ABT's New Apprentice Program

Starting next month, six dancers will begin training for apprenticeships with American Ballet Theatre, as part of a new program to help students transition to the main company. Chosen dancers will be coached by ballet master Clinton Luckett, along with DanceMedia's own Kate Lydon, a former Editor in Chief of Dance Spirit who still contributes to our magazines as Editor at Large since being named artistic associate of ABT's Studio Company.


The dancers will make their debut as ABT apprentices during the company's run of The Nutcracker this fall at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the program will continue through the end of ABT's performance season in July 2013. Along with performance opportunities, apprentices will continue their training with technique classes, pas de deux and variations and seminars on hair and makeup and company ettiquete designed to guide dancers through their transition to a professional career.


Some of the apprentices will be selected from the JKO School, a pool that includes First Position's Michaela DePrince and Dance212 star Catherine Hurlin (pictured). We can't wait to see who makes the cut!

Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

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Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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