Congratulations to Nikki Keeshin, featured in DT July as the March Editors’ Choice winner for Dance Teacher’s Video of the Month!
The University of the Arts rising junior was inspired to choreograph a piece about marriage equality when she first heard the song, “Same Love,” by rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert. “This song was revolutionary to me,” she says. “I believe this is the first hip-hop song about gay rights. It’s a great step in the right direction.”
“Same Love” came to fruition as part of a UArts composition course, but Keeshin is already thinking beyond the boundaries of her school. She and a few fellow BFA students recently collaborated to rent a nearby performance venue for a two-night showing of their work. The dance department provided some financial support for the project, and an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign raised roughly $2,000 to round out the budget.
Keeshin’s choreography blends pedestrian movement with modern, contemporary and hip-hop styles, a reflection of her diverse training. After graduating, she plans to pursue work in both the commercial and concert dance worlds. She is currently participating in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester. “I want to get back into my hip-hop and commercial side because I’ve been really focused on my technique the past few years,” she says. “I’d love to do everything.”
Want to build buzz about your studio, workshop or class? Posting videos to the Dance Teacher Video of the Month Contest is quick, easy and free—and it’s a great way to get noticed. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, and you’ll win a free one-year subscription to DT! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity—visit dancemedia.com, share your videos and vote for your favorites. Any and all kinds of dance are welcome.
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This Sunday, master ballet teacher Finis Jhung turns 80. After a career as a soloist for both San Francisco Ballet and the Joffrey and a principal for Harkness Ballet, Jhung carved out a unique place for himself as a ballet teacher in New York City. He's coached the boys of Billy Elliot: The Musical, developed a popular video and DVD how-to series and STILL teaches seven classes a week at the Ailey Extension. He's graced the pages of this magazine to offer his time-honored wisdom again and again, and he's currently working on a memoir. (We can't wait to read it.) Happy birthday, Finis!
Since 1989, tap dancers have been celebrating National Tap Dance Day (NTDD) on and around May 25, the birthday of tap dance legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This year, prime events are happening in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.
When you think of a major basketball team's dancers or cheerleaders, you probably picture the Laker Girls—scantily clad, with shiny curls cascading down their backs. You definitely don't picture a group of 15 40-years-old-and-up "seniors," mean-mugging and ripping off breakaway pants. But the New York Liberty's Timeless Torches do exactly that, and they routinely bring down the house during halftime at the WNBA games where they perform.
The exhibit Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955–1972 is filled with exhibits, performances and conferences honoring the three postmodern dance living legends.