Trending

How Nick Palmquist Became the Teacher He Is Today

Photo by Nathalie Van Empel, courtesy of BYU CFAC

It's been a good month for choreographer and teacher Nick Palmquist. While he's been on DT's radar for quite some time, he burst onto the social-media scene in late November when the biggest professional ballet stars in the country participated in the #nickpalmquistchallenge. Prompted by Palmquist's choreography, stars from Marcelo Gomes to Stella Abrera were digging into the sultry stylized movement of the Steps on Broadway commercial jazz teacher, and sharing it on social media. He now has 38.4K followers and counting.


Photo by James Jin, courtesy of Palmquist

In spite of all of the attention, Palmquist insists his purpose has not been to create viral videos, but to produce movement that his students work hard at and feel proud of.

"I post these things on Instagram because I am proud of them, not because I am trying to get likes," Palmquist says. "This whole thing was so spontaneous and organic, and that's what I love about it. It started because Marcelo and Gillian [Murphy] were kind and shared my work because they loved my stuff. Since then I have been overwhelmed with how quickly the challenge has spread and how much positivity it has brought."

Palmquist says much of his current teaching style represented in these viral videos has been influenced by his time as a student with teacher Ann Buehler in Missouri. He has been particularly influenced by her, he says, when it comes to his choice in music (which is pretty fantastic, by the way).

"I always appreciated Ann's eclectic taste in music," Palmquist says. "She did a good job of picking songs that could really speak to a wide range of students. More than half the battle of being a great choreographer is finding great music. She helped me cultivate a love for it and taught me to find music that will help my dancers feel more comfortable and excited to be in my classroom."

You can take Palmquist's commercial jazz class on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Steps on Broadway in New York City.

Music
Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.