Magazine article Dance Teacher

Billy Bell

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Billy Bell

Article excerpt

Music to inspire creativity BY RACHEL ZAR

Billy Bell's dance career revolves around creation-crafting new opportunities for himself, inventing new movement and inspiring new dancers. After his remarkable technique and ethereal movement quality got him to the Top 5 on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 7, he founded his own company, Lunge Dance Collective; performed for two and a half years with the recently disbanded Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; and, in February, joined the cast of the interactive show Sleep No More in New York City. Despite his performance schedule, Bell still finds time to teach improvisation-the ultimate incubator for creation.

As a faculty member for several popular conventions, Bell is an expert at adjusting his class to challenge whoever's in the room. "If I see that students have a gap in their knowledge, I'll dive more heavily into that- so I guess I sort of improv my improv class," says Bell, who carefully selects tracks for movement, but often leaves the order of the music to chance, as well. "Sometimes I'll just click shuffle on my iPod. That way, my students never get to adapt, since they can't predict what's coming next. Something completely atmospheric could lead into something like Justin Timberlake."

[Sidebar]

Artist: Fleetwood Mac

Song: "Albatross"

"I use this for deep inhales and exhales at the beginning of a warm-up. It's short, and it just makes you want to breathe for a second. It's the perfect song to start class with positive energy."

Artist: Edit

Song: "Jazz Night"

"If I do a more structured warmup, I'll use this for abs, arms and upper-body strength conditioning. …

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