Find Out What Kent Boyd Has Been Up To Since "So You Think You Can Dance"

"My main goal this year is to get the kids to not think twice and to trust their instincts." Photo by Take Creative, courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

Life hasn't slowed down for Kent Boyd since he was named runner-up on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2010. As a faculty member with the L.A.-based competition and convention Hollywood Vibe, he spends 19 weekends a year traveling the country to teach on top of his already busy schedule as a freelance dance and film artist. "'SYT' gave me the diving board, and I got to choose how I got to dive into the water," he says.


Boyd dove into teaching headfirst. At Hollywood Vibe, he teaches musical theater to the teens and seniors, but it's jazz with the juniors and the minis where he really thrives. “Kids today are so crazy talented. They can absorb knowledge and pick up choreography and style at such a rapid pace," he says. “But my thing with the younger kids is to just make sure that they stay connected to why they love it, so that when they get older, they don't burn out." He keeps the atmosphere fun by choosing music they enjoy and staying energetic and positive.

Fitting a full class into an hour, or sometimes just 45 minutes, is a challenge, but Boyd finds that setting an intention helps him stay on track. “My main goal this year is to get the kids to not think twice and to trust their instincts," he says, regarding the increasing anxiety he sees in young dancers. “Usually their energy and tone and attack are exactly correct, though. They know what to do. It's brilliant."

Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

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Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

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Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy TUPAC

When legendary Black ballet dancer Kabby Mitchell III died unexpectedly in 2017, two months before opening his Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, his friend and business partner Klair Ethridge wasn't sure she had what it took to carry his legacy. Ethridge had been working with Mitchell to co-found TUPAC and planned to serve as its executive director, but she had never envisioned being the face of the school.

Now, Ethridge is heading into her fourth year of leading TUPAC, which she has grown from a fledgling program in an unheated building to a serious ballet school in its own sprung-floor studios, reaching hundreds of students across the Tacoma, Washington, area. The nonprofit has become a case study for what it looks like to carry out the vision of a founder who never had the chance to see his school open—and to take an unapologetically mission-driven approach.

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