“You don’t always need bam, bam, bam and boom, boom, boom,” said Frank Hatchett at the cover shoot for this issue. “VOP is about hitting it. But it can have soft and soothing, too,” he added, demonstrating with a luxurious roll through his shoulders. What? Is the man who put the VOP into jazz, going soft?
Indeed, soft and soothing may now play a bigger role in Hatchett’s life than it once did: He has retired from active teaching for health reasons. But if the afternoon we spent together at Broadway Dance Center is any indication, his New York connections are as strong as ever. Hatchett, who now lives in Massachusetts, held court to a constant procession of staff and faculty stopping by to say hello.
A revered teacher, Hatchett helped shape several generations of dancers. Under his sometimes gruff exterior lies a great—and yes, soft—heart. We are pleased to honor him with the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award next month at the Dance Teacher Summit.
In Technique, DT associate editor Kristin Schwab discusses Hatchett’s method and shares an eight-count move of his signature style. Also featured this month is our annual Dance Teacher Dance Directory of contact information for makers and suppliers, programs and services. If you need it for your studio or your dance career, you’ll find it here.
I hope that between competition Nationals and summer intensives you’re finding some time for personal renewal. We’re currently in high gear with preparations for the Dance Teacher Summit, where, in addition to Hatchett, we will give DT Awards to four exemplary educators and inaugurate the newest ACE Award winners. The Dance Teacher Summit is where we bring the pages of the magazine to life. I look forward to seeing you there.
Photo by Matthew Murphy