If the New York City boys who participate in the Dancing Classrooms Academy are any indication, starting a ballroom program in your studio could be just what you need to boost your male enrollment.
When Dance Teacher editor Jenny Dalzell met the teens (Dancing Classrooms is the program made famous by the award-winning documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, released in 2005), she was surprised that so many boys voluntarily came to the weekend sessions. Yes, they’re learning how to dance, but they see it as a social occasion—and they told Jenny they like it because it’s fun! Heads up—this could be happening in your studio.
Of course, it helps that someone as animated as Broadway alum Alee Reed (on the cover) is onboard to raise the awesome factor of fox-trot and swing for this age group. In Technique, the director of the Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company demonstrates a beginning tango move, appropriate for teens.
And should you decide to take our suggestion and recruit a ballroom teacher for your school, you’ll definitely want to check out “Help Wanted” for advice on how to make a successful hire.
National Dance Week is April 26 to May 5.
What better way to celebrate NDW than to honor the man who insisted there must be a School of American Ballet before there could be a New York City Ballet? As of this month, George Balanchine has been gone for 30 years. Thankfully his legacy is alive and well, due in large measure to the efforts of dancers like Francia Russell who restage his work on behalf of The George Balanchine Foundation. Here, the co-founder of Pacific Northwest Ballet talks about the challenges of teaching the Balanchine style to a new generation of ballet dancers.
Also, check out History: Lesson Plan for a concise and easy way to share the Balanchine influence with young dancers in your studio.
Photo by Nathan Sayers