The Youth Tap Ensemble Conference was one of the many education programs offered at Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Festival in August. In its ninth year, the program attracted more than 90 dancers between ages 12 and 19 who are members of pre-professional repertory companies, to learn from their peers and leading teachers and choreographers. A typical day included technique class, improvisation, a seminar and choreography.
University Tap Ensemble Conference, new to Rhythm World this year, followed a similar schedule. It is designed for students who want to continue their tap education, but who are not finding what they need at the university level. Lane Alexander, co-founder and director of CHRP, hopes the new program will help students create a network of university tap ensembles and clubs. “We want to see tap become an integral part of college dance departments and we hope to facilitate the development of a national network of university tap ensembles.”
Photo: Derick Grant teaching in Chicago (by and courtesy of Brynn Shiovitz)
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.
The language of Mind Body Dancer is dynamic. "Action words stimulate change in your students," says yoga teacher TaraMarie Perri. "Try 'pour,' 'push' and 'experience' –not 'feel' or 'do or don't' Those words don't mean anything." Here, Perri and dancer Maggie Ronan use the active MBD language to demonstrate yoga poses used as a warm-up in many dance classes. While practicing, be sure to inhale and exhale in steady cycles.