Photo: dancer Jacqueline Schiller, photographed by Erin Baiano for the French Académie of Ballet

 

 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Ailey Theater hosted the NYC Festival of Dance Schools, presented by master ballet teacher and former ABT and NYCB dancer Kat Wildish. The program gave pre-professional dancers in the tri-state area a chance to showcase their blossoming talent and to log some essential stage time. More than that, however, it gave dance students in the audience a chance to see the spectrum of high-quality training available to them in a city where the number of choices can be paralyzing. (Just try ordering Chinese food online...)

 

Dancers from Art of Dance in Chester, New Jersey, performed tightly rehearsed contemporary ensemble pieces that were clearly competition-ready. The French Académie of Ballet performed two pointe pieces—one strictly classical and the other more contemporary, showing off their versatile ballet training.  Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory brought an East Indian-influenced contemporary ensemble piece, followed later by a classical solo variation. Students from the Staten Island Ballet, Vicky Simegiatos Performing Arts Center, Ballet des Amériques and hip-hop dancers from the Ailey Teen Extension also performed, combining wide ranges of talent in their pieces.

 

Dance schools often rely on reputation to draw in the next generation of pre-professional talent, but there's nothing like seeing the results in action to really get a feel for the training. Whether looking for a recreational hip hop program, a competition team or classical Vaganova training, students can see, first-hand, the wide range of NYC's training opportunities at the Festival of Dance Schools.

 

 

The Conversation
Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by spinkickpictures.com, courtesy of Mitchell

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You're welcome!

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Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

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Photos by Kyle Froman

A few years ago, Mary Ann Lamb got a phone call from Ann Reinking, who was choreographing a production of The Visit starring Chita Rivera. Lamb was thrilled when Reinking offered her the role of Young Claire without even asking for an audition. "And then she said, 'In the first act, you're going to play Chita Rivera when she's a 17-year-old virgin,'" Lamb says, "and I'm like, 'What am I gonna do? I'm like 50 years old!' I started panicking. My dream was to be in the room with Ann Reinking and Chita Rivera, but I was scared to death I was going to make a fool of myself."

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Q: As a dance teacher, which products do you prefer, Apple or Google?

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The one thing that can unite all of us on April 15 is the fact that everyone hates doing their taxes. Though they are necessary, they are exhausting and time-consuming, and just plain no fun for anyone!

To help you cope, we've captured what doing taxes feels like through a series of dancer memes.

YOU'RE WELCOME!

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When it comes to running a thriving dance studio, Cindy Clough knows what she's talking about. As executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner for more than four decades, she's all too aware of the unique challenges the job presents, from teaching to scheduling to managing employees and clients.

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Bartlett, front and center, leading a class. Photo by Arthur Fink, courtesy of Bartlett

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