Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister Program

Studio 10D at Ripley-Grier was abuzz with excitement – it was the final rehearsal of the 2012 Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister program.  The students from Broadway Dance Center’s Children and Teen Program were clad in color coordinated T-shirts matching their Broadway star big brother or sister.

In the center of the room, “little orange” was teaching her Big Sis a complicated handshake like the one in “The Parent Trap.”  “Big blue” was stage left, reviewing choreography with her “mini me.”

At 9:15pm sharp, Lainie Munro, founder and choreographer of the Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister Program, called “places” for the final run-through.

The jazzy song began, “Dancin’ Fool” from Copacabana, and the dancers began tap-dancin’ away.  The energy of the room was as bright as the dancers’ neon T-shirts.  Each pair of siblings got a chance to strut their stuff on stage before the entire cast broke into unison.  Their tapping feet and smiling faces seemed so contagious that the audience of parents found themselves clapping and cheering along with the dancers.

“I’m having a lot of fun!” said Ayonna, a Little Sister.  “Lainie pushed me further than I knew I could go as a dancer.”

Ms. Munro does challenge the young dancers with complex tap technique and character choices – but the kids step up to the plate and shine next to their Broadway siblings.

“I’m a big sister – I was always teaching my little sister and rehearsing her.  I guess I was born to be a teacher!” said Munro, who also teaches tap and theater classes at Broadway Dance Center.  “But I always longed for a big sister, or mentor, of my own to show me the ropes of becoming a Broadway performer.”

After performing in national tours and regional theaters across the country, Ms. Munro started working at Broadway Dance Center in the Children and Teen’s Program (CTP).  “It was there,” said Munro, “that I realized how talented those young dancers were and was motivated to match the kids up with professional Broadway mentors.”

Inspired by the original Big Brother/Big Sister Program, Ms. Munro founded the Broadway Big Brother/ Big Sister Program in 2001 to provide aspiring young performers ages 9-17 a unique opportunity to work with Broadway professionals one-on-one, through rehearsals and performance of a production number.

“The children gain an invaluable experience,” said Munro.  “They learn about performing/acting with a partner, staging, and professional work ethics. They learn a lot about the ‘business’ of show business and the hard work and discipline involved in making a career as a professional performer.”

“Lainie is the best – there’s truly no one like her,” said Marie, whose daughter, Mariah is in her final year at BDC’s CTP and will be heading to study pre-med at Drew University next fall.  “Lainie brings out the best in her dancers.  If you watch Lainie’s class, you think you’re watching a Broadway rehearsal.”

It is no surprise that Ms. Munro was selected as a finalist for the 2003 Woman’s Day Magazine Awards, “Women That Inspire Us”, for her work with the Broadway Big Brother/ Big Sister Program.

After an audition in the spring, children from BDC’s CTP are selected and matched with a professional dancer whose own personality, style and interests compliment the child – a true “Big Brother” or “Big Sister.”

“It’s a very personal process,” explained Munro. ” I start with picking the kids and then I go out into the theater community and try to match each kid with a performer.   I’ll call up friends or e-mail performers I’ve seen in shows or deliver a letter to the stage door.”

“Even his mom thinks Henry and I are brothers,” said Jeremy Benton, who starred in Broadway’s “42nd Street” and “The Producers” film.  “When I dance with him, I get flashbacks to when I was his age.  It’s such a gratifying experience.  And Henry’s a great little tapper – I have to work to keep up with him!”

The children meet on 4 Sunday evenings (a total of just 8 hours), rehearsing side-by-side with their Big Brother or Big Sister.  The program is entirely volunteer-based and the professionals from the Broadway and NY dance community donate their time and talent to mentor and dance with a child or teenager.

Since the Program’s inception in 2001, 115 Broadway dancers have participated as Big Brothers and Sisters. Many Little Brothers and Sisters have already gone on to professional careers in dance, such as one of this year’s Big Sisters, Gabrielle Salvatto (Dance Theatre of Harlem, Juilliard grad and Little Sister alum 2001) and Lily Balogh (New York City Ballet and Little Sister alum 2004).

“I am so proud of my daughter, Amanda,” said her father, Luis.  “Amanda has dreamt of becoming a dancer ever since we relocated to New York from Puerto Rico.  Her confidence and joy have increased so much.  The Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister program is an incredible opportunity for her, a step closer to her dream to dance on Broadway.”

