Dance Teachers Trending

This Choreographer Makes Dances in the Air (and on Cliffs, Skyscrapers, Bridges, Billboards)

Photo by Atossa Saltani, courtesy of BANDALOOP

Amelia Rudolph was a longtime dancer, but a relative newcomer to rock climbing when she had an epiphany on a cliff in the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains. "There's granite and crystal and quartz—it's like a sculpture that you're climbing on," she says. "I had a moment where I was like, 'Could you dance here? What would that look like? Could anybody even see? Would that matter?'" The answer, of course, is yes. BANDALOOP, the Oakland, California–based vertical-dance company Rudolph founded as a result of that lightbulb moment has, for more than 25 years, donned climbing gear and performed on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites, in atriums and convention halls, and in nature on cliffs—perhaps most famously, rappelling at 2,400 feet off Yosemite's El Capitan. This month, the company tours to the sprawling stone and wood-shingled Mahaney Center for the Arts in Middlebury, Vermont.

On getting permission to perform on a building "Back in 1996, when we first performed on the Space Needle [in Seattle], it took six months to get permission. Oakland City Hall is used to us now—we can probably arrange permission within a month. The average is between two and four months. Often the presenter approaches us—we'll go to a site visit, and we say: 'These buildings are the best. We like this one the most, and this is a backup.' I think it's important people have stringent standards. I really respect any building that wants to make sure we're extremely good at what we do."

Her dream venues "I'd love to do a river descent and rafting in Asia and dance on the cliffs along the way. I'd love to cross from China to India across the mountains. It's adventure art. There are some waterfalls in South America and Africa I would like to dance near or in. I've done a couple of Frank Gehry buildings, but I would love to honor a woman architect."

Her process "I certainly imagine the shape of dances, but the actual phrases and detailed movements happen in so many ways. I work very collaboratively with my dancers. I'll give them a set of constraints for an improvisation score, and we'll film it. We often start on the ground. We'll do writing, generating a palette of ideas. My job ultimately is to craft, edit and carve all of that into a cohesive piece."

Show Comments ()
Viral Videos
Photo by Kyle Froman

Do you know how to teach this classic tap rhythm?

Keep reading... Show less
Via @kyle_vanny on Instagram competing on "World of Dance"

Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and pro partner Jenna Johnson snatched the coveted mirror ball trophy at the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 26 finale. Although it's not that surprising (everyone was rooting for the skating darling, who basically won the Olympics), it's still nice to see his hard work pay off.

Keep reading... Show less

"When we come together and start talking, everyone starts sharing so much and it's just great. That's my favorite thing to do all year long." – Denise Wall, Dance Teacher Summit Ambassador

For years the Dance Teacher Summit has been offering opportunities for studio owners and dance instructors of all levels to work with world-renowned faculty members to improve their teaching methods, learn new styles of choreography and discover ideal ways to convey choreography to students.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Teacher Tips

Q: I'm looking for out-of-the-box teaching tools to use with my students. Do you have any recommendations?

Keep reading... Show less

Purchasing a Harlequin floor is now easier than ever!

Get a new marley/vinyl floor, sprung floor system and installation with convenient monthly payments. American Harlequin Corporation has partnered with Allstate Capital to offer comprehensive, easy to understand financing packages customized to meet the needs of our customers.

Apply for an Allstate Capital Financing account today and receive a decision within 24 hours.

Click here to learn how you can buy a Harlequin floor today!

Dance Teacher Tips

Even the most disciplined dancers admit to weeping in class sometimes. Sorrow and fear are human expressions, but teachers may not always know how to navigate a sudden burst of waterworks.

"Stress is in the body," explains Linda Taylor, a school psychologist in Idaho who has taught ballet to all age groups, from toddler to professional. "Sometimes the release of it can bring on tears, especially for older students."

"We all need to cry sometimes," says Joel Hall, founder and director of Joel Hall Dancers & Center in Chicago. An instructor who has taught for 46 years, he admits he used to feel panicked at the sight of watery eyes. Now, he has a better understanding of students' feelings and how to work with them.

Here are five expert tips from Taylor and Hall for navigating grief in dance class.

Keep reading... Show less
Josephine Lee on the road. Photo Courtesy Lee

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based The Pointe Shop is taking her wares on a tour of the West Coast: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Lee is visiting dance schools along the way in her mobile pointe shoe van to fit ballet students. Check out her first five vlogs from the road, filled with picturesque scenery, fun facts and fitting tips—and stay tuned for the next round.

Keep reading... Show less





Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!