Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Words of Wisdom

A 23-columnist salute to 11 years of ideas, insight, and inspiration by Tamsin Nutter Some days you just need a little advice and encouragement—whether on preschoolers, degagés, or taxes—to pin on the staff bulletin board or mull over in the bathtub at night, from a trusted friend who’s been there, done that, and understands exactly…

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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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The Boys of Temecula

Cross-training, pro mentors, and motivation are a winning mix for Temecula Dance Company’s male dancers by Joseph Carman “Don’t make it look like step aerobics,” hip-hop choreographer and teacher Erik Saradpon shouts over “Uptown Funk.” “The dip is on 7. Zap the arms vertically from the armpit.” The male students—38 in this particular rehearsal—ace the…

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Studio Style | Performer’s Edge Dance Center

Makeovers, renovations, and dream spaces by Heather Turbeville What do you do when your studio is bursting at the seams near the happiest place on earth? Performer’s Edge Dance Center (PEDC) built an entirely new space. The studio, which serves approximately 500 students with Mom & Me, combo, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, acro, contemporary,…

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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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Studio Style | Makeovers, renovations, and dream spaces

Dance Innovations Dance Center by Heather Turbeville Recital season is one of the most hectic and stressful times of the year for studio owners. As if regular show prep pressures weren’t enough, the day before her recital in June 2016, Katie Fitzpatrick’s landlord dropped a bomb on her: he would not be renewing her lease.…

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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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EditorSpeak | Learning to Love Dance

The college professor had a question: “Why don’t dance studios do more concert dance?” In one sense, the answer is easy: “Because we’re not a concert dance company or a college dance department.” Those exist in their own spheres where they are valued for what they are. (I doubt many modern-based concert companies constantly face…

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A Camp With Character

Girls, boys—and dads—ease into ballet through Nutcracker camps by Michelle Wurtz Whether it’s The Nutcracker or your own version of a holiday showcase, a full seasonal production in a theater requires long-term student commitment, parental support, and funds. What if you don’t have some or all of these resources, but still want to involve students…

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Media Hub | Dance With Miss Kim

Dance With Miss Kim This instructional DVD by Kim Black, a teacher at Burlington [NC] Dance Center, 2018 Discount Dance Supply Teacher of the Year, and frequent Dance Studio Life contributor, takes children on an imaginary journey through movement and dance. Young dancers can pretend along with Miss Kim and become part of her stories…

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Media Hub | Tallulah’s Nutcracker

Tallulah’s Nutcracker by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger It’s Christmastime, and Tallulah finally gets what she’s been wishing for—a part in a real ballet, a professional production of The Nutcracker. She’s only a mouse, but she works as hard as if she were the Sugar Plum Fairy. On the night of the show, everything…

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Did You Know? | Who is Garth Fagan?

“Part of my joy, and my love in life, is moving to a positive place.” —Garth Fagan, in a TEDx Jamaica talk by Heather Wisner Garth Fagan’s blend of ballet and modern technique with African and Caribbean dance styles has won him millions of fans all over the world. Besides running his 48-year-old company, Garth…

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Editor Speak | The Pain of Pointe

I’ve been carrying a chip on my shoulder for more than 30 years, and it has to do with dancing on pointe, or rather, stumbling around the dance studio in pointe shoes. When classes began the fall I was 10 years old, my ballet teacher made an announcement that came as a surprise: we were…

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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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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Trading Places

Ideas and advice from teachers There is nothing better than a faculty that works together like a well-oiled machine. Individual teachers can support each other within their own classrooms by creating lesson plans that support and echo each other’s work. Around mid-year, I’ll sometimes invite other classes to visit mine and share their recital or…

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On My Mind | Success through continuing education

Words from the publisher For the past few weeks my mind has been focused on the 2018 DanceLife Teacher Conference. The creation process has been a blast—more than 100 sessions and classes are scheduled, faculty is booked, and special events are planned. We are ready to go! Since the last conference was three years ago,…

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Media Hub | The Tap Love Tour podcast

The Tap Love Tour podcast Tap artist Travis Knights takes you on an adventure through time, rhythm, and dance. Includes interviews with tappers Starinah Dixon, Roxane Butterfly, and Derick K. Grant; lindy hoppers Aleix Prats Ferrer and Anaïs Sékiné; and former ballet dancer and founder of the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet online platform Theresa…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: We’ve Got Spirit

Ideas and advice from teachers Freeze out those dreary mid-winter doldrums with a Spirit Week. Creating a week when students can dress up and express themselves is key to cultivating their artistic vision and performance quality. In my ballet classes, I occasionally offer a themed week called “uBu”—a play on “You Do You” or “You…

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Ballet Beyond Borders

Montana dance festival has global reach by Bonner Odell The snow-capped mountains surrounding Missoula, Montana, might seem like a surprising backdrop to a dance festival featuring some of the world’s most elite dancers and teachers. But Missoula is the birthplace of the Vienna International Ballet Experience USA (VIBE USA), which last year alone drew more…

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Dance With Destiny

Milk Carton on a String changes its students’—and its founder’s—lives Introduction by Alaina Leary Photos and captions by Caroline Poppell Shortly after a massive earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, Caroline Poppell—who was pursuing a dance career in New York City at the time—took a mission trip to the country, an experience that rocked her world.…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Barre Boredom

Ideas and advice from our readers Are your ballet babes bored with barre? One typical Friday afternoon I watched as the 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old petit rats in my Ballet 1 class spent their precious barre time focusing on all the fundamentals that will serve their future dance goals—fidgeting, lip-synching the latest pop tune, and…

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Media Hub | Restless Creature

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan directed by Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger As this documentary begins, Wendy Whelan is 46, battling a painful injury that has kept her from the ballet stage, and facing the prospect of impending retirement from New York City Ballet. Whelan braves the surgery that she hopes will enable her comeback to…

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Editor Speak | The XX Files

  Mao’s famous phrase “Women hold up half the sky” crossed my mind this summer while I was parked on a blanket in an amphitheater, watching Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Choreography XX project. According to OBT artistic director Kevin Irving, the project was meant to cultivate more work by female choreographers; after a national choreography competition,…

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FYI | Indianapolis School Goes Pro

New York City Ballet founder George Balanchine famously said, “But first, a school.” Those words have served as inspiration and advice for Victoria Lyras, who founded the Indianapolis School of Ballet in 2006 and this year is taking the final steps toward founding Indianapolis Ballet, a professional ballet company. Lyras, a former Pennsylvania Ballet dancer…

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Collective Wisdom | Classroom Connection: Themes and Variations

To keep your students engaged in ballet class, try varying how you present the material. I use theme months and theme days with my intermediate and advanced levels to focus and add fun to class lessons.   Theme months No-Barre November: Have students do their regular ballet barre in center. Ask them to notice how…

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