Video of the Month: Jumpstarting a Choreography Career

Congratulations to Nikki Keeshin, featured in DT July as the March Editors’ Choice winner for Dance Teacher’s Video of the Month!

The University of the Arts rising junior was inspired to choreograph a piece about marriage equality when she first heard the song, “Same Love,” by rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert. “This song was revolutionary to me,” she says. “I believe this is the first hip-hop song about gay rights. It’s a great step in the right direction.”

“Same Love” came to fruition as part of a UArts composition course, but Keeshin is already thinking beyond the boundaries of her school. She and a few fellow BFA students recently collaborated to rent a nearby performance venue for a two-night showing of their work. The dance department provided some financial support for the project, and an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign raised roughly $2,000 to round out the budget.

Keeshin’s choreography blends pedestrian movement with modern, contemporary and hip-hop styles, a reflection of her diverse training. After graduating, she plans to pursue work in both the commercial and concert dance worlds. She is currently participating in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester. “I want to get back into my hip-hop and commercial side because I’ve been really focused on my technique the past few years,” she says. “I’d love to do everything.”

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—and it’s a great way to get noticed. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, and you’ll win a free one-year subscription to DT! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity—visit dancemedia.com, share your videos and vote for your favorites. Any and all kinds of dance are welcome.

News
Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
News
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.