“Artistry: Mystery vs Transparency” by Cheryl A. Ossola: Frederick Wiseman’s 1995 film Ballet is a unique perspective on the lives of artists, and in remembering it, I thought about the conversations teachers might have with students—conversations about artistry, how we perceive it, and what enhances or impairs those perceptions.
“Never Stop Dancing” by Tamsin Nutter: The hours I spend sitting at a desk make me feel creaky; a recent “big birthday” turned my thoughts to using my life stages wisely and well. Perhaps that’s why Keep Dancing, a lovely 2010 film portrait of then-90-year-old dance icons Marge Champion and Donald Saddler, has been on my mind.Read More
Let’s imagine that one town has two very good schools, and let’s say that they are roughly equal in size and that each offers a quality dance education. What could make one school stand out above the other?Read More
by Heather Wisner
When My-Linh Le watches turfers at work, she sees the grace, fluidity, and balance of ballet—no small feat, considering that turfers often perform their style of street dance aboard San Francisco Bay Area BART trains, busking for donations in cramped and unsteady spaces. “Turfers tend to get [up] on their toes,” she says, “and they like to do spins.”Read More
Books of note (new and not)
1.America Dancing: From the Cakewalk to the Moonwalk
2.Stompin’ at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller
3.Physics and the Art of Dance: Understanding Movement, 2nd ed.
4.Song and Dance Man
by David Arce
Tip 1 In partnering classes, the first thing I tell male students is that their most important job is to make their partners look good. Only after their partners are comfortable and balanced should male dancers consider their own poses.
Tip 2 I tell male students to keep their hands low on their partners’ hips—the lower the better.Read More
From winter competitions to summer national galas to fall intensives, there are exciting learning and growing opportunities for dancers of any age. In our annual listing, you’ll find the right fit from among nearly 125 competitions and conventions, ranging from old favorites to intriguing new options.Read More
The University of Utah School of Dance, in Salt Lake City, offers separate degree programs in ballet and modern dance and attracts students from across the world. While honoring the legacies of these two dance forms, which the University began offering more than 60 years ago, the school maintains an environment of open inquiry that encourages questioning, risk-taking, and sensitivity.Read More
by Nina Pinzarrone
Last month I wrote about useful music from operas. (See “2 Music Tips for Dance Teachers: Ballet Divertissements from Operas: Part 1,” November 2016.) Here are more examples.Read More
by Samara Atkins
Make sure your students have the kick ball change (also called kick cross step) in their hip-hop vocabularies. This move is fundamentally about shifting the weight.
Once your students have the feel of the kick ball change, add a little variation to give the move more power and style.
by Steve Sucato
The occasion was Regional Dance America’s 2016 Northeast Festival, held June 2 to 4, 2016. It was a homecoming of sorts—in 1960 Erie had hosted the second Northeast Regional Ballet Association Festival (NERBA, now known as Regional Dance America). And that predecessor of this year’s event was a seminal moment in the grassroots regional dance movement in the United States.Read More
by Patrick Corbin
When you teach the hip slide, explain that students need to be in three-point contact with the floor as they approach the slide.
When you teach partnering, suggest the following techniques for ensuring a good grip.
by Joseph Carman
As a dance form, hip-hop emerged from the streets, and its spontaneity, energy, and individuality reinforce its appeal. So when you place hip-hop in concert form, as choreographer Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris has done successfully for 25 years, it’s vital to retain that freshness while instilling it with discipline and stagecraft. Enter Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works (RHAW), a second company to the acclaimed Rennie Harris Puremovement.Read More
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.Read More
by Thelma Goldberg
Tip 1 Small, stationary footwork is important to master, but it’s equally important that tap dancers learn to move rhythmically across the floor and around the room.
Tip 2 Moving side to side, forward and back, or in circles and squares will add variety and fun to your tap classes and help keep your students on their toes.Read More
by Josie Bray and Richard Kent
Though journaling may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of training dancers, teachers across the country use writing as a tool to help their dance students improve both technique and performance.Read More
In this issue we crisscross the country with stories about innovative hip-hop projects. In Philadelphia, Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works teaches dancers hip-hop technique and history. In Chicago, The Puzzle League’s advocacy-based choreography educates and entertains. And in Oakland, Mud Water Project blends ballet with turfing, a local street dance style.
Plus, a National Dance Education Organization conference devoted to jazz dance; Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival’s present and momentous past; journaling as a learning and self-empowerment tool for dancers and dance students; and our annual list of competitions and conventions.
Get in the groove!Read More