Magazine article Dance Magazine

From Dancer to Dean

Magazine article Dance Magazine

From Dancer to Dean

Article excerpt

After being a dancer, many transitions are possible. A good one leads to the next best place. Take the case of Jeff Satinoff: faunlike poster-boy for the Eliot Feld Ballet in the late seventies, endlessly expressive and winning in the solos Feld fashioned for him, masterful and masculine in Feld's partnering vocabulary. How does the star of some of the choreographer's most beguiling works--Harbinger, Intermezzo, A Footstep of Air, and At Midnight--come to be dean of dance at a public high school for the arts?

"I didn't have a clue about how to run a dance department," admits the fiftyish Satinoff, wearing glasses but sporting the impish grin of youth. Is there truly nothing about his dance career that prepared him to run West Palm Beach's highly regarded Dreyfoos School of the Arts?

Satinoff has been dean for 12 years now, administering a dance department that trains 150 students each year. He credits principal Ed Dewey for helping him understand the issues and challenges of the public school system--parent/teacher and school board relations, for example, and the pressure of meeting standards. "In this climate of the expectation of higher grades, it is wonderful how our school continues to survive and is strongly supported by the board."

"With Eliot, you were there simply as a tool for his work," Satinoff recalls. "He had such integrity when he approached his work. He was so fully committed that you gave 100%, and there was great learning underlying the experience. There was a strength of character in the commitment to do the right thing. You learned that dance is an art form that requires this kind of commitment and focus. This is what we are teaching our students at Dreyfoos."

After leaving Feld, Satinoff started choreographing as artistic director of Lake Erie and Charleston Ballets. But when he and his ballet dancer wife Martha had their son, priorities changed. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.