On May 21st, BDC hosted the 7th annual Student Showcase at Symphony Space with performances at 4:30 and 8pm. The theater was packed and the audience was roaring with excitement. This performance opportunity is a way for BDC students to perform choreography with choreographers of their choice. From tap to street jazz, this show had it all! All of the performances were incredible, and there were even some standing ovations! In addition to all of the performances by drop-in students, there were guest performances by BDC’s own AIM, AIM Jr., and RAP companies, which were exquisite.
Denise Garvey founded the Jets Flight Crew in 2007. What began as a basic squad of 10 women performing at home games has grown into a fully realized squad of 40 women. The Jets Flight Crew continues to perform to crowds of 82,000 fans on game nights and has expanded to include media and event appearances and a Junior Fight Crew program for girls ages 7-14.
It’s no surprise Garvey has managed to build a successful squad. She learned all about the business of NBA and NFL cheer squads during her years performing as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and later as a Knicks City Dancer. She is a well-known leader in the cheer community and hosted the 2014 NFL Cheer Director’s Conference in New York.
Here, we speak with Garvey about what it’s like to work as part of the Jets Flight Crew and about the upcoming Flight Crew Audition Prep Classes being offered at Broadway Dance Center on March 14 and 28, 2018.
Broadway Dance Center (BDC) will offer its four-day Winter Intensive this December 27-30, and dancers can partake in dance-packed days that will be sure to keep their body and soul nice and warm. Here are seven reasons we think you’d fare well cozying up in the BDC studios this December.
#1. The obvious: lots of dance!
With more than 20 hours of dance over a span of four days, you’ll be bound to keep warm. Styles include ballet, jazz technique, theater, contemporary, improvisation, hip hop and more. There will be no chance to get cold when you’ll be dancing this much! “It’s a short-term commitment, but you get a lot of bang for your buck,” says BDC’s Director of Youth Programming Allie Beach.
#2. Rockstar faculty.
BDC brings the best of the best. Classes are separated into Junior, Senior and Professional age groupings, and so far the faculty includes phenomenal teachers such as Sheila Barker, Stacie Webster, Neil Schwartz, Debbie Wilson, Chio, Ricky Hinds and Hannah Frederick. With a batch of teachers this strong, you’re bound to learn and grow tons.
New York City-based director and choreographer Ray Hesslink, who is on faculty at BDC and also the Juilliard School, taught at the first Dance Educator Development workshop and looks forward to sharing his insight with other teachers at the October session as well.
Recently, Broadway Dance Center (BDC) hosted its third installment of Fosse Master Classes with instructors from The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC. Artistic director Nicole Fosse founded the Legacy with a mission to promote, preserve and protect the artistic and intellectual property of Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse. Over the past five years, legacy-sanctioned teachers have been leading master classes throughout New York City, the United States and the globe with the goal to pass on Bob Fosse’s detailed choreography, signature style and essential work ethic to the next generation of dancers.
BDC’s latest Fosse residency — a five-week summer master class series entitled “Fosse on Film” — focused on some of Bob Fosse’s remarkable works shot for the big screen: “Son of a Preacher Man” from Liza with a ‘Z’, “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” from All That Jazz, “Two Lost Souls” from Damn Yankees, and “Steam Heat” and “Once-A-Year Day” from The Pajama Game. Fosse veteran dancers Valarie Pettiford (Fosse Tony nominee, Big Deal, Dancin’), Dana Moore (Fosse, Sweet Charity, Dancin’) and Lloyd Culbreath (Big Deal, Sweet Charity, Dancin’) led this popular series of classes.
“It’s important,” remarks Culbreath, “for younger dancers to study Jerome Robbins, George Faison, Bob Fosse and Michael Kidd.”
“And it’s imperative to pass it on,” adds Moore, “because these styles — especially Fosse’s — have informed every kind of choreography that has come since.”
And unlike your typical jazz or musical theatre classes, the Verdon Fosse instructors impart not only steps and technique but also anecdotes, historical references and imagery that further inform the storytelling and execution of Fosse’s choreography. Additionally, the teachers strive to pass on Fosse and Verdon’s integrity, work ethic and passion through these master classes.
“Bob’s work is very, very specific, focused, structurally intricate and unbelievably musical,” says Culbreath.
“It was so much about detail,” adds Pettiford. “You have to be so clean and so exact. And the only way to get that is through repetition, repetition, repetition.”
“I am a professional dancer in NYC, and though I had done a little bit of Fosse dance in the past, I was excited to work with teachers who were professionally experienced in the style and could provide a personal element,” shares Kaylee Olson, who performed on the Bullets Over Broadway National Tour and Anything Goes National Tour. “The classes taught by Valarie, Lloyd and Dana ended up being incredibly rewarding! These teachers provide knowledge of the style and its mechanics, as well as that personal perspective. In just these five classes, I learned a lot and became more comfortable and capable with the Fosse style of dancing. I enjoyed the classes so much that I ended up attending every single one of them! I can’t wait until the next Fosse Master Class series at BDC.”
“It was absolutely incredible and so humbling to be in the room and learning from the masters of Fosse,” says Andrew Metzgar, who has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Bullets Over Broadway National Tour and Shrek National Tour. “Being taught the intention behind the movement and then bringing it to life was absolutely surreal. I’ve been watching this choreography on film for years, and now to be in a studio learning from the originals themselves was just mind-blowing. There aren’t many opportunities nowadays to learn true Fosse rep, and I encourage dancers to run to these master classes at BDC. Fosse dance is total experience — mind, body and soul — and after every class, I felt so fulfilled and honored to have learned the true Fosse style.”
Stay tuned for news of more upcoming Fosse Master Classes at Broadway Dance Center. And for more information about The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC, visit www.verdonfosse.com.
When life presents an opportunity, you should take it, no matter the challenges ahead. This summer, I was presented an opportunity to be a part of Broadway Dance Center’s Junior Training Program in New York City. I had been to New York previously and taken classes at BDC, and they don’t mess around. Everyone who’s there walks in with a purpose; there’s no room for laziness.
Luam is a tremendously talented familiar face in the dance world. She has choreographed for dozens of major artists including Beyonce, Kanye West, Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae and Alicia Keys. Some of her most recent work was seen on the BET Awards Prince tribute, Black Girls Rock! 2016, The Today Show and Good Morning America.