We are thrilled to announce the 2012 cast of the Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister Program!

2012 Big Brothers and Sisters:

JEREMY BENTON

SUMMER BROYHILL

DENA DIGIACINTO

KELLY JACOBS

JULIA KNITEL

LEA KOHL

MICHELLE LOUCADOUX

DANELLE MORGAN

JANELLE NEAL

GABRIELLE SALVATTO

Collectively the above performers are currently appearing in or have appeared in the following Broadway shows and dance companies:

42ND STREET (Broadway Revival and 1st National Tour)

ANYTHING GOES

MARY POPPINS (Broadway and 1st National Tour)

A CHORUS LINE (Revival)

WHITE CHRISTMAS (1st National Tour)

BYE BYE BIRDIE

HAIRSPRAY

THE LITTLE MERMAID

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1st National Tour)

THE PRODUCERS (movie)

DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM

and

THE RADIO CITY ROCKETTES

The Little Brothers and Sisters range in age from 9 years old to 17 years old, and are enrolled in BDC’s Children/Teen Program:

SOFIE ABBOUD

CHEYENNE DIXON

MARIAH EUGIENIA FERRANTE

KATARINA FRADENBURG

HENRY HECHT-FELELLA

IRELAND HORAN

ANGELICA LOPEZ

AMANDA MARRERO

AYONNA SULLIVAN

MAYA WRIGHT

Lainie Munro’s Broadway Big Brother/Big Sister Program in New York City will perform in the “Choreographer’s Canvas” on Thursday May 10 at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center at 8:30pm; and also in the Broadway Dance Center Student Showcase Sunday May 13th at Symphony Space at 4:30pm and 8pm.

**For tickets, visit www.choreographerscanvas.com and www.broadwaydancecenter.com.**

If you are interested in auditioning for the program, volunteering as a Big Brother or Sister, or booking this year’s cast for a performance, please contact Lainie Munro at: Lainie@LainieMunro.com

I Want to Be a Rockette! – The Rockette Experience

If you’ve ever had dreams of performing in the Christmas Spectacular as one of the famous Radio City Rockettes, here’s your chance to experience the magic!

The Rockette Experience gives students an inside look into the world of The Radio City Rockettes.

The Experience starts with a  3-hour workshop taught by a Radio City Rockette where you will learn tap, jazz, and the world-famous Rockette kick line choreography.  You will also get to go through a “mock audition,” and have a Q&A session and Photo Op with a Rockette.  Then take the amazing Stage Door Tour of Radio City Music Hall and get tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular,  “#1 holiday show in America” — live, on stage**!

“The Rockette Experience provides valuable insight into the meticulous and exacting precision technique. Dancers are afforded the opportunity to learn authentic choreography from a Rockette and get to hone their audition skills in a non-judgmental environment.” – Tal Schapira, BDC Professional Semester alumni and assistant for the Rockette Experience

“The Rockette Experience provides each aspiring student an exciting opportunity to dance for a day in the heels of a Radio City Rockette and brings them one step closer to actually achieving that dream.”  – Lizz Picini, BDC Summer Intern Program alumni and assistant for the Rockette Experience

Requirements: Dancers must be ages 10 and up and have previous dance training in tap and jazz.  All dancers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

2012 Spring/Summer dates for the Rockette Experience:
Saturday, April 7
Saturday, April 14

Saturday, May 19
Saturday, May 20
Saturday, May 26
Sunday, May 27

Saturday, June 2
Sunday, June 3
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 10
Saturday June 16
Sunday, June 17
Saturday, June 23
Saturday, June 30

Saturday, July 7
Saturday, July 14
Saturday, July 21
Saturday, July 28

Saturday, August 4
Sunday, August 5
Saturday, August 11
Sunday, August 12

For more information on The Rockette Experience, Broadway Dance Center, registration materials, please contact Megan Shuffle at (212) 582-9304 Ext. 79 or email your questions to Rockette@bwydance.com.

