Tag: music

For Omari Wiles, Teaching Musicality Is About the Rhythm, Not the Counts

For many teachers, the counts of a song are the starting place for developing students’ relationship to the music. But not for Omari Wiles, Founding Father of the legendary vogueing house, House of NiNa Oricci, and founder of the Les Ballet AFRIK company. He prefers to start by encouraging dancers to feel the rhythm of a song instead of “drilling a bunch of numbers into their heads,” as he describes it. “When I’m teaching, it’s about understanding the music first, instead of ‘This is what we’re going to do to this music.’”

Afaliah Tribune Makes Age-Appropriate Hip-Hop Music for Class

Finding age-appropriate hip-hop music can be a struggle. Choreographer Afaliah Tribune addresses this common dilemma for hip-hop teachers by making her own original tracks on GarageBand. “I love experimenting with live music, and my students think it’s fun, too,” says Tribune, who is an adjunct professor of dance at New York University. “There are so […]

Expand Your Students' Musical Literacy and They'll Grow as Dancers

Teachers from coast to coast are pushing students to move outside the constraints of popular music. There is a consensus that the earlier you introduce varied musical forms, the more adept and adaptable a dancer’s musicality will be. New York–based jazz scholar and teacher Melanie George notices that many students’ relationships to music can be […]

Rachel Kreiling Learned Musicality at Abby Lee Miller's Studio Long Before 'Dance Moms'

While training with Abby Lee Miller in Pittsburgh, Rachel Kreiling underestimated the studio’s requirement of enrolling in every class. The versatile curriculum (tap, ballet, hip hop, modern, acro, lyrical and jazz) paired with Miller’s unconventional teaching style, since showcased on “Dance Moms,” greatly impacted Kreiling’s own style and relationship to music. “Abby would play the […]

Derek Mitchell Gravitates Toward Classic Pop Artists for His Street Jazz Class

“Popular music has an overall energy that lends itself to the street-jazz style,” says Derek Mitchell. But over the last eight years or so, the choreographer, who also teaches contemporary, jazz funk and musical theater, has noticed a lack of great musicality and interesting lyrics. As a result, Mitchell’s music searches often gravitate toward the […]