Horton Technique Demonstration at Ailey Studios

In May, the folks at Ailey invited a group of editors and writers to view a demonstration of Horton technique. It was fabulous to watch the dancers demonstrate some basic and not so basic Horton phrases under the direction of master teachers Milton Myers and Ana Marie Forsythe. Watch a video clip here.

Lester Horton had a school in Hollywood where Alvin Ailey, Joyce Trisler, Bella Lewitsky, and Carmen de Lavallade studied during the 1940s. He didn’t so much set out to develop a technique as to create a foundation to support whatever a dancer chose to do. As Myers said, “It’s a technique to develop a dancer, not a Horton dancer.

And yet, Horton technique is distinctive in its 90-degree angularity. Horton’s premise was to correct physical faults and to discover how many different ways the body could move. He considered knowledge of human anatomy essential.

Myers described the technique as organic, yet very demanding, requiring a straight back and strong abs. “One aspect of the technique is how much further can the body go? How much longer can you hold [a position]? If you push the body to such a limit, then what is the norm becomes so much easier,” he said, noting also, “It has applications to life. What seems so difficult in life is not so difficult.”

For more information: “The Dance Technique of Lester Horton,” an advanced beginners class taught by Ana Marie Forsythe and Majorie B. Perces, is a DVD designed to show how Horton studies can be taught within a class. Available through www.dancespotlight.com.

Forsythe also teaches an annual Horton pedagogy workshop in New York:
Introductory Session: July 13-17
Intermediate/Advanced: July 20-24
www.theaileyschool.edu

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.