**Tickets to the Christmas Spectacular are only available during the show’s November/December season.

Dancers Without Borders: BDC goes to Australia

Check out this article from “Dance Informa,” written by our own  Bonnie E. Erickson, Director of Educational Programming at Broadway Dance Center:

As Broadway Dance Center master theater teacher Jim Cooney and I looked around the room, we saw lovely young dancers standing in groups with other dancers in the identical leotards of their respective studios, with arms crossed, hips out, and expressions of trepidation – we looked at each other and smiled: a beautiful blank canvas for our work!

Jim and I had come to Australia for two weeks of workshops in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast, and we were excited to bring our message of kindness between dancers, of supporting one another in the classroom, at the audition, and on the stage to Australia’s dancers, and especially to fellowship with other dance educators to bring the dance world ever closer. Jim is the Faculty Advisor for our Educational Programming and I am the Director of Educational Programming at BDC – in these roles, Jim and I teach this message to all the dancers who come through our full-time programs at BDC, creating dancers who are “Happy to be here, and ready to work!” – a quote I must properly attribute to the extraordinary Lucille DiCampli of MSA dance agency, with whom we work on our mock auditions.

At each of the eight workshops we taught, it was exhilarating to watch these dancers go around the room, shaking hands with other dancers to get acquainted and to get past their fears, and then expanding that energy as they learned Jim’s wonderful musical theater choreography to cheer for one another, to see their hearts and minds open, and to see them fully enthralled in the joy of dance.

We were fortunate enough to secure a segment on Australia’s popular television show The Circle, and at the behest of the show’s producers, Jim quickly put together a flash mob for the show, recruiting dancers we’d met at our Melbourne workshops through the lovely directors of the studios The Space and Dancescape to perform on the show. It was so gratifying to be able to immediately put into practice that which we’d taught them – life is the audition, and you never know what might lead to a gig in this industry, and quite simply being nice can get you the job.

After each of the workshops we had a talk-back with the students, answering their questions about Broadway Dance Center and New York, especially excited to announce the planned opening in April of two new studios on the first and second floors of the building, bringing us to seven state-of-the-art studios. The students were, as you can imagine, ecstatic to imagine a schedule of over 300 classes a week in ballet, contemporary, jazz, theater, hip-hop, tap, yoga, pilates, flexibility, belly-dancing, acting, Latin, partnering, and so many more. We also spoke of our new offerings, the Original Broadway Choreography Series, the Contemporary Variations Series, our Industry Insider Series, and the exciting introduction of Parsons Dance in Residence at BDC.

While BDC’s main demographic is and always has been the walk-in dancer — New Yorkers and others who come in and simply sign up for whatever classes they want to take that day — we’re also home to four full-time programs: the International Student Visa Program, the largest and eldest of the programs; the BDC Training Program, its counterpart for American dancers of varying levels; and our two professional elite training programs for US dancers, the Summer Intern Program and the Professional Semester. The students of the ISVP hail from more than 35 countries worldwide, and comprise a vibrant community of talented, multicultural dancers who take 12 classes weekly, enjoy special master classes, rehearsals, and performances, the benefit of a full-time staff, including a student advisor, as well as one-on-one faculty mentoring. They join us for three months, six months, or a year initially, and then can extend their programs for up to three years. It is quite simply a joy to watch these students progress as they study closely with our world-class faculty, many of whom are working choreographers — often they offer the students incredible performance opportunities available only through their participation in the program.

A recent graduate of the ISVP, Jess Orcsik, is herself a studio owner in Sydney, Australia, an ambitious young entrepreneur, as well as a lovely dancer indeed. Jess loved her time at BDC, as do of course virtually all our students, and upon her return to Australia felt that the training she’d received at BDC was so powerful that she wanted to find a way to share it with the dancers of her country, perhaps during shorter visits to New York. When she contacted me with her idea, we jumped at the chance to work with her to develop The Australian Intensive, a program designed by Jess through her J.O. International Productions, whereby groups of young dancers can come to BDC to study intensively in a similar structure to the rigorous ISVP course.

As a longtime Australiophile — I have a sister who lives in Yeerongpilly, Brisbane — I had a trip planned to take a respite from New York’s winter months to the lovely Aussie summer, and so in chatting to Jess about my trip, it became obvious to both of us straightaway that we ought to combine pleasure with business and offer some workshops and do some outreach into the burgeoning dance community of Australia. We’ve had many Aussie dancers in the ISVP through the years, and have been delighted to watch them getting better and better — the training in Australia is clearly on the rise; we’ve had gorgeous dancers like Amy Campbell from So You Think You Can Dance and Dena Kaplan from Dance Academy come through the program, and we’re seeing more and more dancers of their caliber apply to the program.

