Teachers Trending
JayPlayImagery, courtesy Broadway Dance Center

As a performing artist, I have lost two gigs due to the pandemic. Both would have started just weeks after New York City's shutdown. The first was the leading role in one of my favorite musicals, playing opposite my significant other, and the second was an iconic featured role in a workshop for an upcoming Broadway show.

Dancing, acting, singing—they are not just a part of me, they are me. Because of the pandemic, however, my role as an artist is in question. Broadway is officially shut down until at least 2021, and regional theaters are struggling to stay afloat financially.

Lucky for me, I've always had a second passion, something that keeps me both inspired between gigs and grounded while in performances.

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Trending
Photo by Rachel Papo

As every educator knows, it's just as important to keep up with your teaching craft as it is for your students to keep up with their dancing. The best way to do that? Teacher-training workshops. Get away for a couple of days to interact with your peers in the industry. You'll not only learn new ideas for teaching technique and movement, but you'll discover new communication strategies, business ideas and ways to manage changes in the industry. You'll return to your studio with a wealth of knowledge to share with your students.

We've compiled a list of three teacher-training opportunities happening later this year that you should have on your radar.

You're welcome!

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Kerollis and students in his eight-week Absolute Beginner Workshop at Broadway Dance Center

When most people think of dance students, they imagine lithe children and teenagers waltzing around classrooms with their legs lifted to their ears. It doesn't often cross our minds that dance training can involve an older woman trying to build strength in her body to ward off balance issues, or a middle-aged man who didn't have the confidence to take a dance class as a boy for fear of bullying.

Anybody can begin to learn dance at any age. But it takes a particular type of teacher to share our art form with dancers who have few prospects beyond fun and fitness a few nights a week.

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Viral Videos

When New York City–based dancer Dan Lai began choreographing Figure 8, he had a specific vision in mind. Inspired by a song by FKA Twigs, he wanted the movement to represent the music's "dark and twisted vibe." "My thought process was to make shapes and phrases that were abstract and unique that complimented the intricate beats of the music," he says.

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Photo by Jeremy Davis, courtesy of Blackstone

Al Blackstone only recently found his true stride in the dance world. Growing up taking class at his parents' studio and going to competitions, he loved nothing more than performing. But now, whether he's teaching a room full of professional-level dancers in New York City, a group of kids at a convention or at the Dance Teacher Summit, his true passion is sharing his process of creating and clever choreography with students and other teachers around the country.

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Sudeikis (right) with dancer Alex Liszewski. Photo by Kyle Froman Photography

Contemporary teacher Kristin Sudeikis likes to give each step context within a phrase, so that there's always a beginning, middle and end. For instance, in this lesson, she bookends the rond de jambe sauté with a place of initiation—the parallel attitude and chaîné turn—and a finish: detailed, delicate placement of the hands. For a beginner version of the rond de jambe, don't take it into the air. Keep the left leg on the floor.

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Technique
Photo by Kyle Froman

With serpentine fluidity, Nijawwon Matthews gives his intermediate contemporary jazz class at New York City's Broadway Dance Center a rundown of his warm-up sequence. His spinal undulations, spider-like finger articulations and seemingly infinite wingspan transform a relatively standard array of pliés, roll-downs, head rolls and stretches into something soulful. "Warming up is like being in a meditative state of mind," he says. "You're working from an internal place out to the external."

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