Music for Dance Class: Cirque du Suzi

Suzi Tortora’s students may be young (She teaches children from when they are just 3 months old!), but that doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate quality tunes. “I’m interested in exposing kids to good music,” she says, and one of her favorite albums when teaching tots is Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco. Two songs particularly stand out: “Kumbalawé” and “Norweg.”


 

“‘Kumbalawé’ is a very welcoming song that I often use at the start of class as families are coming in. It sets a lovely tone and fills the room with a relaxed but flowing atmosphere,” says Tortora. “And ‘Norweg’ starts with a percussive pulse and then adds melodic vocals that overlay the rhythm.” She uses the later in classes for slightly older children. When improvising in class, some will work toward the rhythm and some toward the melody, she explains. “In this way, choreography starts to develop within the children as they listen to all the layers of the music.”

 

 

To learn more about Suzi Tortora and her choices for creative dance class, check out “Tunes for Tots.”

 

 

 

News
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.