See Twyla Tharp's Choreography in NYC This Saturday (And Maybe Perform, Too)

Vintage Tharp: An early version of The One Hundreds

For many of us, watching Robin Williams briefly imitate Twyla Tharp’s idiosyncratic choreography in 1996’s The Birdcage is as close as we’ll ever get to working with the legendary dancemaker. But on Saturday night in New York City’s Nelson Rockefeller Park, 100 audience members will get to take the stage with Tharp’s dancers as part of her 1970 piece The One Hundreds.

It’s actually all part of the original choreography: Inspired by baseball, Tharp created 11-second phrases for two of her own dancers to perform (in perfect unison and complete silence, without looking at each other). Later, five more dancers join in. And finally, 100 audience members get to participate. At last year’s Dance Teacher Summit, Tharp taught some of the choreography as part of a master class.

The lucky 100 have already been chosen—they’ll rehearse earlier on Saturday—but there is still a waitlist. If you’re interested in performing, send an e-mail to with the subject line “Waitlist to participate in The One Hundreds.” And if you’re free, go see this, obviously!


Photo by Tony Russell, courtesy of the River to River Festival

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.