Joffrey Texas students take class from former Joffrey Ballet dancer Trinette Singleton. Photo courtesy of Joffrey Texas

Joffrey Texas, the San Antonio–based summer program established by Robert Joffrey in 1978, has partnered with national convention L.A. Dance Magic to provide competition/convention circuit dancers the opportunity to attend Joffrey's two-week ballet intensive. During L.A. Dance Magic's 15-city tour, director Jackie Sleight will select one dancer from each city to be awarded admission to the program and a partial scholarship. Dancers are required to have a strong technical foundation, with solid understanding of ballet technique. For more info, visit:

Christina Rocas, like any young ballerina, started out trying to dance like her teacher. Before joining the Joffrey Ballet in 2005, Rocas was part of Ballet Manila in the Philippines, where she tried to imitate the way her teacher, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, moved. After Macuja-Elizalde helped her find a place with the Joffrey, Rocas began to develop her own artistic style with the help of the Joffrey's Graca Sales.

"At Ballet Manila, I didn't understand a lot about myself, but I thought Lisa was an amazing dancer, so my tendency was to copy her. At Joffrey, I was tempted--I was only 19 when I arrived--to do the same thing and copy people. But I realized that copying people isn't very honest. Graca helped me find out what kind of dancer I really am. I think she had a vision of what I could become."

Rocas will dance the female lead during part of the Joffrey Ballet's Romeo and Juliet at Roosevelt University, May 2-11.

Photo by Cheryl Mann, courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet

Congratulations to Joffrey Ballet School (JBS), the latest Editors’ Choice winner for Dance Teacher’s Video of the Month!

In this video, JBS teachers from the New York City–based program (including summer intensive guest faculty members Maria Kowroski, principal with New York City Ballet, and Dwight Rhoden, artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet) share their thoughts on the importance of exposing dancers to a variety of styles and teaching classically trained dancers to use their bodies in different ways.

Davis Robertson, artistic director of JBS’ performing ensemble Joffrey Concert Group, has the task of selecting the program’s guest artists. A former principal with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, Robertson keeps a keen eye out for the best opportunities for his students. “I look at the knowledge teachers have to offer in terms of their own training and how it relates to what the dancers are learning here,” he says. It’s an added benefit when guest teachers can offer professional opportunities, as well. Rhoden, for example, went on to hire two students he met at JBS.

When finding your own guest teachers, Robertson suggests using ready-made studio connections. “Stay in contact with all of your alums,” he says. “The dance world is so small that if you have one student who becomes a professional, that one can put you in touch with a hundred other professionals from a wide range of schools and abilities.”

Want to build buzz about your studio, workshop or class? Posting videos to the Dance Teacher Video of the Month Contest is quick, easy and free—and it’s a great way to get noticed. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, and you’ll win a free one-year subscription to DT! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity—visit, share your videos and vote for your favorites. Any and all kinds of dance are welcome.

15 young artists have Louis Vuitton to thank for their upcoming trip to France! As part of February’s New York Fashion Week, students from the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary program, Parsons The New School for Design and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music presented the final products of a six-month collaborative performance project. Working in teams led by choreographers Francesca Harper, Ginger Thatcher, Angelica Stiskin, Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie, Tiffany Rea-Fisher and Joyce King, artists created original 5–7 minute pieces with original choreography, music and costumes made from donated Louis Vuitton materials. (Ooh la la!) Stiskin's group created the winning piece, Chronogenesis, which focuses on the nature of time and the frenzied pace of everyday life. She and her team will travel to France in May to tour the LV store, museum and workshop. Check out their fashion-forward costume designs:

[slideshow_deploy id='7786']

Photos by Marie Havens


Get DanceTeacher in your inbox