FYI

FYI | At ABT, Making Ballets Is Women’s Work

What’s up in the dance community Balletgoers will see more dance made by women starting this fall, thanks to American Ballet Theatre’s new multiyear initiative the ABT Women’s Movement. The initiative will support the creation and staging of at least three new works by female choreographers each season. It grew out of ABT’s Women’s Choreographers…

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FYI | Ballet for All in St. Paul

What’s up in the dance community Ballet should be open to anyone, regardless of age, race, body type, gender, income, or language. That’s the thinking at St. Paul Ballet, a Minnesota company and nonprofit dance school that has implemented programs designed to shift people’s thinking about what a ballet dancer should look like. SPB’s annual…

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FYI | World Celebrates Merce at 100

What’s up in the dance community Merce Cunningham, the mad scientist of modern dance, would have turned 100 years old next year. To celebrate his innovative and influential body of work, more than 60 international dance companies and presenters are joining in the Merce Cunningham Centennial, a celebration that begins this September and runs through…

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FYI | Dancing Dreamers Curriculum Expands

What’s up in the dance community Dance educator Princess Johnson, founder of Greensboro, North Carolina’s Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, designed her Dancing Dreamers curriculum to help kids embody their dreams through movement. This spring, local philanthropic organization the Women’s Professional Forum Foundation rewarded Johnson’s vision with a $1,500 donation. Johnson began developing the curriculum in…

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FYI | Jazz History Unspools in Transmission

What’s up in the dance community Some of the towering figures in jazz dance—including some you might not know of—discuss the art in Transmission, a documentary now in production. “When you ask people, ‘What is jazz?’ everyone has their own view,” assistant director/choreographer Zak Nemorin told Dance Studio Life. “We’re using the concept of the…

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FYI | Crews Converge at Block Party

  What’s up in the dance community Which came first: the Block or the Block Party? The Block Party, a hip-hop dance event now entering its seventh year, was first. Held Labor Day weekend in Boulder, Colorado, it draws dancers, DJs, and judges from around the world to participate in dance battles and cyphers. It’s…

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FYI | This Summer, the Dance Party Is in Detroit

What’s up in the dance community The Motor City will be revved up August 10 to 12 as more than 50 local, national, and international dancers and companies converge on the Detroit Dance City Festival (DDCF). Artists hailing from Spain to South Korea will perform and teach workshops in modern, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop, followed…

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FYI | RDA Leadership Shifts

What’s up in the dance community Gretchen Vogelzang has stepped down as Regional Dance America executive director after more than 10 years of service. Vogelzang was elected president of RDA’s National Board of Directors in 2003 and assumed the executive director position in 2007. Her legacy includes expanding the National Choreography Intensive, developing RDA’s online…

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FYI | Dancing in the Lumberyard

What’s up in the dance community American Dance Institute has a new name, a new location, and a new mission—to transform a rustic area in southeastern New York into a performing arts destination. The nonprofit, now called Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts, has moved from Rockville, Maryland, to Catskill, New York. The 1.78-acre campus, chosen for…

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FYI | Teacher Training Focuses on Ballet Technique

What’s up in the dance community After nearly 20 years of running the Virginia-based Ashburn Academy of Dance, Anne Marie Kimmell and Katie Beliveau determined that ballet is a hard sell for today’s kids. So based on ballet teacher training they received at the University of Utah, the pair created and trademarked The Ballet Method,…

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FYI | Pillow Unearths Dance Treasures

What’s up in the dance community Jacob’s Pillow has always been a source of dance wisdom and inspiration, and this summer is no exception, thanks to an archival exhibit of sumptuous costumes, art, and images at Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, timed to coincide with the Pillow’s annual dance festival in Becket. Dance…

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FYI | Classical Repertoire Subject of RAD Teacher Program

What’s up in the dance community Students ages 12 and older can learn choreography from some of the world’s most popular classical ballets—Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty—through Discovering Repertoire, a new program from London’s Royal Academy of Dance. “The program provides the framework for teachers to teach famous repertoire to students of a variety of…

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FYI | College Aids Student With Studio Dream

What’s up in the dance community Starting your own business is daunting at any age, especially when you’re a relative newcomer to the workforce. So Lauren Crawford, a Northern Kentucky University dance major and entrepreneurship minor who had dreamed of opening a dance studio since age 12, was thrilled to learn about her school’s INKUREKA…

