Dance Teachers Trending
Photo by Kyle Froman

When Steps on Broadway founder Carol Paumgarten called Joe Lanteri several times in a row in February 2018, his first guess was that she wanted to get him back on the faculty roster. "For decades, I taught jazz at 4:30 pm at Steps," he says, "but a couple years ago, I had to let go of that class to free up some time."

To Lanteri's surprise, Paumgarten told him she was ready to move away from her place at Steps' helm. He was on her list of possible successors. "When she brought it up, I laughed," he says. "My life was already so full. But it took about 10 seconds for me to know I had to seriously consider it. Steps on Broadway is such an important part of the footprint of New York. It had to continue—and it had to remain recognizably Steps."

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Joe Lanteri teaching at Steps in the early 2000s

The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.

"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Bridget Lujan, courtesy of Juneau Dance Theatre
  • Start with a good preparation. Plié in fourth, keeping the hips square and the back knee straight. Arms are in fourth. Texas Ballet Theater School associate director Kathryn Warakomsky encourages students to keep their heels down and use the whole foot on the floor, rather than rolling forward on the arches or letting the front foot slide into the turn first: "You want to go down into the floor and push from the back foot to go up."
Keep reading... Show less

Nancy Bielski's advanced intermediate professional class at Steps on Broadway is a favorite for many professional dancers. She even teaches company class at ABT on Saturdays. Here, she offers advice on mastering the tricky grand rond de jambe with a promenade in the center.

Martha Chapman, a former dancer with the New York City Opera Ballet, understands the importance of proper alignment for each individual's body. In her Advanced Beginner Ballet class at Steps on Broadway, she emphasizes making ballet fit every body. Here, she teaches an attitude exercise at the barre.

 

 

 

David Howard on the January 2001 cover

David Howard's passing has dealt an emotional blow to the dance world, particularly to his many students and fellow staff members at New York City's Steps on Broadway. "We are bereft," says Steps' co-artistic managing director Diane Grumet. "A tremendous loss to the dance world, a tremendous gift to the world while he was with us."

Howard's Facebook fan page, where he signed a 2012 Christmas post from "Uncle David," is overflowing with dancers' comments and photos of the teacher who shaped countless lives during his career. Among his most well-known students are Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and, of course, Gelsey Kirkland. In January 2001 DT, Howard shared how he worked closely with the feisty Kirkland to "completely retrain" her. “She was fabulous because she would say, ‘I want to do it my way, not their way,’" he said. "She was a rebel, but because of her talent she could get away with it.”

Do you have a story or a memory of David Howard you'd like to share? Comment below, or e-mail editor Kristin Schwab, kschwab@dancemedia.com.

Cover photo by Paul B. Goode

Victims of Hurricane Sandy were recently treated to a special dance experience, thanks in large part to  Alexa Dorohoy, who received a scholarship from Steps on Broadway/Celebrity Dance Competition. She and her Washington State studio, Dance Explosion, raised money for 15 dance families from Mrs. Rosemary's Dance Studio on Staten Island who lost their homes to Sandy.

On January 19, Celebrity Dance Competition partnered with Capezio, Stomp and others to bring Mrs. Rosemary's’ dancers and their families to NYC’s Steps on Broadway to meet Alexa and receive Target gift cards. The dancers were also treated to a private master class with Smash choreographer Joshua Bergasse and attended the off-Broadway show Stomp with their families that evening.

Photo courtesy of Celebrity Dance Competition

Natalia Markarova, center, in Howard's class. Photo by Victor Deliso, courtesy of Dance Magazine archives.

“I've always liked to question things," says renowned ballet teacher and coach David Howard. His success in training dancers, from adult beginners to seasoned ballerinas, is proof that Howard is asking the right questions. Never one to rest on his laurels, the master educator is also a tireless student of dance pedagogy. His teaching philosophy focuses on a scientific approach to movement, incorporating anatomy and kinesiology as well as movement dynamics and musicality.

He doesn't hesitate to challenge the sanctity of the centuries-old traditions of ballet training: “I have to prove every day that I can do what I do, and then I have to reevaluate—is it working or isn't it? Do the students look better?"

In the five years since he has closed his school, the David Howard Dance Center, Howard has not skipped a beat. He has taught in England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Japan and Mexico, in addition to maintaining a busy teaching schedule in New York City at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and at the Joffrey/New School University BFA program.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox