We’re still buzzing with energy from our Dance Teacher Summit this weekend. From the special session for studio owners on Thursday to the Closing Summit panel on Sunday, incredible material was shared. Thank you dance teachers—you inspire us every month!
Here are my favorite Dance Teacher Summit 2014 moments:
• The absolute silence of a packed Grand Ballroom while Twyla Tharp’s class performed 11 sections of The One Hundreds, Tharp’s work from 1970 that is made of 100 11-second sequences, separated by 4-second pauses. The work is performed with no music, and on Saturday, you could hear the sound of the dancers’ feet brushing the floor as they slid in unison into a low lunge.
• Tharp’s generosity at the end of class, when she gave each teacher the 11-second sequence they performed in the final showing. “I want you to consider it yours,” she said to the group.
• Franco De Vita, when accepting the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award, demonstrated his wry sense of humor with an anecdote about becoming a U.S. citizen. He said he was sure that he’d lost his accent and now sounded like an American. We’re all happy this is not the case.
• When she accepted the Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education, Karyn Tomczak called out her former teacher Tom Ralabate, who received the same award in 2007.
• When I turned around at the A.C.E. Awards to find seated behind me the actress Georgia Engel. She’s so recognizable from her role as Georgette on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s. She was De Vita’s guest, along with Charles Kelley, the acro master teacher.
• When Judy Rice, during her pointe class, took out a Sharpie and drew circles on the insides of her knees and ankles to demonstrate the very specific placement required for coupé and passé. “Someday I’ll just get tattoos,” she said.
• When Rice cued up the sexy music of Gershwin (Concert in F, Adagio) for centerwork. Her playlist also included “One” from A Chorus Line—so fun! It’s all on her Behind Barres, Volume VI, By Request.
• The moment Gil Stroming announced the second runner-up for the Capezio A.C.E. Award. Emma Portner stepped forward and visibly fought back tears for a second or two. Then she regained her composure and accepted her award for Let Go, Or Be Dragged. We couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Here's a sample of her work.
• And of course we all love the suspense and excitement when the A.C.E. Award winner is announced. Here’s Talia Favia’s reaction to hearing her name. Check out a video clip of the work here.
• Mandy Moore’s Sunday afternoon class was beyond full. She’s become such a big name since Dance Teacher featured her on the cover in October 2009 (as she was choreographing the opening number for the Dance Teacher Summit fashion show that year). And at the Closing Summit panel, she reminisced with her first teacher, Kim DelGrosso of Centerstage Performing Arts Studio in Utah. Kim said Mandy was born with an old dance soul. She was a clear talent from day one.
Mark your calendar to join us in Long Beach, California, July 28–30, 2015!
all photos by Kyle Froman for Dance Teacher magazine.