Dance Teacher Summit
Photo by Rachel Papo

Those who took Akira Uchida's contemporary class in New York City last summer learned a high-energy combination to share with their students back home. Uchida's style infuses contemporary with an influence of jazz and hip hop, and he danced full-out in front of the class to demonstrate. A popular faculty member with JUMP convention, Uchida understands his responsibility as a role model for young dancers.

Mark Your Calendar

Join us in Long Beach, CA, July 26–28, or in NYC, August 1–3, for our 2019 Dance Teacher Summit.

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Robert Roldan and partner Taylor Sieve (courtesy of FOX)

Robert Roldan may have stolen our hearts on Season 7 of "So You Think You Can Dance"—but it seems his heart was stolen long before that by none other than Emmy Award–winning choreographer Mandy Moore.

As his first jazz teacher at Bobbie's School of Performing Arts in Thousand Oaks, California, Moore taught him everything he knows about dancing. Now, as an all-star on this season of "So You Think You Can Dance," Roldan's applying those invaluable lessons with partner Taylor Sieve.

"What Mandy has always taught me is that you need to feel the emotion and intention of the pieces you perform, as a human, before you can apply it to your dancing. The week that Taylor and I performed Mandy's piece, I used the entire two hours of private rehearsal time to talk about what the piece was about and how we could connect to it. I believe that doing this was ultimately more valuable than any time we could have spent cleaning details and making the piece perfect. Mandy taught me this at a young age, and I try to apply it to Taylor as much as I possibly can when I teach her. People won't connect to how high your leg is or what crazy tricks you can do. They want to feel something. And when you feel it, they feel it."

Watch Roldan on "So You Think You Can Dance" tonight on FOX.

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Help your dancers improve their performance—and scores—with this advice from veteran competition faculty: Martha Nichols, Judy Rice and Suzi Taylor.

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Dance News
The Washington Ballet performing this year's World Premier of Antony Tudor's Lilac Garden. Photo by media4artists Theo Kossenas, courtesy of TWB

In an event inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, The Washington Ballet will perform the world premier of WHO WHEN WHY this Saturday, June 24, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard.

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Dance News

Stop everything: Watch this fusion of classical bharata natyam and contemporary dance performed by popular Indian dancers Mukti and Shakti Mohan. Their graceful and clever moves are performed to a cover of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," with a Carnatic Mix by Indian Raga (feat. Aditya Rao). Warning: You're probably going to want to dance and sing along.

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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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Wes Veldink teaches contemporary classes focused on specificity at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Here, he explains a hinge and roll combination on the floor, using core strength rather than hands.

 

Matthew Rich knew he didn't want to head straight to college after high school, but he wasn't sure what path his dance career should take. It was his teacher, The Dance Zone co-owner Jami Artiga, who told him about Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and took him to see the company perform in its infancy. Rich has been part of Cedar Lake since 2005.

"Jami introduced me to Cedar Lake. We went to Missouri, where the company was opening its tour. After the first show, Jami told me, 'This is the company you need to be in. This is something you should strive for.' Her influence inspired me to try and get into this company. I have to remind myself sometimes how much of a dream my career has been."

Rich and Cedar Lake will perform at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, NY, June 11-14.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes, courtesy of Cedar Lake

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