heels dance classes

Dancing in heels with Yanis Marshall

Dancing in heels has long been an industry essential in nearly every style of dance — but a challenge for dancers who have primarily trained in sneakers, flat shoes and bare feet.  And nowadays, dancing in heels is not just for the ladies — men are rocking a stiletto, too! Yanis Marshall came onto the scene as a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent, amazing the audience with his choreography to the Spice Girls…in 5-inch heels! To Marshall, the question is not, “Why do you dance in heels?” but “Why not?”

Since his television debut, Marshall has been a coach on Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance and has been touring to sold-out dance classes across the globe. Broadway Dance Center is thrilled to have Marshall back for a series of Int/Adv Heels master classes October 22-24.

Broadway Dance Center walks in New York City’s Walk for Breast Cancer

For so many women, being diagnosed with breast cancer is the most terrifying thing they’ll ever experience. Treatment can be just as difficult. It is one of the most common forms of cancer around today. Yet every year, during National Breast Cancer Month (October), hundreds of people walk in solidarity with breast cancer patients and survivors – and in an effort to raise money for research toward a cure. A group of dancers from Broadway Dance Center (BDC) has joined these walkers every year since 2006 – this year, on October 14.

A troupe of dancers from BDC will also perform for and cheer on walkers, helping to lighten the mood of what can be a very heavy and emotional experience for many involved with the walk. All will wear “Team BDC” t-shirts. Dancers will start the day at 7:45am, and walkers at 9am. On October 10 and 11, all may meet at the studio to make signs for the walk. Go here to learn more about the event and get registered for the walk. One can also donate at that link – a way to contribute to the cause if walking on that day isn’t possible.

The Ortega Twins bring Pro Action Dance to BDC  

The arena for entertainment is one that spreads across many planes. More specifically for dance, that arena can span anywhere from a one-room studio to some of the biggest stages in the world. One aspect of dance entertainment that has stood the test of time is sports entertainment. As spectators watch a football or basketball game, it is the entertainment quality at halftime that keeps them hyped and ready for the rest of the game. There is no denying that both pro and college sports teams are not only known for the great players but also for their team dancers and cheerleaders.

How do these pro and college dance teams end up with such great crowd-pleasing routines that keep everyone entertained in the stadium or while you watch at home? Here, the Ortega twins, Marina and Mina, tell us about their innovative approach to sports entertainment and choreography with Pro Action Dance.

BDC holds Dance Teacher Workshop

Get ready for another undeniably inspirational weekend! Broadway Dance Center is gearing up for this year’s annual Dance Teacher Workshop, coming up July 31 to August 2. For the second year in a row, BDC will be holding this amazing weekend in Gibney Dance’s beautiful studios at historic 890 Broadway in NYC, giving participants lots of room to move, learn and network.

Take a look at the packed schedule. There are a multitude of classes open only to workshop attendees that are led by BDC’s esteemed faculty. These aren’t your typical classes; each one is geared specifically toward helping dance educators gain insight into the teaching process as specific to student age, level and style. 

Bettye Morrow

BDC’s ‘Remembering Bettye Morrow’ Class: Commemorating an unsung tap heroine 

We all remember the names of tap greats – Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the Copasetics, Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. Looking more deeply and broadly, we see that far more dancemakers were influential and accomplished in their own ways. Sometimes it’s up to people who learned from them and worked with them to honor their legacy.

That’s what Justin Boccitto and Germaine Salsberg, BDC tap teachers, recently did in memory of tap icon Bettye Morrow, who passed away in 2016. Boccitto studied with Morrow extensively. Salsberg took Morrow’s class when she was still teaching at BDC, and “saw it as a fun challenge”. On Friday, June 29, they held an Advanced Beginner tap masterclass with Morrow’s material and in her teaching style.

Sara Mearns for So Danca

Sara Mearns to lead master class and Só Dança collection reveal

New York City Ballet Principal Sara Mearns is one of the boldest, most popular ballerinas of our time. She is musical, dynamic, intense and glamorous. And this coming Monday, July 9, Broadway Dance Center students have the chance of a lifetime to take class from Mearns and learn some of the prima ballerina’s most valuable lessons that she uses in the studio and on stage. And to make it even more exciting, this special master class will also include a reveal of the 2018 Só Dança Sara Mearns Collection, with select items to be on sale during the event and in the Shop at BDC.

The Sara Mearns Master Class & Só Dança Collection Reveal will include a 90-minute ballet class, geared toward advanced ballet dancers ages 13 and over. Ballet slippers are required, and pointe shoes are optional for barre and center work.

BDC launches Hip Hop Foundation Series

Hip hop has become almost a blanket term for so many new and unique styles of dance — street dance, locking, breaking, vogueing, commercial dance, jazz-funk, heels, popping and contemporary hip hop. Hip hop was (and still is) an evolutionary style said to have begun in the 1970s and ‘80s with the rise of hip hop music, dance crews, improv battles and television programs like Soul Train and films such as Wild Style and Breakin’.

Today, the various styles of hip hop include pop culture references, gymnastics and martial arts, fashion inspiration, hybrid with contemporary dance, and even a strong presence in musical theater. With all of these offshoots, however, it can be difficult to learn the basic fundamentals of hip hop in a dance studio setting. Because hip hop is always developing with the changing times, dance workshops and classes tend to focus on the newest, trendiest hip hop styles. But just like each ballet class has common terminology, set exercises and an understanding of the dance form’s history, so should hip hop dance.

BDC’s next Musical Theater Weekend Intensive

It’s not too late to sign up for BDC’s Musical Theater Weekend Intensive (June 23-24). This jam-packed two-day intensive is geared toward aspiring Broadway triple-threats and pre-professional performers. The workshop includes dance classes with industry-leading choreographers such as Josh Bergasse (On the Town, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Smash), Rachelle Rak (Dance Moms, Fosse), Randy Skinner (White Christmas, 42ndStreet), Sarah O’Gleby (Frozen) and Ricky Hinds (NewsiesCome From Away).

Participants will also partake in a professional seminar with a music director, mock audition with a casting director, and Q&A session with lead agent Lucille diCampli. Dancers will leave the intensive with an understanding of how to craft a professional resume, what it’s like to attend a Broadway open call, how to land an agent, and the styles and choreography of current Broadway shows.