Dance Teacher Tips
Schermoly with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Photo by Jeremy Brick

Despite her traditional ballet training in South Africa, Andrea Giselle Schermoly has always had a wide range of music tastes and sensibilities. "There's always been this other drumbeat in my heart," says Schermoly, who's a three-time Outstanding Choreographer winner at the Youth America Grand Prix. That "other drumbeat" has become an integral layer to her creative process.

Following a series of career-ending injuries while dancing with Nederlands Dans Theater, Schermoly found a new stride choreographing competitive ballet pieces for students at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in Los Angeles. Since then, she's been commissioned by ballet companies all over the world, exploring all styles of music for her work. "My pieces for New York City Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet were primarily classical," she says, "but I used Jefferson Airplane and a very quirky rock opera for Santa Barbara Dance Theater and a Bob Dylan piece for BalletMet."

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Dance Teacher Tips
Photo by Kyle Froman

To a certain subset of the New York City dance community, Gail Accardi is known as the Body Whisperer. For her part, Accardi calls her work "creative physical problem solving." Whether she's leading her Anatomy Awareness class for dancers, substitute-teaching Simonson Technique, or working with a private client one-on-one, Accardi has a clear vision: "I want people to gain insight into and learn to celebrate their individual structures," she says. "When I was young, a teacher referred to my weak arches as a horrible defect! I never want a student to experience that. When it comes to anatomical variations, this is who you are, so let's figure out how to work with it."

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Site Network
Martha Graham Dance Company in rehearsal for a new work by Bobbi Jene Smith and Maxine Doyle. PC Kelsey Grills.

In a sun-soaked studio in Manhattan, members of the Martha Graham Dance Company (all women) lie on the floor with their feet and heads hovering off the ground. Choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith encourages the dancers to be unapologetic about being looked at as their bodies begin to tremble with exhaustion and they move into a new formation.

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Dance Teacher Tips

Pulling someone else's hair up into a bun can be rough. Hairstyling might not be your speciality, slicking back whispies can seem impossible, even with copious amounts of hairspray, and the 3- or 4-year-old you're "working" with might not have the patience to sit still. We know, we know, it can be frustrating!

So before you pull your own hair out, watch Jenna Bitterman, a teacher at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Children's Division and member of ABT's Artistic Board of Examiners, show you how it's done.

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Viral Videos

Alright, people. Summer is officially over, and fall is upon us. What a ride it's been! From intensives to Nationals to workshops, you teachers have been FABULOUS!

To recap, we thought we would share three of our favorite class videos that came from summer 2018.

They're just so good.

Enjoy!

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Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!

Dance News

The 26th season of "Dancing With the Stars" has been revealed. The brave new members are some of the world's finest athletes—an ex-NBA star, several ice-skating champions and a top female snowboarder. No strangers to competition, this talented lineup will most likely fill their performances with impressive partnering, tricks and lifts. And, no doubt, a heightened desire to take home that Mirror Ball trophy. We can't wait to see what this season brings.

Here's the star-studded roster and their "DWTS" pro partners.

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Dance News
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Looks like your Zumba class is about to get a little more....commercial. In a good way! The fitness company announced today its partnership with Millennium Dance Complex, the Hollywood-based commercial dance studio. (Your Facebook newsfeed is probably full of dance videos taken in front of MDC's iconic red-walled studios.) Now MDC choreographers like Kenny Wormald and WilldaBeast Adams are joining with big-name Zumba instructors to create routines infused with MDC magic and set to Zumba music. #ZUMBAxMDCDANCE is planning to release one new routine a week. (This news coincides nicely with today being National Women's Health and Fitness Day, yes?)

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