New York City Dance Alliance’s 16th season was truly life-changing for seven young competitors who received scholarships at Nationals this July. Though this is only the second year that NYCDA awarded college scholarships, it was able to offer a collective $500,000.
Last year, two full scholarships to University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were given. This year, Marymount Manhattan College in NYC came aboard with five four-year partial scholarships. Recipients were selected based on applications and auditions held at the Nationals finale. Scholarships were awarded at the closing night gala ceremonies in New York City.
“I reached out to the colleges and invited them to attend our gala,” says Joe Lanteri, executive director of NYCDA. “Dancers benefit from a college education. Those who have been to college are more prepared to truly attack what the world has to offer and take advantage of it.”
Scott Jovovich, NYCDA ballet teacher and adjunct associate professor at UArts, was crucial in setting the new program in motion. In addition to the college funds, several prestigious summer study scholarships were awarded from studios and conservatories nationwide.
Lanteri says that next summer there will be even more opportunities. Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, is already on board, and discussions with several other schools are in the works. “This could change the way that scholarships happen in the dance world,” says Lanteri. “I have established a million-dollar challenge for next summer, and I guarantee that we’re going to make it.”
Photo: Anthony Tiedeman received scholarship money at NYCDA in 2009. (courtesy of NYCDA and ProPix, UT)
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.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.