Tag: technique

Using Weight Shifts to Teach New Dance Styles

When dance students specialize in a specific style, they often become accustomed to moving in specific ways. However, in today’s ever-diversifying dance landscape, dancers should expect to be asked to move with variety, often blending styles or switching between multiple genres over the course of a single work.  Learning to shift weight is key to […]

Dexterous Digits: How to Teach Hand and Finger Articulation and Expressivity

In flamenco, the hands and fingers play many different roles. Clapping, snapping, body percussion, slower movements that complement fast footwork, and even playing an instrument are all tools of the trade, says Xianix Barrera, a Bessie-nominated flamenco dancer and the founder of Xianix Barrera Flamenco Company. Flamenco dancers also use their hands and fingers to […]

Megan Williams' Whole-Body Approach to Correcting Alignment and Technique

Have you ever looked at a student’s posture and said: “Close your ribs” or “Don’t grip your glutes” or “Use your abdominals more”? While that pinpointed correction may or may not have achieved the desired results in the moment, such phrases naturally raise a bigger question: “But how?” Not all verbal cues are equal to […]

Paige Cunningham Caldarella Keeps Cunningham Technique Relevant for Students at Columbia College Chicago

It’s the last class of the spring semester, and Paige Cunningham Caldarella isn’t letting any of her advanced contemporary students off the hook. After leading them through a familiar Merce Cunningham–style warm-up, full of bounces, twists and curves, she’s thrown a tricky five-count across-the-floor phrase and a surprisingly floor-heavy adagio at the dancers. Now, near […]

How Irene Dowd Teaches Anatomy Through Movement

Irene Dowd’s third-year students at The Juilliard School sound more like they’re in medical school than a dance class, citing complex kinesiology terms and muscle names, like multifidus and iliocostalis. But instead of memorizing the vocabulary with index cards and textbooks, the students in Dowd’s anatomy/kinesiology class come ready to move. “Motor-learning specialists have found […]