Magazine article Dance Teacher

Dancing through Life

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Dancing through Life

Article excerpt

Professional Children's School dance alumni reflect on their careers at a fall symposium, by joe sullivan

"Self-motivated learning. That skill set is the greatest skill set you can build," said Lane Harwell, Professional Children's School (PCS) alumnus and executive director of Dance/NYC, at PCS' fall symposium, "Dancing through Life, Living through Dance." Moderator Tanya Rivero Warren had just asked, "How has the PCS education helped you?" She herself attended PCS while at School of American Ballet (SAB) and later New York City Ballet. Now she is an anchorwoman with "ABC News Now."

For a hundred years, stage kids in New York City have taken refuge in the flexible learning environment PCS provides. Most schools wouldn't tolerate students being absent for a month or more to tour with a musical or appear on a TV show. But PCS has given an academic education to 20,000 and counting who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance.

Starry-eyed PCS dance students listened intently as Harwell, Rivero Warren and five other alumni shared anecdotes and advice. Themes that ran through the symposium were self-reliance, strong focus on academics, support and accountability.

Steven Melendez, New York Theatre Ballet dancer and Ballet School NY faculty member, underscored the value of the PCS community. "Meeting other male dancers my age was really, really valuable. Discussing performing arts with people who are in them is different than discussing them with someone on the street. It can't be overvalued being around people who are as passionate as you are," he said. …

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