New Friends and Great Ideas!

Karen Hildebrand, here. I can’t believe our 2013 Dance Teacher Summit is over! We had a great time, and like all of you who joined us here in NYC earlier this week, we’re brimming over with ideas and inspiration.

We are already delving into many of the hot topics that were discussed, so if you missed the DT Summit this year, stay tuned for coming issues of the magazine. And thanks to our partner/producer Gil Stroming of Break the Floor Productions, and conference director Katy Malone, for making the event our best yet.

One of my favorite parts of the DT Summit every year is the night we honor five teachers for their contributions to the field. Here is Sheila Barker presenting Frank Hatchett with the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award.

And there’s nothing like the excitement onstage when the newest A.C.E. Award winners are announced.

Big congratulations to Erica Sobol on her first-place title for “Black Flies/Heavy Skies.” She won a $15,000 production budget toward her own show in NYC next summer.

Runner-up awards went to:

Andre Kasten for “Family Matters”

Lindsay Nelko for “Awakening”

Jacob Jonas for “In a Room on Broad Street”

If you’re an emerging choreographer, mark your calendar for the 2014 contest entries: danceteachersummit.com/aceawards

Here is the video Erica sent that got her picked as one of the 16 finalists:

Photos by Kyle Froman

Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.