Watching the Derby as a Dance Fan

Just chasse-ing down the track...

 

 

I am not an avid fan of horse racing, but I do enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby, and I think it's for similar reasons that I like watching premiere ballet dancers. When I go to a dance performance like the YAGP gala we attended as a staff last week, I find myself drooling over the dancers' perfection. I am in awe of their feet, their muscles, their unbelievable lines and extensions. These are the best of the best, I think, and man does it show when they move.

 

I am drawn to the Derby in the exact same way. Those horses—and I am not even a horse person—are gorgeous. That musculature, the proportions, the strong slender legs. It’s the whole package. These horses were not only trained for racing, but built for it. Just like those elite primas with their other-worldly abilities. And when they run, they look like well-oiled machines (not the artists that dancers are, but every bit the technicians). Their legs hardly touch the ground; it's really amazing to see. If you haven’t yet, I definitely recommend watching it. Grab your fancy hats, mix up some mint juleps and check out the Derby tomorrow! You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Photo: Bodemeister, the early favorite to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby

 

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.