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Gemma Bond in the studio with ABT's Cassandra Trenary. Jim Lafferty.

If like us you're already mourning the end of American Ballet Theatre's marathon Met season, don't fear. The company just announced the lineup for its fall season, and there's a lot to look forward to.

Running October 16-27 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, ABT's fall lineup includes world premieres by choreographers Twyla Tharp and Gemma Bond. While Tharp has been creating for ABT since 1976 (the company's Met season included a trio of her works), corps dancer Gemma Bond will be making her choreographic debut for ABT's main company. The season also shines a spotlight on principal Herman Cornejo, who will be celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company.

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Selya in Movin' Out; by Joan Marcus, courtesy of the photographer

"I had no idea you could do that!" says John Selya to Taylor Johnson-French, a freshman who has just executed a fiercely intentional and riveting passage of improv. Zooming like an arrow down a hallway lined with giant, neon coral sculptures, she looked to be seeking a target with her focus and the precise lines and angles of her limbs.

"I didn't either!" Johnson-French responds.

This exchange is one of many moments of empowerment and facilitated self-discovery from Selya's first semester as the dance chair at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, a public, statewide high school, where the arts disciplines (visual arts, music, theater and dance) are taught in daily three-hour intensives that follow the academic day. Founded as a charter school in 2010, the program is open to all students in New Mexico who qualify through a blind, competitive audition or portfolio admissions process.

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Martha Graham (left)

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique. They are great because of their passion.” —Martha Graham

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on Earth and it is yours for the taking" —Agnes de Mille

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” —Twyla Tharp

“If you dance with your heart, your body will follow.” —Mia Michaels

“Dancers are made, not born.” —Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words.” —Ruth St. Denis

“Dancing is bigger than the physical body. Think bigger than that. When you extend your arm, it doesn’t stop at the end of your fingers, because you’re dancing bigger than that. You’re dancing spirit.” —Judith Jamison

Photo courtesy of Dance Magazine archives

Don't miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

We’re still buzzing with energy from our Dance Teacher Summit this weekend. From the special session for studio owners on Thursday to the Closing Summit panel on Sunday, incredible material was shared. Thank you dance teachers—you inspire us every month!

Here are my favorite Dance Teacher Summit 2014 moments:

• The absolute silence of a packed Grand Ballroom while Twyla Tharp’s class performed 11 sections of The One Hundreds, Tharp’s work from 1970 that is made of 100 11-second sequences, separated by 4-second pauses. The work is performed with no music, and on Saturday, you could hear the sound of the dancers’ feet brushing the floor as they slid in unison into a low lunge.

• Tharp’s generosity at the end of class, when she gave each teacher the 11-second sequence they performed in the final showing. “I want you to consider it yours,” she said to the group.

• Franco De Vita, when accepting the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award, demonstrated his wry sense of humor with an anecdote about becoming a U.S. citizen. He said he was sure that he’d lost his accent and now sounded like an American. We’re all happy this is not the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• When she accepted the Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education, Karyn Tomczak called out her former teacher Tom Ralabate, who received the same award in 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• When I turned around at the A.C.E. Awards to find seated behind me the actress Georgia Engel. She’s so recognizable from her role as Georgette on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s. She was De Vita’s guest, along with Charles Kelley, the acro master teacher.

• When Judy Rice, during her pointe class, took out a Sharpie and drew circles on the insides of her knees and ankles to demonstrate the very specific placement required for coupé and passé. “Someday I’ll just get tattoos,” she said.

• When Rice cued up the sexy music of Gershwin (Concert in F, Adagio) for centerwork. Her playlist also included “One” from A Chorus Line—so fun! It’s all on her Behind Barres, Volume VI, By Request.

• The moment Gil Stroming announced the second runner-up for the Capezio A.C.E. Award. Emma Portner stepped forward and visibly fought back tears for a second or two. Then she regained her composure and accepted her award for Let Go, Or Be Dragged. We couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Here's a sample of her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• And of course we all love the suspense and excitement when the A.C.E. Award winner is announced. Here’s Talia Favia’s reaction to hearing her name. Check out a video clip of the work here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Mandy Moore’s Sunday afternoon class was beyond full. She’s become such a big name since Dance Teacher featured her on the cover in October 2009 (as she was choreographing the opening number for the Dance Teacher Summit fashion show that year). And at the Closing Summit panel, she reminisced with her first teacher, Kim DelGrosso of Centerstage Performing Arts Studio in Utah. Kim said Mandy was born with an old dance soul. She was a clear talent from day one.

Mark your calendar to join us in Long Beach, California, July 28–30, 2015!

all photos by Kyle Froman for Dance Teacher magazine.

Presenting a young Peter Martins, Twyla Tharp and '70s NFL icon Lynn Swann in Tharp's Dance is a Man's Sport, Too. (And thanks to our sister publication Dance Magazine for sharing it!) Swann is known for taking ballet classes to improve his vertical jump and agility on the field. In this clip, he shows off his leaping prowess against Martins, who of course went on to direct New York City Ballet. Who has the better ups?

“Dancing with the Stars” premieres tonight at 8, with a promising lineup of contestants, including athletes, singers and even Bill Nye the Science Guy! Swann's former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, plays at 8:40.

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