1) Cardio Fit, Cardio Fun: Because cross-training helps dancers develop the stamina and strength they need, we implemented a dance-based program in our elementary-age, beginner-level jazz classes that involves different activities each week. 2) Dance Your Name: At the first rehearsal for my recital production number—which would bring together my lyrical classes for kids ages 9 to 10 and 11 to 12—I knew I had to find a way for the two groups to work together despite the differences in age and experience. When I tried out a “Dance Your Name” game I discovered my best icebreaker tool yet.

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December 2014 | Higher-Ed Voice | Jazz Dance x 3

Many American colleges, conservatories, and universities offer dance programs, but few include a concentration in jazz alongside ballet and modern. Although it may seem odd that jazz dance, a truly American art form, isn’t routinely taken as seriously as other dance forms, a few university programs still keep jazz dance education’s flame alive.

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December 2014 | Jazz Duet

The Marta sisters, by their own description “joined at the hip,” came to the United States from Colón, Panama, as teenagers in 1965. Both became dancers, and then teachers. Many years later they’re still at work, Elvia Marta in San Francisco and Cecilia Marta in New York City.

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February 2014 | Classroom Connection

One day I had 15 minutes to spare at the end of a beginner jazz class for 7- to 11-year-olds. “What am I going to do for 15 minutes?” I thought. Then I remembered my days teaching 5- to 6-year-olds and it hit me: freeze dance! I needed to create an older version of this kindergarten hit, on the spot. I recalled the improvisation class I’d taken from Derrick Yanford at the 2011 DanceLife Teacher Conference, and it came to me: improvisation freeze dance.

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January 2014 | Schools With Staying Power | Making Memories in Mobile

In 1943, young dancer Mary Lou Sheffield brought together a dozen neighborhood children in Mobile, Alabama, for dance classes in her living room. She was 12 years old. Seventy years later, Sheffield School of the Dance, with three locations and more than 500 students, still credits “Ms. Mary Lou’s” love of dance and devotion with helping students grow “strong in body, mind, and spirit,” says her grandson, Colby Shinn.

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August 2013 | Emotional Voice

I had a breakthrough moment during my first year teaching jazz that led me to come up with 10 strategies to increase dancers’ expressiveness. Developing an expressive physical voice and the self-confidence to use it will make your students better dancers and more confident people.

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May-June 2013 | FYI

Harold “Matt” Mattox, a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and the creator of a jazz dance technique that synthesized ballet, jazz, modern dance, and tap into a singular movement style, died February 18 at age 91 in Perpignan, France.

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December 2012 | On My Mind

In this month’s issue we focus on jazz and hip-hop. As we were brainstorming about the content for the jazz section, I found my mind wandering back to the mid-1970s, when as teenagers, my twin brother, Rennie, and I would go with our mom to New York City to take classes from the jazz masters of the time. Many of those classes were with Luigi, who is featured in this issue.

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December 2012 | Keeping It Fresh

You could call Marcus Alford and Annie Day the duke and duchess of jazz dance. Partners in marriage and in business, both studied with jazz masters and have choreographed, performed, and taught for more than 30 years. Alford performed with jazz legend Gus Giordano for a decade, and Day studied with the likes of Luigi and Phil Black, and then worked as second in command to JoJo Smith, founder of what is now Broadway Dance Center.

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December 2012 | Higher-Ed Voice | Jazzed by Jump Rhythm

In a dance studio at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point (UWSP), enthusiastic voices call and respond in a rhythmic scat-singing pattern. Sounds like these are more often heard in a music class, but these voices emanate from a Jump Rhythm® Technique (JRT) class taught by associate professor Jeannie Hill. She is one of a handful of college-level teachers in the country instructing young movers in this unique method.

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December 2012 | Jazzed About Teaching

Last summer, before my senior year as a drama major at New York University, I took a personal journey. It happened at Collaborative Arts Project 21’s (CAP21) Pre-College Program, where I went from being a dancer to becoming a teacher over a four-week period. I kept a journal about the eight classes I taught in hopes that other young teachers might see themselves in my experiences.

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