Video of the Month: One More Time (We’re Gonna Celebrate)

Girouard makes sure his dancers’ last run-through
is their best.

Congratulations to Brandon Girouard, the Editors’ Choice winner for Dance Teacher’s Video of the Month! His video, featured in DT September, captures one of the best parts of a convention class, when students who have been dancing all day perform the combination for the last time, pouring all their energy into the choreography.

A commercial dancer and teacher at international conventions, universities and studios, Girouard created the routine for an intermediate jazz/funk class at Encore Dance Competitions. Notably devoid of fouettés, tilts and high kicks, the upbeat combination to “I Found You” by boy band The Wanted is less about tricks and more intended to show off dancers’ personalities, he says. “I base my teaching philosophy on the quote ‘Dare to be you.’ When you strip away those technical elements, it comes down to your connection to the movement.” He adds, “I encourage my dancers to experiment, to attack the movement and get into the style. Really let your inhibitions go and be yourself.”

Girouard ends each class by bringing dancers into a circle for a motivating talk. “It’s a moment of understanding that we share this love of art. And it’s so important, particularly on the competition circuit, to remember we’re all on this journey together,” he says. “Coming together in a circle is a way to bring that energy in as a group and celebrate the dancing we just did.”

Watch the winning video:

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.

Photo by Mike Farella/Exulting Images, courtesy of Brandon Girouard

Music
Mary Malleney, courtesy Osato

In most classes, dancers are encouraged to count the music, and dance with it—emphasizing accents and letting the rhythm of a song guide them.

But Marissa Osato likes to give her students an unexpected challenge: to resist hitting the beats.

In her contemporary class at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles (which is now closed, until they find a new space), she would often play heavy trap music. She'd encourage her students to find the contrast by moving in slow, fluid, circular patterns, daring them to explore the unobvious interpretation of the steady rhythms.

Keep reading... Show less
For Parents

Darrell Grand Moultrie teaches at a past Jacob's Pillow summer intensive. Photo Christopher Duggan, courtesy Jacob's Pillow

In the past 10 months, we've grown accustomed to helping our dancers navigate virtual school, classes and performances. And while brighter, more in-person days may be around the corner—or at least on the horizon—parents may be facing yet another hurdle to help our dancers through: virtual summer-intensive auditions.

In 2020, we learned that there are some unique advantages of virtual summer programs: the lack of travel (and therefore the reduced cost) and the increased access to classes led by top artists and teachers among them. And while summer 2021 may end up looking more familiar with in-person intensives, audition season will likely remain remote and over Zoom.

Of course, summer 2021 may not be back to in-person, and that uncertainty can be a hard pill to swallow. Here, Kate Linsley, a mom and academy principal of Nashville Ballet, as well as "J.R." Glover, The Dan & Carole Burack Director of The School at Jacob's Pillow, share their advice for this complicated process.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

From left: Anthony Crickmay, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem Archives; Courtesy Ballethnic

It is the urgency of going in a week or two before opening night that Lydia Abarca Mitchell loves most about coaching. But in her role as Ballethnic Dance Company's rehearsal director, she's not just getting the troupe ready for the stage. Abarca Mitchell—no relation to Arthur Mitchell—was Mitchell's first prima ballerina when he founded Dance Theatre of Harlem with Karel Shook; through her coaching, Abarca Mitchell works to pass her mentor's legacy to the next generation.

"She has the same sensibility" as Arthur Mitchell, says Ballethnic co-artistic director Nena Gilreath. "She's very direct, all about the mission and the excellence, but very caring."

Ballethnic is based in East Point, a suburban city bordering Atlanta. In a metropolitan area with a history of racism and where funding is hard-won, it is crucial for the Black-led ballet company to present polished, professional productions. "Ms. Lydia" provides the "hard last eye" before the curtain opens in front of an audience.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.