Tag: technique & artistry

Teaching Students to Use Breath and Momentum to Achieve an Airy Movement Quality

Dancing the role of Giselle or performing in one of José Limón’s many iconic works might be a career goal for many dance students. These roles—and many other dream parts in a variety of dance styles—require a floaty, seemingly effortless, movement style. However, according to Helen Crawford, a former first soloist and a current répétiteur […]

No More Wandering Eyes: How to Help Students Develop a Strong Focus

In dance, the eyes rarely receive the same attention as the feet or the back. And yet, says Ragamala Dance Company founder and bharatanatyam teacher Ranee Ramaswamy, “when someone uses their eyes well, you feel they are dancing for you.” Indeed, when wielded with intention and clarity, the eyes can be a powerful tool for […]

A PT’s Tips for Helping Your Students Get Stronger, Longer Balances

Dancers who can balance forever—whether on pointe, on a partner’s shoulders or in impossibly challenging positions—can seem like magicians, effortlessly mocking the laws of physics. Though balancing comes easier to some dancers than others, the elements that make for long, strong balances are less mysterious than they may seem: “It really comes down to your […]

How to Teach Your Students to Share Weight

No matter how well-trained your students are, when they’re suddenly faced with dancing with another human, panic can ensue. Whether they’re learning to partner in ballet, taking their first contact improvisation class or delving into a ballroom style, the foundation of almost all partnering is weight-sharing, the basics of which extend across genres. Introduce your […]

How Shelly Hutchinson Helps Dancers Find Their “Million-Dollar Jump”

In contemporary teacher Shelly Hutchinson’s jumps and turns classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, she often asks her students to find their “million-dollar jump.” “Where’s the jump that’s going to make you rich? Where’s the jump that’s going to make you believe in yourself?,” she asks. That’s because, for Hutchinson, jumping high […]

How to Help Your Dancers Fully Embody Character Onstage—Even the Ones They Struggle to Relate to

Telling a cohesive story in a ballet is no easy task. After all, ballets don’t typically come with a script for an audience to follow, so it’s entirely up to the dancers to make sure the viewer understands what’s going on via dance. Plus, some of ballet’s most beloved characters—swans, fairies, sylphs—are often the hardest […]