Congratulations to Anthony LoCascio, our Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

In this video, LoCascio and other professional hoofers (some are members of his company, Taplife) perform at The Big Apple Tap Festival in New York City. The group had only two one-hour rehearsals prior to their performance and learned the choreography from video footage.

When choreographing without his dancers present, LoCascio uses his phone to work out the steps. “I’ll create an audio recording of myself tapping whatever sequence I’ve created over and over again,” he says. “Then, I play it back and tap over it, creating other rhythms to add layers in the sound. I try to sound like another instrument in the song.” 

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, in DT’s newsletter and on our web and social-media pages! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Kasey Cosentino, Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

In this video, Cosentino works with 9- and 10-year-old dancers from Silicon Valley Dance Academy in Cupertino, California, where until recently, their concentration was in Chinese folkloric dance. She was invited to teach them their first jazz dance for competition.

When creating sassy jazz numbers for young students, Cosentino concentrates on keeping things age appropriate, something that can be tricky with today’s trends. Her method? Storytelling. “Chinese dance is all about telling a story, so they’re used to it. I tell them to act like they’re having fun with their friends, having a talent show and acting goofy and silly,” she says. “I want them to feel comfortable and have fun, not look sexy.” 

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, in DT’s newsletter and on our web and social-media pages! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Samantha Caudle, our Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

In this video, Caudle leads an audition master class for team tryouts at Origins Dance Academy in Dyer, Indiana. During the session, dancers were evaluated and placed in solos, duets, trios and group pieces for the coming competition season.

Caudle always stresses to dancers the importance of including what she thinks of as texture in their movement and to avoid moving monotonously. “I want to break them out of that habit and encourage them to start moving with dynamic intention,” she says. “Being able to control your movement is just as important as being able to hit it as hard and big as you can, or just do a bunch of tricks.”

After giving the dancers feedback, Caudle demonstrates the combination on her own, dancing full-out. “I wanted them to see how I embody the movement with layers of dynamics and my individual personality so they could feel confident doing the same,” she says. “It’s not about parroting the movement back and looking like me. Everyone should portray it a little differently.”

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, in DT’s newsletter and on our web and social-media pages! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Robert Mosher, Editor’s Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

During a summer workshop at Relativity School in Los Angeles, CA, where he’s a BFA candidate, Mosher had the opportunity to pitch the concept for his video “7 Stages.” When his proposal was selected for production, he had less than a week to audition his peers and begin working with a team of film professionals. His video was produced, then premiered at the Beaudry Theater.

The time constraints posed a challenge, but Mosher struggled most with the subject matter. “The video is a letter to my grandmother, who passed away two and a half years ago,” he says. Mosher based his narrative on psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief. “When you suffer a loss, you aren’t just angry, or depressed. There’s this range of emotions you go through.”

To help his dancers convey the emotions behind the piece, Mosher spoke with them about their own hardships. “It’s easy for choreographers to get wrapped in their own heads about their vision and purpose, but they forget that it needs to become personal for the dancers as well,” Mosher says. “I tried to relate things in their lives to my motivation, and allowed the concept to evolve.”

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, in DT’s newsletter and on our web and social-media pages! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Jennifer DiDonato, Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

While on faculty at the New York Film Academy in New York City, DiDonato choreographed and directed this tap dance video, Babble by Bombershay, in the style of a black-and-white silent movie. Advanced tappers from the school’s musical theater certificate program performed in the film as part of an independent study project. “At the Film Academy, we want them to learn to focus on the story and remember what they’re trying to do and not just dance for dancing’s sake,” she says. “I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to use tap to express themselves.”

Throughout the film, the only sounds are vaudevillian piano music and tapping. To capture clean tap sounds, DiDonato says, they shot the scene first—at Café Regular du Nord in Brooklyn, which frequently hosts artists. Then they recorded dancers tapping in a sound booth to match the film.

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured in the magazine and in DT’s newsletter! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Dena Malarek, Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

As part of a museum-themed recital at the New School of Dance Arts in Midland Park, New Jersey, Malarek involved her middle school and high school contemporary students in choosing a work of art to inspire their piece. “We always like to have something a little nontraditional for our contemporary class. The glass pieces were of instant interest to the students,” she says. They talked about what patterns appear in the sculptures and the process of blowing glass. Malarek’s fluid, cyclical choreography reflects those concepts. They even melted their own plastic cup sculptures to use as props during the number, which is set to a soundtrack of clinking wind chimes and tribal drumbeats.

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured in Dance Teacher, on dance-teacher.com and in DT’s newsletter! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Photo by Thomas Hauer, courtesy of Dena Malarek

Congratulations to Kim Alexander, the Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

Alexander’s piece Ribbons features eight dancers from RealDance Studio in Lighthouse Point, Florida. The crisp contemporary routine won the Critics’ Choice Award at New York City Dance Alliance in 2013. While creating it, Alexander faced a common issue: working with a single boy in a class of girls. She chose to keep movement largely uniform. “With boys and men, I like them to be part of the group,” she says. “I don’t necessarily focus on a lot of lifts. I like us to move as one unit. I use all the dancers in the room, whether they’re a boy or a girl.” At the same time, she says it’s important to preserve masculinity. “I am very conscious of men and boys when I work with them. I want them to look like men.” And she makes movement that reflects that. “My choreography is very strong.”

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, on dance-teacher.com and in DT’s newsletter! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

Congratulations to Mikey Castro, the latest Editors’ Choice for the Dance Teacher Video of the Month!

Castro maintains an online presence by regularly uploading choreography and classroom routines to his YouTube channel. For this video, Castro created a full dance music video with students from the competition team On The Verge at Elevated Dance Project in Eagle, Idaho. The dark, sultry groove of “Wait For a Minute,” by Justin Bieber and Tyga, accompanies a scene where students play leather jacket–clad troublemakers prying open the door of an abandoned warehouse to dance. (The project was filmed in a gymnastics warehouse adjacent to the studio.)

After a heavy, undulating hip-hop routine in neatly shifting formations, dancers take turns freestyling as their credits appear on the screen. “I always stress the term ‘character’ to my students and give them my vision behind a piece,” he says. “All I had to tell them was that we were going to portray these bad boys and bad girls. Verge is a great group of kids who know how to perform.”

Watch the video here:

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. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on dance-teacher.com and in DT’s newsletter! Visit dancemedia.com to share your videos and vote for your favorites.

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