It is July 16th in the middle of the afternoon, and I am standing on a concrete island in a sea of asphalt outside the Delta terminal at La Guardia. The breeze is doing exactly nothing to avert the blistering heat, and I am wondering where the heck my hired car has gone; with envy I watch a few well-heeled travelers climb into [...]
Knoxville Ballet School has had a mainly quiet summer, but much has transpired behind the scenes. For starters, the school has acquired a circa-1950 Gulbransen piano serendipitously. It once belonged to my grandparents, but my late Uncle Stan (a lifelong professional musician, for many years at the Light Opera of Manhattan) implored me to take it shortly before his death. Sitting in [...]
These last weeks as I have begun working with American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum in my own ballet classroom I find myself bumping up against a small dilemma: improvisation is to be explored in the lower levels of the curriculum.
Er, okay. See, the thing is, I suck at improvisation. I always have. Once I [...]
In an earlier post I told you that my tenure in New York City was punctuated several times by visits with some dear friends, so now I would like to share those happy moments. (This, by the way, is the building at 890 Broadway, where ABT has its offices and studios, and where I [...]
I went to New York to learn, plain and simple.
I was not sure where I would fall along the continuum of teachers attending the National Training Curriculum intensives at ABT, although I feared it would be dangerously close to zero. In fact, I think I barely squeaked past the admissions committee because of my training credentials, which are respectable at least. [...]
Before I left for New York, lots of people asked me where I was planning to eat and shop, what shows I was going to see, which museums—that sort of thing. My answer was simply, I don’t know. This was mainly because I had no idea how much free time I would have, if [...]
I do. Her name is Jane Shelton, and she teaches ballet in Memphis, Tennessee. I have known her since I was four, when she was a young psychology student at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) and I was a rising kindergartner at Church of the Good Shepherd. She danced at Memphis Ballet [...]
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SELF-INDULGENT BALLET DRIVEL.
Dancers are obsessed with bodies, especially their own. And even though I have not been a dancer dancer for some time now, I still dance in front of my young students in their ballet classes (and wall-to-wall mirrors) five and sometimes six days a week; I am keenly aware [...]
As the founding director of a small ballet school, I think about this ridiculous dichotomy just about every single day: the overwhelming majority of children in most small ballet schools (and that’s most of the ballet students on the planet) do not resemble children in the world’s premiere ballet schools, where young hopefuls are scrutinized [...]
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