We may not have a woman in the Oval Office, but we do have a much-admired female leader in Washington in the form of Julie Kent. We've been following with great interest her actions as the new artistic director of The Washington Ballet. One of her first decisions was to invite Xiomara Reyes to become head of the venerable Washington School of Ballet.
The school has a storied past. Co-founded by Mary Day and directed by her from 1944 to 2003, presidential daughters Chelsea Clinton and Caroline Kennedy were both students there. While Day trained dancers who went on to highly visible careers outside TWB (Kevin McKenzie, Amanda McKerrow, Virginia Johnson and Patrick Corbin, to name a few), Kent has more ambitious goals. A strong school that offers a pathway into the company is a vital part of the vision. However, in “New in Town" Reyes makes it clear that TWSB is a place where not only pre-professional students will thrive.
Are your students making plans for their summer intensives? One of the ways I gauge the state of dance-studio business is by the size of our annual Summer Study Guide. This year, we have 16 pages of opportunities for you and your students—offerings that span the full spectrum of dance styles, with choices for technique, repertory, conditioning, history, wellness and much more. There truly is something for every dancer in this valuable resource.
Frederic M. Seegal, CEO, DanceMedia
Dance Teacher recently changed ownership. Here's a message from our new CEO:
“I'm excited by the opportunity to help the DanceMedia team, because this is an exciting time for dance. Never before has dance (and dancers) been in the public and media eye the way it is today, and, as a result, the needs of both dancers and dance companies are changing dramatically. The need for a trusted voice is more important than ever. We plan to continue to be at the center of it all and over time to extend our extraordinary magazines into the same position in the digital world.
“A little about me: Vice chairman of Peter J. Solomon Company, I have made my career advising major media, telecom and internet clients. I have a passion for the performing arts and have committed my time accordingly. I have served as president of American Ballet Theatre's Board of Trustees, and as trustee for New York City Center, San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera.
“The one thing I've learned from my experience is that people come to dance because of the dancers. Our mission is to make sure dancers are recognized, educated and rewarded. Without you there would be no dance."
From top: photo by Matthew Murphy; courtesy of Seegal