What My Teacher Taught Me: Lyvan Verdecia

Lyvan Verdecia and Melissa Fernandez When Ballet Hispánico’s Lyvan Verdecia was studying at the Cuban National Ballet School as a teenager, Martha Iris Fernandez helped him perfect his turns. “Male dancers in Cuba are known for their turns and their jumps. For me,...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Dylan Santos

Santos in Elena Kunikova’s Divertimento When Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dylan Santos was studying at the Houston Ballet Academy, his teacher Claudio Muñoz gave him the “aha” moment he needed to take his training to the next level. “I remember doing...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Eryc Taylor

Eryc Taylor Dance When choreographer Eryc Taylor was studying at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, his composition teacher Phyllis Lamhut taught him a meaningful way to approach dancemaking. “She said to me, ‘Find the gestalt in the work.’ That meant finding what the guts...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Caterina Rago

For 12 years, Italian choreographer Caterina Rago studied Graham technique with Elsa Piperno at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome. Piperno taught her to be comfortable taking risks. “She encouraged us to push beyond our limits to understand what our...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Alessandra Corona

Alessandra Corona in rehearsal with Alexandre Barranco for Ramon Oller’s Thorns of the Crown After dancing with Ballet Hispanico for 12 years, Alessandra Corona found a mentor in Zvi Gotheiner, who encouraged her to take care of her body. “He teaches you to be...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Cedar Lake's Matthew Rich

Matthew Rich knew he didn’t want to head straight to college after high school, but he wasn’t sure what path his dance career should take. It was his teacher, The Dance Zone co-owner Jami Artiga, who told him about Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and took...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Francesca Harper

Before Francesca Harper became a teacher or the artistic director of her company, The Francesca Harper Project, she was gleaning all she could from her own instructors. With Gabriela Darvash, for instance, Harper discovered that a scientific approach to ballet...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Joffrey Ballet's Christine Rocas

Christina Rocas, like any young ballerina, started out trying to dance like her teacher. Before joining the Joffrey Ballet in 2005, Rocas was part of Ballet Manila in the Philippines, where she tried to imitate the way her teacher, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, moved. After...

What My Teacher Taught Me: Sarasota Ballet's Ricardo Rhodes

Sometimes all a struggling student needs to hear is a few words of encouragement. At least, that was true for Sarasota Ballet principal Ricardo Rhodes as a teenager with Parren Ballard at Boston Ballet School. “He always believed in me, even when I didn’t...

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