Dance Teacher Tips
Photo by Kyle Froman

On a chilly Friday morning in a New York City studio, a group of students are making themselves fall, over and over again. This isn't an exercise in futility—it's Roxane D'Orléans Juste's class in Limón technique, and the dancers are venturing off center in a classic fall-and-recovery combination. As they swing their legs out and up and let gravity do its work, only to rebound against the floor and launch themselves back to an upright position, they attempt a moment of suspension. This signature principle of fall-and-recovery proves to be one of the more challenging concepts for students to grasp. "The idea of suspension is not necessarily natural," Juste says, with a lilting accent that reveals her Montreal origins. "How do you teach suspension?"

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Alberto Del Saz was a member of the Nikolais/Louis company until it closed in 1999. Now, he co-directs the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance and collaborates with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. He's also a professor of dance at Marymount Manhattan College and Hunter College. Here, Del Saz teaches a standing series that helps dancers develop precision and send energy out into space.

Megan Williams is a former Mark Morris Dance Group member and is on faculty at Purchase College, State University of New York's Conservatory of Dance. Here, she teaches modern under-curves with emphasis on the importance of the neutral pelvis.

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