I like to think that the founder of BDC, the late Richard Ellner, would feel that his dream of one all-encompassing studio, with the best dance faculty in the world, offering the finest dance instruction at all levels for all people who want to dance, a veritable “home away from home” for dancers, is indeed thriving here in the heart of the Broadway theater district. Even more, I hope he’d feel proud to see that rather than resting on our laurels, we’re all working hard to further this dream and welcome ever more dancers from around the world into the BDC-red hallways of our studios. It is now ever more important to all of us at BDC that we be inspiring the world to dance!

A day in the life of an ISVP

As I walk through the winding halls of Broadway Dance Center, whether its 9am or 9pm, my ears are filled with the the most beautiful languages from around the globe – Australian accents, Japanese hip hop rehearsals, and Swedish jokes that I wish I could understand.  The International Student Visa Program (ISVP) invites dancers from all over the world to experience unparalleled training at Broadway Dance Center.  ISVP students choose a program of 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year of intensive study at BDC – a schedule of 12 classes per week, closed master classes, immersion events, and performance opportunities.

Interested in becoming and ISVP?  Learn more about this incredible program, and take a look at “A Day in the Life” of some of our current ISVP students!

Maria Malmstrom

Hip Hop – Sweden

8:30am – Wake up and eat my usual Swedish breakfast of crisp bread, egg and caviar.

9:30am – Hop on the subway to Broadway Dance Center.

10:30am – Voguing class with Benny Ninja!

12:00pm – Eat lunch and chill with my ISVP friends.

3:00pm – Ballet with Peter Schabel, such a great teacher.

4:30pm – World jazz with Cecilia Marta.  This class is life-changing!

6:00pm – Take some time to stretch out my sore muscles.

8:30pm – Voguing rehearsal to the Performance Project.

11:00pm – Head to Brooklyn Bowl with some friends to dance our hearts out some more!

Pasqualino Beltempo

Ballet – Italy

6:45am – Wake up and eat some cereal for breakfast.

7:15am – Get ready and pack my backpack.

7:45am – Take the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

8:30am – Hope off at 42nd Street and grab a coffee as I head to BDC.

9:00am – Theater master class with Ricky Hinds.

10:30am – Ballet with Dorit Koppel.

12:00pm – Ballet with Dorit again!

1:45pm – Yoga with Amber Paul. Om.

3:00pm – Take a shower.

3:15pm – Take the subway home to eat and relax.

7:00pm – Head to Columbia University for a workshop with Donna McKechnie (the original Cassie from “A Chorus Line”)

11:00pm – Back home after a long day!

Maria Del Rosario Aviles

Contemporary – Bolivia

8:30am – Wake up, make breakfast, and prepare lunch and snacks for the day.

10:00am-2:00pm – Pushing Progress (contemporary training program) at DANY Studios.

2:00pm – Time to have a late lunch.

3:00pm – Hip hop class with Jared Jenkins.

4:30pm – World jazz with Cecilia Marta, one of my favorite teachers and human beings!

6:00pm – Eat some snacks and take a quick nap on the BDC bleachers.

7:30pm – Wacking with Princess Lockerooo.

9:00pm – Contemporary with Dana Foglia, another of my favorite teachers and choreographers!

10:30pm – Head home, shower, make a yummy milkshake (banana, strawberry, honey, ice cream, and milk!), spend time with my roommates.

1:00am – Finally go to asleep!

Chris Stuewe

Hip Hop – Canada

7:00am – Wake up, prepare lunch, and pack bag for the day.

7:45am – Eat breakfast and leave for BDC.

8:00am – Rehearsal for the Performance Project.

11:00am – Contemporary with Tracie Stanfield.

12:30 – Cool down and stretch on my own.

1:00pm – Grab lunch and return to BDC to eat and rest.

4::30pm – Hip hop with Luam.

6:00pm – Rehearsal with Autumn Dones for the Student Showcase.

7:30pm – Contemporary with Autumn Dones, too!

9:00pm – Hip hop with Brian and Scott Nicholson.

