Before joining RIOULT Dance NY in 2015, Corinna Lee Nicholson learned what a privilege it is to be a dancer from her professor, Myra Woodruff.
"She would talk about how special it was to spend our time dancing. Most people don't have the opportunity to leap and turn during the day. It's something that is easy to forget when you're so focused on technique or tired and just want a day off. But it's something that I can tap into that motivates me to jump a little bit higher or throw myself a little bit more off-balance."
Myra Woodruff is a professor of dance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She was a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1987 to 1995.
Don't miss RIOULT Dance NY at The Joyce Theater tonight through Sunday, June 4.
Photo by Jim Carmody
Danceology Performing Arts Campus
San Diego, CA
Be your students' coach—not their friend Coaching dancers is Lucia's passion. To get results, she uses discipline tempered with inspiration. "I am not interested in being their friend," she says. "There is time to laugh, but there are boundaries. Kids listen and do as I say because they understand what is expected of them. Expectations are set and never change."
Don't let parents help you run your biz She encourages parents to enjoy classroom viewing, but has a strict policy of no parents or adults other than staff upstairs. A common mistake is having parents help run a business, she says. "We are a professional team, not volunteers," says Lucia. "We coach minds and teach bodies. We support dance competition, and we prepare young people for success on a stage and in life, the wins and losses. There's discipline and team bonding, and we help with scholarships and college. There are many opportunities, and we work as a team to find the right chemistry for a college education or other direction."
In Take the Lead, actor Antonio Banderas wins over a group of reluctant inner-city students with a racy tango performance. While the 2006 film was inspired by Pierre Dulaine, ballroom dancer and founder of Dancing Classrooms, teaching in a public school is rarely as easy as it looks in the movies. From financial challenges to lack of administrative support and parental involvement, public-school teaching differs greatly from the studio environments in which most dance educators began their own training. We asked several public-school teachers to share their passion for the hardest job they've ever done. —Kat Richter
"So why did you quit?"
It's a question I've been asked hundreds of times since I stopped dancing over a decade ago. My answer has changed over the years as my own understanding of what led me to walk away from greatest love of my life has become clearer.
"I had some injures," I would mutter nervously for the first few years. This seemed like the answer people understood most. Then it became, "I was just not very happy." Finally, as I passed into my 30s, I began telling the uncomfortable truth: "I quit dancing because of untreated depression."
Fall is back-to-ballet-school time and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is introducing the HS First Steps scholarship program to help facilitate access to classical ballet classes for young dancers.