Fashion Roundup: DT's Fav Teaching Outfits of the Month

Nick Lazzarini at JUMP Dance Convention (via JUMP's Instagram)

As dance teachers, your fashion life is a constant rotation of leggings, joggers and baggy T-shirts. You essentially LIVE in your teaching attire. And you know what? We wouldn't have it any other way. Ya'll are straight killin' it!

Honestly, we are so impressed with your teaching fashion choices, we decided to share our favorites here.

Check 'em out!

1. tWitch

We can always count on tWitch to look great, no matter what! (He's pretty dreamy.) At 24 Seven Dance last weekend, he rocked a black hat, black sweatshirt and black Puma sweats, with just a splash of maroon. He looked 🔥

2. Nick Lazzarini

We're just gonna leave this here...

3. Taja Riley

Rocking a gray and white camo-patterned top with matching bandana and sunglasses, Taja Riley didn't come to play. Move over, ladies and gentleman, because this woman's fashion choices are on point!

4. Ivan Koumaev

Looks like it was a "50 Shades of Ivan" kind of weekend. He wore all-black everything from head to toe with a gray beanie and gray T-shirt. This monochromatic look is REALLY working for him.

5. Kathryn McCormick

From her teaching, to her dancing, to her fashion choices, Kathryn McCormick is basically a Disney Princess. We're really loving her look from DanceMakers Inc. in Nashville. She sported black leggings, white shoes and a brightly colored Adidas jacket. Check it out!

Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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