10:30pm – Leave BDC and walk home.

11:00pm – Shower, eat, check e-mail and Facebook, watch TV, and then go to bed.

Nallely Aguirre

Jazz – Mexico

7:00am – Wakeup.  Eat a bagel with cream cheese and a glass of orange juice for breakfast.

7:15am – Take a shower and get pretty for class.

8:20am – Walk to BDC!

9:00am – Lindy Hop Master Class.

11:00am – My favorite class with Tracie Stanfield!  We danced to “Shelter” from “The XX.”

12:30pm – Head home for a nap. Zzzzz

2:30pm – Grab lunch at Whole Foods (Union Square) with my fellow ISVP, Andy Caballero.  I’ve got a mango juice, some fruit, and a sandwich.

3:30pm – Shop at Forever 21 to find a costume for the April Performance Project.

4:15pm – Walk around Union Square (Barnes and Noble, dog park, etc.).

6:00pm – Take the subway back home to eat dinner and relax.

Megumi Nakao

Jazz – Japan

9:00am – Wakeup, eat breakfast (some cereal and black tea), and chill out.

12:00pm – Stiletto Heels class with Dana Foglia.

2:30pm – Jazz class with my mentor, Michelle Barber.

4:30pm – Pilates with Joy Karley.

6:00pm – Dinner with my ISVP friends from Japan at Izakaya (Japanese restaurant).

7:30pm – Rehearsal for Autumn Dones’ piece for the Student Showcase.

9:00pm – Home for bed!

On Tuesday, I wake up 9:00, eat breakfast and chill out, and go to take Dana’s heels, Michelle’s Jazz, Joy’s Pilates, rehasal of Autumn’s piece and sometimes go for dinner with JP friends afterwards

Zoe visits BDC!

Dressed to the nines in bright tutu skirts, pigtail braids, and multicolor tights, students from Leggz Ltd. Dance in Rockville, NY anxiously awaited the arrival of their special guest teacher for a master class at Broadway Dance Center.  That special teacher was Zoe, Elmo’s ballet-dancing buddy from Sesame Street.

As the tiny toddlers sat with their legs dangling off the bleachers, one girl tugged on my shirt and asked where Zoe was.  I quickly responded, “She’s on her way!”  “Parking her car?” Replied the curious child.  “She just got off the subway.” I answered.  Before I could get myself in any real trouble from the girl’s questions, a bright orange fluffy ballerina turned the corner.  “ZOE!” screamed all the little girls as they jumped up to give Zoe a huge hug.

And the cuteness commenced!  After a quick warm-up, the dancers practiced their model walks across the studio and learned a sassy jazz combination.  Watch these adorable videos of the Leggz Ltd. dancers (and Zoe) showing off their best moves!

Zoe comes to BDC

Seize the Day! – Interview with Ricky Hinds, Associate Director for “Newsies” on Broadway

Before class I was able to sit down with Ricky Hinds for a quick interview – take a look!

What was your dance training like growing up?
I started dancing when I was four.  My aunt and uncle owned a dance studio in Connecticut so they pulled me in at a very, very young age.  So I grew up very heavy in the competition world, that’s all we did – tons of competitions.  My last three years of high school I went to Interlochen, a performing arts high school that was very strongly routed in ballet.  And then, since I’m from Connecticut, I would come to Broadway Dance Center all the time.  And then after I graduated high school I moved straight here to New York and just started auditioning and performing for about 5 years and then transitioned over to choreographing and directing.

Knowing that you wanted to pursue musical theater, did you also have voice and acting training growing up?
I started my voice training at my performing arts high school.  But back then, I feel you were sort of able to get away with being just a “dancer” in a Broadway show or musicals where now the casts are so small you have to do everything.

What was auditioning like when you first moved to New York City?
Not unlike what it is now.  I did two non-equity tours, “Fosse” and “CATS.”  And then I got my equity card doing the show “We Will Rock You,” the Queen musical in Las Vegas.  I did a couple regional productions too.  My big mentor in New York was Andy Blankenbuehler, so when I told him that I wanted to transition over into choreography he asked me to assist him on “It’s A Wonderful Life: the musical” at Papermill Playhouse.

