What My Teacher Taught Me: Billy Smith

Smith in Morris' Crosswalk

Like many dancers-in-training, Billy Smith—now a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group—needed to temper his energy with a healthy dose of technique. At George Mason University, he found a mentor in modern teacher Susan Shields.

"I think I met her at the right time in my training. I came into college with a lot of enthusiasm, but I didn't have a lot of refinement. She really homed in on my technique and approach to dance. She had a great perspective because she's a ballet-trained dancer who got into modern afterwards. I really wanted to be a modern dancer, so I connected to her technical approach to it."

The Mark Morris Dance Group will perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, April 22–26.

Photo by Stephanie Berger, courtesy of MMDG

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