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FYI | Chicago Teacher Recognized by Global Award Program

    What’s up in the dance community Melinda Wilson is one in a million—or at least several thousand. Wilson was the only dance teacher to qualify for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize, becoming one of 50 finalists (out of 30,000 applicants) to vie for a million-dollar check from London’s Varkey Foundation. “I couldn’t believe…

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FYI | Dance for World Festival Celebrates 10th

What’s up in the dance community The power of dance to bring people together inspires the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dance for World Community Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. Beginning June 4 with a week of dance films and panel discussions, the event culminates June 9 with Dance for World Community Day, a free…

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FYI | Special-Needs Team’s Competition Dreams

What’s up in the dance community Dance educator Kim Smith’s search for a dance program that could accommodate her autistic daughter came up short, so in 2015, she created her own. A Chance to Dance welcomes dancers of all abilities at North Carolina studio Miss Donna’s School of Dance; owner Donna Mitzel, Smith’s former teacher,…

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FYI | Jazzing Up Online Resources

What’s up in the dance community Trial and error helped Atlanta Dance Central founder Charlotte Foster Williamson develop Physio Jazz, a dance and fitness program that emphasizes functional movement for students with Down syndrome, autism, and sensory processing disorders. And now she’s sharing her knowledge with other dance educators on a new website, physiojazz.com. Information…

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FYI | Ballet in a Box Takes Dance on the Road

What’s up in the dance community All kids should experience dance, Redondo Ballet founder Francesca Stern believes, so she and company co-artistic director Donna Perkins created Ballet in a Box: boxes containing all the elements—leotards, tights, costumes, shoes, music, story, and accessories—to stage a Redondo Ballet dance. Boxes are gifted to underserved children, whether dance…

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FYI | Italy Embraces American Dancer

What’s up in the dance community Lauren Celentano is big in Italy. The 19-year-old dancer, a sophomore at Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University, has become a household name abroad as the first American to compete in the Italian TV talent show for singers and dancers, Amici. Last summer Sacred Heart dance program director Kari Williams took…

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FYI | Master Teacher Program Relaunches

What’s up in the dance community Looking for a leg up in the dance studio business? Consider becoming a Registered Dance Educator. The National Dance Educators Organization recently relaunched its RDE accreditation program, which vets and promotes master dance teachers. RDE accreditation is open to all dance educators teaching in private studios, as well as…

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FYI | CCC’s Hip-Hop Minor a Major Deal

What’s up in the dance community Columbia College Chicago’s new interdisciplinary hip-hop studies minor, a 21-credit program launched in December 2017, features core classes on hip-history history and culture, plus practice-based learning. The minor is open to students in any major: dance students are encouraged to take technique classes and complete a dance internship, whether…

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FYI | Misty Copeland Booked for Library Week

What’s up in the dance community A successful author and celebrated boundary breaker, Misty Copeland was a natural choice to serve as honorary chair of the American Library Association’s National Library Week, which runs April 8–14 with the theme “Libraries Transform: Libraries Lead.” ALA chose Copeland because her efforts “to lead youth to pursue their…

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FYI | Ballet Arizona Taps New School Leader

What’s up in the dance community Anthony Jones is making the leap to a new school and warmer weather this winter. In December, Ballet Arizona announced that Jones, the former director of Oregon Ballet Theatre School, had been appointed school director of the School of Ballet Arizona, where he begins work February 12. He’ll oversee…

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FYI | Illinois Student Achieves Rare Cecchetti Status

What’s up in the dance community Hayden Gittner is an exceptional dancer—and now he has the paperwork to prove it. Last year, the 18-year-old Belleville, Illinois, ballet student became one of only two American men since 2007 to earn the Cecchetti Council of America’s Professional Advanced VII Certificate. For 10 years, Gittner has studied at…

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FYI | Puerto Rican Studio Is a Good Neighbor After Hurricane Hits

What’s up in the dance community A dance studio that has educated generations of underserved local kids gave its hurricane-distressed neighbors a new kind of leg up last fall. After Hurricane Maria decimated much of Puerto Rico, Centro Cultural de Bomba y Plena turned its focus from teaching dance and drumming classes to securing and…

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