Teaching Tips
Benny Simon's students performing at Dance New Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of DNA

Choreographer Mandy Moore is perplexed about the way students in her convention classes transition from standing to the floor. “It's like kids turn off their brains!" she says. “Why would you take the most difficult route to the floor? Why would you ever try to do a triple back flip to get there?"

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Diana Byer with Ballet School NY student Victor Rosario

In a 2012 DT Technique column, New York Theatre Ballet artistic director Diana Byer shared her approach to teaching the Cecchetti method and impressed us with her adorable and talented young students. Recently, she’s announced that NYTB and its school are in trouble. The organization is losing its home in Manhattan's Murray Hill neighborhood after 34 years there. "We're in a crisis," she said in a statement. "I don't know if we're in danger of closing. I'm just reaching out to everybody to see what will come about." NYTB occupies space on the fifth floor of the historic parish house of a Baptist church, which has been sold and, according to The Huffington Post, will soon be demolished.

This news, piled on top of nonprofit studio Dance New Amsterdam’s climaxing struggles with debt and eviction, points to an alarming trend of flailing New York City dance institutions. What can we as dance lovers do to help? Keep taking classes! That’s a win-win way to support your local studios, you can also make donations. DNA has been lucky enough to have generous contributors provide thousands of dollars to cover legal costs. Byer is hoping for a similar miracle for her company.

Diana Byer with NYTB principal dancer Elena Zahlmann and Ballet School NY students Izzy Hanson-Johnston and Victor Rosario

Photos by Matthew Murphy at Ballet School NY

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