Artist: Chrisette Michele
Album/Song: I Am (Bonus Track), “I Am One”
How do you start off your hip hop classes? You might have a long warm up or go straight to an upbeat combination, but NYC teacher Robin Dunn takes a more unusual approach. Her classes begin with what she calls “getting in the room.” Students, relaxed with eyes closed, lie on the floor listening to soothing music, as she repeats inspirational words like, “You are the best there is. You are the best there is.”
“It’s almost like hip hop meets yoga,” she says. And her class ends in a similar way. Dunn leads a quiet meditation to the same song while students stand, hugging themselves. Her inspirational music choice for these segments of class is Chrisette Michele's “I Am One”. “It’s soothing and relaxing, and I love the message in the music,” says Dunn. “Anything that reinforces the message of self-empowerment gets my vote.”
For more on Robin Dunn and her motivational approach to class, check out "Tough Love."
As the director of dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Belmont, Massachusetts, Istvan Cserven organizes the biannual student showcases, prepares dancers for competition and trains new instructors. On top of all that, he teaches the upper-level technique classes. A former ballroom champion in Hungary, he is well-acquainted with both rhythm and smooth ballroom-dance styles.
In an event inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, The Washington Ballet will perform the world premier of WHO WHEN WHY this Saturday, June 24, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard.
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.