Dance Teachers Trending

Rudy Abreu's Music Suggestions for Contemporary Will Give You All the Feels

Photo by Julianna D. Photography, courtesy of Abreu

Although Rudy Abreu is currently JLo's backup dancer and an award-winning choreographer—his piece "Pray" tied for second runner-up at the 2018 Capezio A.C.E. Awards, and a variation of the piece made it to the finals on NBC's "World of Dance"—he still finds time to teach. Especially about how he hears music.


When Abreu started choreographing as a teenager, he was drawn to hip hop, dubstep and the electronic beats of Skrillex. His music tastes paired with his traditional dance training helped him to create his own style, which he considers nontraditional contemporary. "I don't normally choreograph to the music or lyrics," says Abreu. "It's more of a feeling that inspires the movement."

Whether teaching his all-male company, Embodiment THE Collective, leading a class at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles or setting a competition piece, he encourages students to understand the musicality of a song. Abreu finds this helps dancers to create raw and authentic performances. "I like technique and tricks, but steps without intention are absolutely meaningless," he says.

Artist: James Arthur
Song: "At My Weakest"

"I love James Arthur, and every time I hear him sing I feel his soul really leading his lyrics. I really feel his passion, and this song, specifically, was easy to create to."

At My Weakest www.youtube.com


Artist: Post Malone
Album: beerbongs & bentleys
Song: "Stay"

"Although, a lot of music today doesn't really have meaning, I do like to stay current with my song choices, so more people can relate to the music. This song is an exception—it's on the charts and is very meaningful, which is why I was inspired to move to it."

Stay www.youtube.com


Artist: Bad Bunny
Song: "Amorfoda"

"My roots come from Miami, Florida, home to many people who are Cuban, including my family. 'Amorfoda' has a deep meaning of love and the ugly effects it can have on you. I could relate to this from previous life experiences, which is what really motivates me to create."

Bad Bunny - Amorfoda | Video Oficial www.youtube.com


Artist: Sia, Diplo and Labrinth
Song: "Genius"

"I love these artists, normally with their softer sides, but this song showed me a new version of them, and I love listening to artists evolve into new styles of music."

LSD - Genius ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth www.youtube.com


Artist: TroyBoi
Album: Left Is Right
Song: "Sensei"

"Sometimes my motivation to move just comes from cool sounds in everyday life, like a car alarm, rain pouring, microwave going off, etc. 'Sensei' is such a cool song, and this type of music drives me to create in a different way."

TroyBoi - "Sensei" OFFICIAL VERSION www.youtube.com

The Conversation
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Q: Our dancers' parents want to observe class, but students won't focus if I let them in the room. I've tried having them observe the last 10 minutes of class, but even that can be disruptive and bring the dancers' progress to a halt. Do you have any advice on how to handle this?

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Courtesy Dance Teacher Web

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At Dance Teacher Web's Conference and Expo, attendees will spend July 29–August 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada learning everything from new teaching methods to studio management software. And as if the dance and business seminars weren't enough, participants can also choose from three certifications to earn during the conference to help expand their expertise, generate new revenue and set their studios apart:

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I'm a part of a popular group on Facebook called Dance Teacher Network which consists of dance teachers across the country discussing and sharing information on all things dance. Yesterday morning, I spotted a photo shared in the group of four smiling young boys in a dance studio. And I couldn't help but smile to myself and think, "Wow, I never had that...that's pretty damn amazing."

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When Erica Marr discovered ballroom dancing in her late teens, she instantly fell in love with the Latin beats and strong drum lines that challenged her musicality. After shifting her focus away from contemporary and jazz, she began studying with elite ballroom coaches in New York City and quickly earned a World Championship title in her division.

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Q: How can I improve my pointed feet?

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Did you know there is an annual contest in which scientists turn their PhD research into dance? Well there is, and it's even better than you're imagining! I mean, honestly, if our grade-school science teachers had us turn our schoolwork into dances, we may have enjoyed chemistry a bit more 🤣.

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Site Network
New Miami City Ballet corps member Itzkan Barbosa and her mother Miriam Barbosa pose atop a mountain of Itzkan's pointe shoes. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy of Miriam Barbosa

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