DANCE-AID: A Benefit in Support of Vicitims of Hurricane Sandy

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Broadway Dance Center would like to thank all of the amazing teachers who hosted benefit classes in support of victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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  • Al Blackstone
  • Justin Boccitto
  • Jacob Brent
  • Chio
  • Cat Cogliandro
  • Jim Cooney
  • Ginger Cox
  • Ashle Dawson
  • Chris Erk
  • Brian Green
  • Jamie Jackson
  • Diana Laurenson
  • Matt Lopez
  • Kevin Maher
  • Lenore Marks
  • Michael Mindlin
  • Brice Mousset
  • Sheryl Murakami
  • Daniella Polanco
  • Q
  • Katherine Roarty
  • Neil Schwartz
  • Tracie Stanfield

Classes were $15 and all of the proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross.  In addition, BDC hosted a used clothing drive and donated 300 pairs of BDC sweatpants and 100 BDC T-shirts to the Salvation Army.

You can still donate to Hurricane Sandy relief on the American Red Cross website.

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, money, and clothing to this cause.  It is so inspiring to show the power of dance to make a difference in the world.

 

Theater Review: Nice Work If You Can Get It

images1Saturday was what I like to call a “matinee kind of a day.”   After work I walked through the crowds of people and the scorching heat to the s’wonderful, s’marvelous, air-conditioned Imperial Theatre, just a block east of Broadway Dance Center.  At 1:30pm I was still able to purchase a student ticket for the 2pm show (clutch?) and took my seat in the mezzanine of the beautiful theater.  Sometimes theaters will place student ticket-holders in the “worst” seats in the house (ie. far corners in the front or back, partial viewed seating,etc.), but that was not at all my experience! Check out tickets here.
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This was my second time seeing “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” having seen it back in April during previews for my mom’s birthday.  I decided to see the show again after taking Samantha Sturm’s “Nice Work” master class at BDC.  [*Jeffrey “Shecky” Schecter, who has taught several BDC master classes in the past as part of BDC’s Broadway Choreography Series, is also part of the show!].  Back when I saw the show in April, I was so infatuated with the experience itself – seeing a Kathleen Marshall musical starring big-names like Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Judy Kaye, and Michael McGrath.  So this time, I focused on (surprise!) the dancing.

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Like I mentioned, Kathleen Marshall directed and choreographed “Nice Work.” Marshall has won three Tony’s and two Drama Desk Awards for “Best Choreography,” so it is no wonder that “Nice Work” has more than just your average “Charleston!”  Ben Brantley (NY Times) noted, “And as fluent as always in the period she means to evoke, Ms. Marshall has drilled her agile dancers to perform every possible variation on the Charleston.”

“To choreograph on Broadway it’s really important to know style.  This is a show that takes place in the ’20s, the last show I did [“Anything Goes”] took place in the ’30s, so I think it’s important to understand different eras and different styles.  Look at old movies, watch old TV shows, watch old MGM musicals, old “Fred and Ginger” musicals…understand how those classic musicals “work” and then you can turn around and make it your own.”

~ Kathleen Marshall

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween from Broadway Dance Center!  Dress up in costume for your dance classes tomorrow because we’ll be giving away prizes to dancers with the best costumes.  Some BDC faculty will even be teaching Halloween-inspired choreography in class!

Here are some spooktacular dance numbers to get you in the Halloween spirit:

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

“Time Warp” – Rocky Horror Picture Show

“This is Halloween” – Dancing with the Stars

“Zombie Dance” – So You Think You Can Dance

Nice Work @ BDC

Broadway Dance Center was thrilled to host two master classes taught by the lovely and lively Samantha Sturm.  Samantha is currently performing in Nice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway, and taught repertoire from the show as part of BDC’s Broadway Choreographer Series.

Two-time Tony Award® winner Matthew Broderick (The Producers) and three-time Tony® nominee Kelli O’Hara (South Pacific) star in a madcap tale of bootleggers, chorus girls, playboys and politicians set loose in a glorious Long Island mansion in the rip-roaring 1920s. The cast features 2012 Tony® winners Judy Kaye (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and Michael McGrath (Best Featured Actor in a Musical).

