Lester Horton Pedagogy Workshop

The Lester Horton Pedagogy Workshop, offered through The Ailey School, is the perfect urban retreat for teachers seeking immersion in Horton technique. Since 2005, director Ana Marie Forsythe has shared her knowledge with teachers in weeklong summer intensives at the Joan Weill Center for Dance and The Ailey School studios in New York City.

The workshop is comprised of two seminars each year: Session I offers beginning-level Horton instruction, while Session II covers intermediate and advanced material. Participants take and observe classes, discussing Horton vocabulary in-depth and, in Session II, counts and dynamics.

Demonstrators illustrate movements to live musical accompaniment. “I speak about how to build a class to enable students to progress technically and artistically, what a Horton warmup consists of and how to combine Horton progressions to inform students about transitions, projection and musicality,” says Forsythe. In addition, participants in both sessions attend daily lectures and Q & A sessions with guest speakers, who have included renowned artists Marjorie B. Perces and Carmen deLavallade, as well as Rebecca Dietzel, an anatomist specializing in biochemistry.

An ideal Horton educator, Forsythe began teaching his technique at age 15 and became head of the Horton department at Ailey in 1979, taking over for her mentor, the late Joyce Trisler. In addition to her work as co-director of the Ailey School/Fordham University BFA program, she has co-authored The Dance Technique of Lester Horton, produced four DVDs illustrating the technique and is currently working on a new Horton guide.

She is thankful that the next generation of educators will be able to pass on the gifts handed down from the late master who taught Ailey himself. “This workshop gives me the opportunity to share this incredibly powerful technique with others,” says Forsythe. “I hope these workshops will guarantee the continuation of the Horton technique for future generations. I continue, even after almost 50 years of teaching it, to marvel at the intelligence, beauty and versatility that Horton created.”

The dates for next year’s workshop are July 13–17 (Session I) and July 20–24 (Session II). Session I is open to dance teachers with some teaching experience; Session II requires a minimum of three years experience and prior attendance in Session I. A certificate of completion is available to all attendees.

For more information: Justina Gaddy, jgaddy@alvinailey.org; www.alvinailey.org  DT

Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Ford Foundation; Christian Peacock; Nathan James, Courtesy Gibson; David Gonsier, courtesy Marshall; Bill Zemanek, courtesy King; Josefina Santos, courtesy Brown; Jayme Thornton; Ian Douglas, courtesy American Realness

Since 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards have celebrated the living legends of our field—from Martha Graham to Misty Copeland to Alvin Ailey to Gene Kelly.

This year is no different. But for the first time ever, the Dance Magazine Awards will be presented virtually—which is good news for aspiring dancers (and their teachers!) everywhere. (Plus, there's a special student rate of $25.)

The Dance Magazine Awards aren't just a celebration of the people who shape the dance field—they're a unique educational opportunity and a chance for dancers to see their idols up close.

Keep reading... Show less
Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.