What was it like to choreograph a brand new musical like “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “Newsies?”  You don’t have the influences of previous choreographers such as Fosse’s “Sweet Charity.”
I’m the associate director for “Newsies,” and we did months and months of pre-production where we worked to get everybody on the same page.  That’s the most important thing – that as a choreographer, you share the same vision as the director.  And it extends way beyond just the artistic team – it includes the lighting, set, and costume designers.  Everyone needs to be so clear that when we start rehearsals no one is questioning.  There’s a lot of trust and awareness.  I’ve also worked on projects where directors don’t work that way, however.  You know, where you’re flying by the seat of your pants! – but that can be fun too!  But for me, my personal process is a lot of prep, a lot of pre-production, a lot of communication – I do my best work in that atmosphere.


How did you transition into directing?
I kind of go back and forth between choreographing and directing.  The day after opening night for “Newsies” I fly down to Kansas City to choreograph a production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”  And I come back and I’m working as choreographer and director of a tour of “Jekyll and Hyde.”  So, it’s good – I don’t think I see myself as only a choreographer or only a director.  I also like a blend of the choreography and directing roles together so I am always active and involved.  “Jekyll and Hyde” will be interesting for me, though, because it will be more about the acting than about the big dance numbers with turns and high kicks.

You are in the midst of a really exciting time with the opening of “Newsies,” your first musical on Broadway.  What was the process like of taking a movie that, dare I say, flopped, and turning it into a musical?
Our new book writer is Harvey Fierstein and he was great; It just took somebody with fresh eyes coming in.  And the way Disney works is that they had done all these workshops and readings before they had attached a director or choreographer to it.  When we came on board, the entire show was written for a turntable…And our director said, “Absolutely not.” (Our biggest fear was that these boys with dirt on their faces in 1899, on a turntable, would look too much like “Les Mis”). And it was good to sort of start over a little bit.  Once we came in, we had about 9 months before we started auditioning people, so we really had a lot of time to prepare.  And then it wasn’t until we had our cast that we then developed it further – because everyone in the show has a line, has a character name, there’s no ensemble.  The cast that we have now have helped further the script.  It’s been quite a process, two years now – and we’re still making little tweaks here and there up until Thursday night’s opening.

What’s your opinion about having a cast without an ensemble and the idea that you can’t just be a dancer on Broadway anymore?
I think it’s fantastic.  What’s great about our director is that he made each actor write out a history of his or her character.  And then we all had to sit around and talk about these characters.  And I think as a dancer, it’s really gratifying to feel like you’re not just the fifth dancer from the left in the third line and you have to dance like everybody else.  I mean, there are certainly moments in the show where the dancing has to be clean and in unison, but there are other moments where it is more of “what would your character do here?” “how would your character react to this information?”  And I think at the end of the day that’s what we all want to do – have a voice, a personality, individuality.

How does “Newsies” compare to the other Disney shows that have been/still are on Broadway?
I think it’s great – it’s fun for people to come in with very little knowledge of the material of “Newsies.”  What was also a breath of fresh air for us was not having to be worried about “how is that fish going to swim?” or “how is that teapot going to pirouette?”  For Disney, I think, it was sort of a relief to have a show that’s all humans!

What are your goals for the future as an artist?

I think everyone has this sort of thought that Broadway is the ultimate.  For me, I think it’s just good theater – whether that’s Broadway or regional theater or a tour or in Europe or here.  I just want to do good theater.  You know, something that touches people, that people respond to.  I would love to only say that I’m going to do Broadway shows!  But I really have had so many amazing experiences at theaters all across the country.

Check out Ricky’s choreography reel.
And be sure to get your tickets to “Newsies!”

Where are they now?

Want to know what’s up with BDC’s Training Programs Alumni? Take a look and be amazed!

