Magazine article Dance Teacher

The Competition Issue

Magazine article Dance Teacher

The Competition Issue

Article excerpt

What a treat it was to stand backstage while Brian Friedman taught at The PULSE On Tour convention in New York in July. The fact that his right arm was in a sling (surgery for a labrum tear that at press time he reports is healing nicely) didn't seem to slow him down-check out our video clip at dance-teacher.com. But he expressed to me afterward how frustrating it was that he couldn't dance full-out.

His advanced students arrived at class already warmed up, so they could immediately dig into a complex combination in the ganky style Friedman is known for (see page 58). Wearing a headset, he was constantly breaking things down to help the dancers not only get the steps but to also grasp the right artistic expression. "Take your time to make step eight a little more fabulous," he said about one section. "It's about two percent technique and 98 percent style. So if you're not bringing something to it, you've got nothing." His imagery was as unique as his moves. For one expansive arm movement, he suggested: "It's your subjects down there and you're giving them your wealth." Friedman gives us some of his wealth in Victoria Looseleaf's profile on page 54.

Speaking of wealth, this issue is full of ways to make your busy studio life easier, from putting parents to work as volunteers (page 98) to introducing partnering to your students (page 86). In Technique (page 66), the co-founders of Complexions Contemporary Ballet give partnering a twist-literally-as they demonstrate counterbalance.

Whether you're outfitting your company for the competition circuit, or a dance team for halftime, one of the biggest challenges is finding a costume style that looks good on everyone. …

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