Rosie Herrera, artistic director of Miami, FL-based Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, began her training late, at age 18. With her belated beginning came those all-too-familiar self-doubts about her body as a dancer. After graduating from New World School of the Arts with a BFA in dance, she began studying with Brigid Baker and finally learned to embrace what she'd once considered hRosie Herreraer imperfections.
"I often found myself trying to make up for not having the greatest lines or the most traditional body type by overcompensating in my performance quality. It was hard for me when I started taking Brigid's class; her technique is all about air and lightness, and my body is very earth-bound. I gain muscle quickly and can become tight easily. But Brigid was the first person to look at my body as if it had limitless potential. With her guidance, I started to feel real freedom in my body: I felt physical expression I'd never experienced before."
Herrera will premiere a new piece on students at the American Dance Festival, July 22-24, at the Reynolds Industries Theater at 8 pm. www.americandancefestival.org
Photo by Adam Reign, courtesy of Rosie Herrera
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.