1.  Name the famous jazz teacher who Alton encouraged to start teaching.


2.  The Bolshoi-trained ballet dancer, Mikhail Mordkin taught Alton a beautiful _____ _____ _____ and an expansive use of the _____ _____.


3.  Alton made which Hollywood star move effortlessly?

4.  In his first gig as a film dance director, Alton nodded to what famous movie musical director/choreographer by shooting the performers from above in kaleidoscopic fashion?


5.  Alton moved chorus dancing into a new era, by featuring _____ and _____ _____, and requiring the
chorus to be adept at both _____ and _____.

6.  Unlike his younger contemporaries Agnes de Mille and Jack Cole, who labored to expand their choreographic vocabulary, Alton became known for what techniques?


7.  What celebrated screen star did Alton discover and help develop his career?


8.  True or False: Alton’s genius lay in his ability to elegantly incorporate many dance genres (ballet, tap, modern, ballroom) into one number.


9.  Name three of Alton’s most notable works.


10. True or False: For a quarter of a century, Alton split his time between Broadway and Hollywood, creating dances for the stage and MGM productions.




1  Luigi;  2. Port de bras; upper body;  3. Judy Garland;  4. Busby Berkeley;  5. Soloists; small groups; tap; ballet;  6. Synthesizing dance material already popular at the time, and enabling performers to distill their personalities through their dancing.;  7. Gene Kelly;  8. True;  9. Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (1934), Panama Hattie (1940), Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey (1940), Easter Parade (1948), Show Boat (1951) and The Harvey Girls (1946), Till the Clouds Go By (1946), Ziegfeld Follies (1945) and/or Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (1954);10. True


Photo of Robert Alton dancing with Great Garbo in Two Faced Woman (MGM 1940), courtesy of Larry Billman/Academy of Dance on Film.

The Feldenkrais Method is a somatic technique created by Moshe Feldenkrais in the 1950s. The method has two parts: hands-on sessions with a Feldenkrais teacher (Functional Integration) or group classes comprised of verbal cues (Awareness Through Movement).

Mary Armentrout, a dance teacher, choreographer and Feldenkrais practitioner, shares three ways that this somatic practice can bolster your students' training.

Keep reading... Show less
Your Studio

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.

Keep reading... Show less
To make dancers stronger and less injury-prone, Burns Wilson suggest adding floor barre or conditioning classes. Photo courtesy of Burns Wilson

With a career spanning 30-plus years in the dance field, Anneliese Burns Wilson has cultivated a unique perspective on health and injury prevention for dancers. From teaching ballet to teaching anatomy, she then founded ABC for Dance, which publishes dance-teaching materials. Now through research for her next book, which will focus on training the female adolescent dancer, she's delving even deeper into topics many dance teachers have overlooked.

Keep reading... Show less
Erdmann (left) on set for "Hairspray Live" (courtesy of Erdmann)

When Wicked ensemble member Kelli Erdman was training at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, Washington, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focussed transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, she applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

Keep reading... Show less
Khobdeh dancing Taylor's Speaking In Tongues. Photo courtesy of PTDC

For Parisa Khobdeh, music does more than set the tone for a piece—it's enabled her to connect with movement. And once she joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2003, Taylor's body of work deepened this connection. "His choreography showed me the music, the architecture and the space," she says. "I now see the music."

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz

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.)

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less





Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!