This brand-new musical features a treasure trove of George and Ira Gershwin’s most beloved, instantly recognizable tunes set in a fresh and funny song-and-dance spectacular with a book by Tony® winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis), directed and choreographed by three-time Tony® winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes).

Overflowing with 15 great songs, including “But Not For Me,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” this sparkling musical comedy combines laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic.

Samantha Sturm is currently in the ensemble of Nice Work If You Can Get It. Before Nice Work, she was an original cast member of The Addams Family musical on Broadway. Samantha has worked at several regional theaters including the Paper Mill Playhouse, The Westchester Broadway Theatre, and Casa Manana Theatre. You might also have seen her as the tango dancer in the national tour of Evita, and as a swing on the 25th Anniversary national tour of Cats. Before becoming involved in musical theatre, Samantha was a soloist with The Asaph Dance Ensemble.

^ Check out Samantha in this video clip! (1:50, yellow dress!)

I Want to Be a Rockette! – The Rockette Experience

If you’ve ever had dreams of performing in the Christmas Spectacular as one of the famous Radio City Rockettes, here’s your chance to experience the magic!

The Rockette Experience gives students an inside look into the world of The Radio City Rockettes.

The Experience starts with a  3-hour workshop taught by a Radio City Rockette where you will learn tap, jazz, and the world-famous Rockette kick line choreography.  You will also get to go through a “mock audition,” and have a Q&A session and Photo Op with a Rockette.  Then take the amazing Stage Door Tour of Radio City Music Hall and get tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular,  “#1 holiday show in America” — live, on stage**!

“The Rockette Experience provides valuable insight into the meticulous and exacting precision technique. Dancers are afforded the opportunity to learn authentic choreography from a Rockette and get to hone their audition skills in a non-judgmental environment.” – Tal Schapira, BDC Professional Semester alumni and assistant for the Rockette Experience

“The Rockette Experience provides each aspiring student an exciting opportunity to dance for a day in the heels of a Radio City Rockette and brings them one step closer to actually achieving that dream.”  – Lizz Picini, BDC Summer Intern Program alumni and assistant for the Rockette Experience

Requirements: Dancers must be ages 10 and up and have previous dance training in tap and jazz.  All dancers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

2012 Spring/Summer dates for the Rockette Experience:
Saturday, April 7
Saturday, April 14

Saturday, May 19
Saturday, May 20
Saturday, May 26
Sunday, May 27

Saturday, June 2
Sunday, June 3
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 10
Saturday June 16
Sunday, June 17
Saturday, June 23
Saturday, June 30

Saturday, July 7
Saturday, July 14
Saturday, July 21
Saturday, July 28

Saturday, August 4
Sunday, August 5
Saturday, August 11
Sunday, August 12

For more information on The Rockette Experience, Broadway Dance Center, registration materials, please contact Megan Shuffle at (212) 582-9304 Ext. 79 or email your questions to Rockette@bwydance.com.

**Tickets to the Christmas Spectacular are only available during the show’s November/December season.

Drew Jacoby, “dance goddess”

BDC welcomed Drew Jacoby to teach a series of Contemporary master classes in April.  The tall beauty, hailed by Dance Magazine as a “dance goddess,” began her professional career as a principal dancer for Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet.  She won a 2005 Princess Grace Award and in 2006 was voted Dance Magazine’s “It Girl.”  In 2007, she moved to New York City to begin her freelance career and market herself independently from a ballet company.  In 2008, Jacoby and Rubinald Pronk co-founded their own company (Jacoby & Pronk) which has performed all over the world. In 2010, she founded a media website called DancePulp which features HD video interviews of the world’s top dance industry professionals.

