Magazine article Dance Teacher

Student Success Stories

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Student Success Stories

Article excerpt

GESEL MASON

Booker T. Washington, 1989

The University of Utah, 1994

Mason/Rhymes Productions, Inc., artistic director and co-founder

"My classroom memories of Lily are basically of her chasing us across the floor, screaming and yelling in encouragement-something that I've adopted in my own teaching. She would just do whatever it took to get us really moving and dancing.

I remember talking with Lily about how I take class. I used to stand in the back, because it took me a little longer to pick up combinations. And Lily imitated what I looked like while I was standing there-sometimes my mouth would hang open-and she told me that she knew that I was paying attention, but that I had to look truly present, too. Her little comments like that stuck with me; that's a correction I give to my own students now.

Later in life, I asked Lily, 'Did you ever imagine that I'd have my own company, like I do today?' And she said, without hesitating, 'Yup.' She has that ability to see the future, to see the potential that you don't always see in yourself. Its a kind of invisible support, the confidence she has in her students."

JAY FRANKE

Booker T. Washington, 1993

The Juilliard School, 1997

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

Chicago Dancing Festival co-founder

"When I went to Booker T. I pretty much had only had tap and jazz in my background and I was set on going into musical theater. I studied ballet of course and reluctantly took modern. My senior year, it came time for youngARTS Week, and Lily and Dr. Roseann Cox came to me and said, 'Well, you're entering in modem.' I said, 'I'm against modem, I can't do modern, I don't like dancing barefoot.' Lily created a solo for me and inevitably I got selected to go to Miami in modern dance. It was kind of the catalyst for me, because that's where I met Maria Grandy and Carolyn Adams from Juilliard. …

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