David Howard's passing has dealt an emotional blow to the dance world, particularly to his many students and fellow staff members at New York City's Steps on Broadway. "We are bereft," says Steps' co-artistic managing director Diane Grumet. "A tremendous loss to the dance world, a tremendous gift to the world while he was with us."
Howard's Facebook fan page, where he signed a 2012 Christmas post from "Uncle David," is overflowing with dancers' comments and photos of the teacher who shaped countless lives during his career. Among his most well-known students are Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and, of course, Gelsey Kirkland. In January 2001 DT, Howard shared how he worked closely with the feisty Kirkland to "completely retrain" her. “She was fabulous because she would say, ‘I want to do it my way, not their way,’" he said. "She was a rebel, but because of her talent she could get away with it.”
Do you have a story or a memory of David Howard you'd like to share? Comment below, or e-mail editor Kristin Schwab, email@example.com.
Cover photo by Paul B. Goode
As the director of dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Belmont, Massachusetts, Istvan Cserven organizes the biannual student showcases, prepares dancers for competition and trains new instructors. On top of all that, he teaches the upper-level technique classes. A former ballroom champion in Hungary, he is well-acquainted with both rhythm and smooth ballroom-dance styles.
In an event inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, The Washington Ballet will perform the world premier of WHO WHEN WHY this Saturday, June 24, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard.
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.