Magazine article Dance Magazine

Never Sit Still: Ehud Krauss Teaches Dance to At-Risk Youth

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Never Sit Still: Ehud Krauss Teaches Dance to At-Risk Youth

Article excerpt

When asked why he's spent 32 years teaching dance to more disadvantaged kids than he can count, Ehud Krauss says he's got shpilkes. "It's Yiddish for having a fire in your tucheshe explains. "I've never been able to sit still."

Krauss, 69, studied ballet, jazz and modern while growing up on a kibbutz in Israel. He later performed all three with various companies and productions in Europe and later California and New York City, where he continued his training under Gus Giordano, Luigi, Alvin Ailey and other major dance artists. In 1977, he settled in the Bay Area and founded Zohar School of Dance in 1979, teaching his own brand of jazz.

His outreach program, IndepenDANCE, was launched a few years later when a middle school teacher in a tough neighborhood mentioned that dance might help her students. The program quickly expanded to 12 other schools and two community centers, with classes split among four teachers. Funding came mainly from local philanthropies.

If a school didn't have a dance studio, Krauss installed sprung floors and mirrors in an empty classroom with the help of school faculty and students' parents. "The idea was not just to build a dance studio, but to get the parents involved in the kids' education," he says. He invited parents to watch rehearsals, and he put on competitions and performances, and taught students traditional folklorico dances of their home countries.

However, students often missed class. "I found out many were in juvenile detention for drugs," he says. …

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.