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From Pros Who Know, Tips for Finding the Best Music for Class

For former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Lydia Roberts Coco, who teaches Horton technique at Ballet Virginia International, music is motivation. Photo by Summer Greene, courtesy of BVI

When selecting music, teachers and choreographers have to find something that complements and enhances the work. Music and dance should correspond perfectly. As Balanchine most famously said, "Dance is music made visible." And, "See the music; hear the dance." An added challenge for teachers in class, however, is picking the right tracks that will keep kids focused and engaged.

Here are 10 teachers on how they approach the, at times, arduous process of choosing music.


Al Blackstone, Musical Theater

Blackstone, who won the 2011 A.C.E. Award, says his true passion is sharing his process of creating and clever choreography with students and other teachers around the country. Photo by Jeremy Davis, courtesy of Blackstone

"I love finding music that somehow bridges today to the classics. And the old standards are great for dancers of all ages. Rufus Wainwright has a very modern voice, but the orchestrations are classic. I want something that young people can connect to that still has an old-fashioned sensibility."





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