“[Drew Jacoby] is contemporary ballet royalty and a dancer that I’ve always looked up to.  She has such a unique style and effortless way of moving. She really cared about helping out the class and gave every person specific corrections.” – Emily Gallo-Lopez (BDC student)

“I was initially nervous to take an advanced contemporary class, but it was incredible.  As a tall dancer, I often feel awkward with my head poking out atop the class’s or my limbs flying in every direction.  But Drew Jacoby is even taller than me, and it was amazing to see how she ‘doesn’t apologize’ for taking up space when she dances.  Her movement was so full and virtuosic – it felt great on my body and I am going to apply it to my other classes!” – Mary Callahan (BDC student)

“Drew Jacoby is one of those truly transcendent dancers — she scarcely seems real. At BDC we seek always to bring the finest in dance instruction for our students, and having Drew teach here was very much a coup in that endeavor.” – Bonnie Erickson (BDC Director of Educational Programming)

Industry Insider: Succeeding as a Professional Dancer

On Friday, April 20th, Broadway Dance Center hosted Industry Insider: Succeeding as a Professional Dancer.  The Industry Insider offers a behind-the-scenes look at “the business.”  From Broadway Shows, to Concert Dance, to Music Videos, to Film, this ongoing series covers a wide range of events and gives dancers the chance to delve deeper into the ever-expanding entertainment industry.

In conjunction with National Dance Week, Broadway Dance Center and Bloc Talent Agency have brought together a panel of experts, including Bloc NYC agents Jim Daly and Fatima Wilson as well as professional dancers Shernita Anderson (Kanye West, Jill Scott), Autavia Bailey (J. Lo, Lady Gaga, Beyonce), Tyrone Jackson (“Memphis,” “Smash”), and Alex Wong (ABT, SYTYCD, “Newsies”).

BDC students crammed into the 8th floor annex to ask questions about how to succeed as a professional dancer – not just in New York, but in LA and around the globe! Here’s what the esteemed panel had to say:

“I was primarily a musical theater dancer.  When I wanted to branch out into the commercial side, I couldn’t decide between moving to New York or Los Angeles.  My friend helped me out.  He wrote ‘NY’ on one piece of paper and ‘LA’ on another.  Then he turned off the lights and threw the papers in the air.  I had to search for one in the dark…and it was LA!” – Tyrone Jackson

“Get your ‘look’ together.  You have to look the part in order to get the part.  You are a product – you have to market yourself.” – Autavia Bailey

“If you want to be a serious dancer, you have to take ballet.” – Alex Wong

“From my performing arts high school, I got the impression that I had to be a ballerina or I was nothing – but I’ve learned that’s anything but true.” – Shernita Anderson

“Go to ALL auditions, even if you’re not the ‘type’ they’re looking for.  Casting directors will see you and call you for other jobs that you do fit.” – Tyrone Jackson

“Your word is important.  When I made it through SYTYCD, I had already signed a year-long contract with Miami City Ballet.  I honored that contract and auditioned for SYTYCD the following year.  You have to realize that the dance world is so small, and your reputation is really important.” – Alex Wong

“Back then, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Debbie Allen did it all [dancing, singing, and acting]…so they did it all!  The same goes for today.  Invest in yourself [voice lessons, dance classes, acting workshops, etc.].” – Shernita Anderson

“Own who you are.  I am an African-American male.  I could go in for hip-hop calls, but I would be acting.  I’m an all-American black male – that’s my true ‘type.’  So that’s how I market myself.” – Tyrone Jackson

“Look at Backstage Magazine, Playbill.com, and Actor’s Equity.  Read the articles, watch the videos, learn as much as you can.  Be a knowledgeable dancer and do your research.” – Jim Daly

“The dance industry is 90% business and 10% talent.  Don’t just take class.  Know the business.  Educate yourself.  Be marketable.  Network.  And girls, always have your heels!” – Fatima Wilson

How to I get an agent?

  • Go to open agency calls.
  • Through recommendations from that agency’s dancers and choreographers.
  • If an agent is coming to support his/her agency’s dancer in a show, shoot the agent an e-mail so they’ll look out for you.
  • Hustle!  If you’re consistently booking jobs and networking, agents will keep hearing your name and approach you.