Dance Teachers Trending

Crowd-Pleasing Hits Keeps Debbie Roshe's Jazz Class on Point

Roshe (center) teaching at Steps on Broadway in New York City. Photo by Jacob Hiss, courtesy of Roshe

Although Debbie Roshe's class doesn't demand perfect technique or mastering complicated tricks, her intricate musicality is what really challenges students. "Holding weird counts to obscure music is harder," she says of her Fosse-influenced jazz style, "but it's more interesting."


The Broadway veteran describes her movement as sensual, yet dynamic—similar to her music choices. Unless she's choreographing at a regional theater for a specific musical, she prefers percussive, energetic instrumental music from a film's soundtrack with a heavy drum beat. "This helps dancers to hit the movements harder," says Roshe.

She constantly encourages students to dance sharply all the way through their fingers, as opposed to lingering or extending softly. "I rarely do a straight battement," she says. "It's more a flick, karate-kick battement. I find that that really hits the music." She also avoids choreographing to overplayed, popular tracks, but might use them when teaching class.

Roshe admits her class can be intimidating. Syncopated beats and making precise yet fluid transitions are difficult, but they draw in aspiring professional dancers. Especially Radio City Rockette hopefuls. "I'm a stickler for hitting the steps sharply and getting to the counts fast," says Roshe. "This better prepares dancers for auditions and to pick up choreography," she says. "You'll learn how to hit a beat."

Artist: Britney Spears
Album: In the Zone
Song: "Outrageous"

"Who doesn't love Britney? (Even if only secretly.) The driving beat behind her songs is definitely a class crowd-pleaser."

Britney Spears - Outrageous (official music video) www.youtube.com


Artist: Cardi B
Album: Invasion of Privacy
Song: "I Like It"

"I love this song for class because it's current, yet has a throwback vibe. I like all Cardi B, but some lyrics are dicey for class. 'I Like It' fits the bill, though, and creates a great energy."

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin - I Like It [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com


Artist: Stefflon Don
Album: Real Ting Mixtape
Song: "16
Shots"

"This British rapper is doing a lot of collaborations with current artists that spotlight her Jamaican descent. Her phrasing is clear and upbeat with a great choreographic pulse."

Stefflon Don - 16 Shots (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Artist: Sia
Album: This Is Acting
Songs: "Bird Set Free" and
"Unstoppable"

"This whole album is amazing. I use many of the songs for the adagio section of class so dancers can work on extensions. I love her voice and lyrics, and the melodies are perfect for the elongated lines in the choreography."

Sia Unstoppable Music Video www.youtube.com


Artist: Chameleon
Album: The Monster EP
Song: "Stay Wait" and "Anthem"

"Chloe [of Chameleon] is a rising artist with a dynamic voice and a crazy range. Her lyrics are heartfelt and meaningful. I've used both these songs ('Stay Wait' for the adagio and 'Anthem' for the combination). Look for her new single 'Shiny Toy' coming out in November (with my choreography in the video) and her solo album coming in January."

Chameleon - Stay Wait ( Official Music Video ) www.youtube.com


Chameleon - Anthem ( Official Music Video ) www.youtube.com

The Conversation
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by spinkickpictures.com, courtesy of Mitchell

"Popular music has an overall energy that lends itself to the street-jazz style," says Derek Mitchell. But over the last eight years or so, the choreographer, who also teaches contemporary, jazz funk and musical theater, has noticed a lack of great musicality and interesting lyrics. As a result, Mitchell's music searches often gravitate toward the classic hits from artists like Prince and Janet Jackson. "Rarely do I hear a new song that makes me go, 'Oh, I want to dance to that!'"

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teachers Trending
Students in Pulinkala's Cocoon. Photo by Robert Pack, courtesy of Kennesaw State

When Ivan Pulinkala was preparing for his interview at Kennesaw State University to create the school's first dance program, he figured the whole thing would be a lark, at best. After all, the New Delhi–born choreographer had just gotten his green card, which meant he could teach anywhere, and Kennesaw, Georgia (a half-hour outside of Atlanta), wasn't his first choice as a location. But after doing a scan of collegiate dance in Georgia, he began to change his mind. "I thought, 'Wow, if someone starts a big dance program at a public institution, the market's wide open,'" says Pulinkala. "There were some good programs, like Emory University, but they were niche—private and expensive."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Courtesy Harlequin Floors

Just like your car, your studio needs periodic tune-ups to keep it humming along smoothly. If you take the time to address a few small fixes, your business will stand out. And you don't have to break the bank, either—you might be surprised how low-cost, DIY improvements can make a surprising difference.

Keep reading... Show less
To Share With Students
Getty Images

When your students graduate and move to the big city to pursue their dreams, they'll almost immediately discover that there's a void left where your studio once was. Not only will they miss your instruction and daily support, but they'll miss having a physical space to work through challenging movement, polish their technique and improv with no one watching. Help them with their adjustment period by telling them about the studio spaces they can rent out when they need some one-on-one time with the mirror and the music.

Here are five for you to share with them—you're welcome!

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

This week, more than 1,000 young hopefuls gathered in New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, giving them the chance to compete for scholarships and contracts to some of the world's top ballet schools and companies. Roughly 85 dancers made it to the final round at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday. Today, the 20th anniversary of YAGP came to a close at the competition's awards ceremony. Read on to find out who won!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

Q: A student of mine recently got a bad sprained ankle, and it's been weak ever since she returned to class. Are there any exercises you suggest to strengthen it?

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Photos by Kyle Froman

A few years ago, Mary Ann Lamb got a phone call from Ann Reinking, who was choreographing a production of The Visit starring Chita Rivera. Lamb was thrilled when Reinking offered her the role of Young Claire without even asking for an audition. "And then she said, 'In the first act, you're going to play Chita Rivera when she's a 17-year-old virgin,'" Lamb says, "and I'm like, 'What am I gonna do? I'm like 50 years old!' I started panicking. My dream was to be in the room with Ann Reinking and Chita Rivera, but I was scared to death I was going to make a fool of myself."

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
YouTube

"WOD" is back for Season 3, and once again, the internet is loving it! How much do they love it, you ask? Well they've watched many of the dances millions of times, so it's safe to say—A WHOLE LOT! We did some research and discovered which dances have been watched the most since Season 3's premiere, and the results may surprise you.

Here are the top-four most viewed "WOD" videos of the season so far! Let us know your favorite over on our Facebook page!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips
Thinkstock

Q: As a dance teacher, which products do you prefer, Apple or Google?

Keep reading... Show less
Unsplash

When it comes to running a thriving dance studio, Cindy Clough knows what she's talking about. As executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner for more than four decades, she's all too aware of the unique challenges the job presents, from teaching to scheduling to managing employees and clients.

Here, Clough shares her best advice for new studio owners, and the answers to some common questions that come up when you're getting started.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Getty Images

The one thing that can unite all of us on April 15 is the fact that everyone hates doing their taxes. Though they are necessary, they are exhausting and time-consuming, and just plain no fun for anyone!

To help you cope, we've captured what doing taxes feels like through a series of dancer memes.

YOU'RE WELCOME!

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Thinkstock

It's a question that often pops up online in dance teacher forums where studio owners look for creative ways to save money. It may sound tempting to try shower pan lining as vinyl flooring—it's PVC, just like marley, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple—PVC products are not all created equal.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox