Dance Teachers Trending

Nick Lazzarini's Love for His Dance Teacher Will Make You Cry

Nick Lazzarini in Shaping Sound's After the Curtain (photo by Mat Hayward)

As winner of the first season of "So You Think You Can Dance," Nick Lazzarini ushered in a great awakening in the world of pop culture—one in which dance had a place center stage. Since then, his career has skyrocketed, and Lazzarini has become a household name for dancers and dance lovers alike.


Between traveling on the JUMP Dance Convention circuit and Shaping Sound's latest show, After the Curtain, Lazzarini spoke to DT about the dance teacher who had the greatest impact on his career, and how she taught him to love performing. Check out the heartwarming and humorous things he had to say about training in Mountain View, California, with Dance Attack studio owner Sioux Lehner, who passed away in 2009.

On falling in love with dancing:

"She was very open and very silly, so it was easy to be yourself in her class. She was a strict disciplinarian, but if the fun didn't get too out of control, it was going to be a great day with Sioux. It was easy for me to open up and love dance, because I loved her so much. She taught me to cherish the time I had onstage. 'The stage isn't just given to you,' she would say. 'You have to earn your place on it.' It's a life lesson I've taken with me and passed along to my students."

On taking care of his partners:

"Sioux had a rule in our studio for partnering. She would tell the boys, 'You're never ever allowed to drop the girl, and if you do—they get to kick you right in the nuts.' She was dead serious about it."

You can see Lazzarini and the rest of Shaping Sound's star-studded cast (Travis Wall, Chantel Aguirre, Gabby Diaz and Lex Ishimoto included) on the second leg of their After the Curtain tour, January 28, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Other tour dates from now until Valentine's Day can be found at Shaping Sound website.

Show Comments ()
Dance Teachers Trending
Jenaé Elizabeth, founder of Dance Dynamix, with students. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth

No doubt turning the dream of owning a dance company into a fully operational business is a tough feat. From finding studio space, marketing, securing funding and more, it can all be very daunting. The challenge of taking a dance-related business to new heights can be even greater if you are a person of color. However, it's not impossible. According to the 2012 census, there are 27.6 million businesses in the United States, and only 2.6 million are black-owned. In honor of Black History Month, DT spoke with several black-owned dance studios and companies and asked them to reflect on the significance race has had on their efforts to run the dance company of their dreams.

Keep reading... Show less

Alexandra Costumes' bold apparel has been making its way onto stages across the nation and people are noticing. Why do coaches love these costumes so much? With years of experience in the dance industry, the minds behind Alexandra Costumes know what works for dancers—comfort, performance and stage-worthy style.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Ski ballet champion Richard Chompsky

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago back in the 1980s, ski ballet was a sport. At the Olympics. Yes, it's hard to fathom, but there was, in fact, an event, (technically a demonstration sport) at the 1988 Calgary Games and the 1992 Albertville Games, that entailed performing to music on a ski slop, with full skis and poles. One athlete even sported gold lamé sleeves on his ski suit. Although it was called "ski ballet," it's more like an eclectic celebration of ice skating meets gymnastics, with a ski base, and a dash of baton twirling.

The only question to be asked: Why is this still not a thing? Do yourself a favor, stop everything and watch these amazing highlights from this forgotten, yet wildly fantastic hybrid sport.

P.S. You're welcome.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Photo by Joe Toreno

Every year, DT honors four outstanding dance educators. Past recipients of the Dance Teacher Awards have included studio owners, professors, program directors and more, whose specialties run the gamut of dance genres. We need your help to find this year's best in the profession. Do you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized as a leader and role model? (Of COURSE you do! Who first opened your eyes to dance? Who's mentored you in your own path to becoming a dance teacher? Who saw you hiding in the back row and sought you out after class to take an interest in your dance studies? Who introduced you to modern dance? Who helped you nail fouetté turns?) Nominate him or her for a 2018 Dance Teacher Award!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Misty Copeland. Photo by Jayme Thornton

Is anybody else confused about why dance isn't an Olympic sport, yet??? I mean, honestly. Dancers train like Olympians every day! They can stun you with their technical prowess, wow you with their uncanny athletic ability AND make you cry all at the same time. Dancers are freaking magicians, and it's time we let them into the Olympics!

Here's who we'd want to see on Team USA if dance were a part of the Olympics. This team is STACKED! Check it out!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Photo courtesy of NYCDA

Competition and convention season can seem never-ending, but with access to the world's most popular teachers, the experience is invaluable and gives students the opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

Seth Robinson, who teaches contemporary and improv with STREETZ and REVEL dance conventions, has taught and judged thousands of dancers across the nation. Here, Robinson offers three tips to better prepare your students for dance's ever-popular, jam-packed events.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock
I'm a senior at a Performing Arts high school. I have been taking ballet for 2 years and started taking tumbling classes with a local gymnastics instructor. One of my jazz teachers advised me to stop as she said it would create bad habits. I enjoy the classes and think my dancing has improved. Thoughts?
Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored