Musings

Summer Teaching Diaries: Fostering Young Dancers’ Love for Ballet

Posted by on 07.22.2014

Summer Teaching Diaries: Fostering Young Dancers’ Love for Ballet

Dancers all know that more work is put in offstage than onstage.  The same goes for young people studying ballet.  Though they may not be assigned “homework” as they are in school, education outside the studio is just as important as the education they are receiving at the barre. There are many small dance studios across the country and around the world. Not every aspiring dancer has the great fortune of attending a professional school where the tradition of ballet surrounds them day in and day out. Not every student has access to professional quality performances, showcasing generations of beloved productions. However, in today’s high-tech society,...

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A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

Posted by on 07.20.2014

A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self: __________________________________________ Dear Rebecca, It has been over 8 years since we have met.  Since then I have become a corps de ballet dancer with an internationally renowned company, toured across the world, had the opportunity to dance many of classical ballet’s most beloved works, and worked with today’s leading choreographers.  How did this happen you ask?  Sometimes I wonder the same thing.  After picking up some teaching gigs this summer, I decided that I would like to send you a note filled with the lessons I have learned, because everything looks different from the front of the studio. First,...

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The Remarkable Story of a Ballerina’s Struggle for Life and Happiness: You, Fascinating You

Posted by on 06.08.2014

The Remarkable Story of a Ballerina’s Struggle for Life and Happiness: You, Fascinating You

There are many stories that touch our lives; many of which are portrayed through moments in history that many of us cannot even fathom.  Take for instance the story of Margit Wolf, a woman with her sights set on becoming a prima ballerina.  As a young woman she left home and travelled across Europe enjoying the thrills of performing.  After meeting her Prince Charming, an Italian songwriter, it became clear that global events would soon change their life.  As a Jewish woman, she would be separated from her son and husband, inspiring her “Maestro” to write the love song, Tu Solamente Tu in 1938.  Twenty-two years would pass before the two were...

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Dancer’s Career Transition: Dancer turned Filmmaker

Posted by on 05.21.2014

Dancer’s Career Transition: Dancer turned Filmmaker

I am pleased to introduce former Miami City Ballet Dancer, Ezra Hurwitz as a continued part of my series, “Dancer’s Career Transition.”  After retiring from ballet last year,  Mr. Hurwitz is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University.  As part of his higher education, he has been taking a film production course at the New School.  I would like to introduce you to his first film, “The Dancer” featuring Gonzalo Garcia.  This short film follows Garcia through his morning routine as a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet.  I spoke with Mr. Hurwitz about his studies, inspirations, and what’s...

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Free People’s “Ballet” Campaign

Posted by on 05.19.2014

Free People’s “Ballet” Campaign

As many of you in the dance community have probably seen, the clothing company, Free People, has developed a ballet line.  But instead of considering the clothes, all we have been able to focus on for the last week are the photos and the videos published to promote the new line. The photos obviously indicate that the models had little to no ballet training, which is enough to upset professional dancers on it’s own.  Why would they choose to not use dancers when they likely had a large budget and could have done whenever they want?  As I monitored the social media response to these photos, my personal reaction was that there are a lot of similar ballet photos...

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The Dancers’ Artistry: How We Are Evolving

Posted by on 05.11.2014

The Dancers’ Artistry: How We Are Evolving

I recently came across a very thought provoking article in Dance Magazine about the delicate balance between artistry and emphasizing the execution of  ballet steps with technical proficiency.  This is a big topic of conversation these days as reality television brings dance into our homes more than ever before.  On shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” we see remarkable tricks: daunting jumps, lifts, turns, etc.  It always amazes me what the audience chooses to react to on these shows: they clap and scream for a simple press lift, while seemingly missing the talent and artistry behind the fast footwork that follows.  In an effort to please an...

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