Andrea Miller has developed a reputation as a wild child, choreographically speaking: Her company, Gallim Dance, known for its zany, expansive movement, has wonderfully idiosyncratic dancers. Surprisingly, Miller's dance roots are based in classic modern dance (though her time with the Batsheva Ensemble certainly had an influence). At 9, Miller began studying Humphrey-Weidman technique with Gail Corbin at the Silo Studio in Connecticut. Corbin inspired Miller to pursue her own path in dance composition, with an emphasis on how movement needs to be performed with power and emotion.

"Gail could be extremely demanding, but not in an off-putting way. She wanted to be inspired when she watched me dance, and she would let me know when that element was fading from my performance. I'm completely obsessed with that now, as a choreographer and teacher--I am so much more interested in seeing dancers who are extremely present, who show me what's happening to them as they dance."

Gallim Dance will perform Miller's 2009 work, Blush, May 21-26 at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Fisher theater. www.gallimdance.com

Photo by Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine

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Oversexualizing young kids has been a hot topic among dance teachers in recent years. It's arguably the most controversial topic teachers and studio owners are faced with. Deciding which choreography, music or costumes are appropriate—or not—isn't always black and white and can be easily overlooked. Is showing the midriff too much for minis? Is this choreography too provocative? Is this popular song too suggestive for a competition piece? The questions can seem endless with no clear objective answers. Until now.

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We haven't been able to stop watching Lil' Mushroom since she popped and locked her way into Ellen's heart last week. We know you've got a long night of teaching ahead, and this is the dance inspiration you need to get you through. Check it out and tell us what you think about her killer moves over on our Facebook page! (She starts blowing minds at about 2:16.)

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How-To

Because the chassé is often neglected during the execution of this traveling step, Judy Rice asks her students to do a minimum of a six-inch chassé before transitioning into the pas de bourrée. She encourages dancers to pay close attention to their shoulders and hips in effacé, too. "Kids tend to open it up. They look like they're fencing," she says. "You don't want that." Both shoulders and hip bones should be facing the corner.

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