KEY: PS = Professional Semester, SIP = Summer Intern Program, ISVP = International Student Visa Program, TP = Training Program
  • Lexie Mollica (PS Fall ’11) is working as the backstage director for “Turn It Up Dance Challenge” competitions.
  • Matt Tremblay (PS Fall ’11) is heading a boys program at Downtown Dance Factory and was featured in TV commercials for Powerade and Bodyglide. Matt recently signed with Bloc Talent Agency.
  • Nicholas Caycedo (PS Fall ’11) was featured in the critically acclaimed Off-Off-Broadway premier of a new musical called, La Mama Cantata, celebrating the life of the late Miss Ellen Stewart, founder of La Mama E.T.C., by Tony-nominated composer-lyricist, Liz Swados. He also recorded a cast album which will be released shortly.
  • Jessica de la Cruz (PS Fall ’11) assisted Sheila Barker for BDC’s Winter Intensive.
  • Carissa Midkiff and Samantha Glennerster (PS Fall ’11) performed in Brice Mousset’s (BDC teacher) piece for the Peridance Faculty Showcase.
  • Rachel Ferretti and Emily Gallo-Lopez (PS Fall ’11) performed in BDC teacher, Jeremy McQueen’s company performance at Dancers Responding to Aids’ (DRA) “Dance From the Heart” event in January.  Both dancers will be heading out to sea on cruise ships soon;  Rachel will dance on Disney Cruise Line and Emily will perform on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

  • Olivia Conlin
     (PS Fall ’11) recently signed with Wehmann Agency for modeling and NUTS Talent Agency for acting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Jenifer Dillow (PS Fall ’11) will perform as Belle on Disney Cruise Line and travel to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada, and New England. She completed her many musical theater auditions for colleges and has already received several merit scholarships.
  • Kelsey Netting (PS Fall ’11) will be pursuing a dance major at Loyola Marymount University next fall. She is currently continuing her dance studies through BDC’s Training Program.  Check out Kelsey in dance apparel advertisement in Dance Magazine.
  • Latoyia Everett (PS Fall ’11) is now a Norwegian Jade Dancer and was just asked to be Dance Captain. She is currently in Tampa, Florida practicing and then will leave to Barcelona, Spain at theend of February and will be at sea until September.
  • Mary Callahan (PS Fall ’11) recently signed with MSA Agency and will be dancing during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and on tour with Lily Halpern. Mary is also pursuing a degree in Writing for Social Change at NYU.
  • Daniel Montera (PS Fall ’11) will be performing at the Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, opening a brand new dance revue show.
  • Kristie Ergas (SIP ’11) will be performing in a cabaret show at Don’t Tell Mama’s called “Get Happy: The Great Depression Then And Now.”
  • Tori Simeone (SIP ’11) performed at Fashion Week for Tommy Hilfiger and danced for Cara Quici (keep your eye out for Tori on “The Real Housewives of NYC”).
  • Zanza Steinberg (PS Spring ’11) will be embarking on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dancer. Zanza is also artistic director of Alma NYC Theater Company.
  • Stephanie Brooks (PS Spring ’11) is currently dancing with Atmosphere, a company of Project Dance and is the co-founder of Alma NYC Theater Company with fellow Pro-Semester alumni Zanza Steinberg. She is represented by MSA Agency and also teaches dance, pilates, and zumba in NYC.
  • Jessica Seavor (PS Spring ’11) is heading to Fireside Theatre to perform as Maria in “9 to 5: The Musical.”
  • Tal Schapira (PS Spring ’11) and Lizz Picini (SIP ’11) are assistants at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockette Experience and Rockette Summer Intensive.
  • Alison DeVita (PS Spring ’11) is performing as a dancer with Dublin Worldwide Productions in “Dancing Queen” and “The Spirit of Christmas.”
  • Lexi Dysart(PS Fall ’11) was accepted to the Young Choreographer’s Festival in New York City.Nikki Croker (PS Fall ’11) was recently signed to MSA Agency.
  • Alexa Erbach (PS Fall ’11) will be performing in a new musical entitled, “Jack’s Back” at T. Scheiber Studio. Along with performing in the ensemble, Alexa is also assisting choreographer, Bronwen Carson on the project.
  • Ankush Arora (ISVP 2011-’12) is teaching Latin Dancing and Bollywood in 3 institutes in India,Kolkata. After returning from BDC he was also invited to 4th Chennai Salsa Festival (India) as a guest choreographer to teach a salsa workshop.
  • Erica Day (ISVP 2010-2011) is performing as Dance Captain on Norwegian Cruise line and worked with choreographers Rachelle Rak and Tiger Martina.
  • Nicole Klerer(PS Fall ’10) is a New Jersey Devils Cheerleader and works at BDC as the Educational Programs Student Advisor.

You can find out more about BDC’s Training Programs by clicking here!

BDC February Performance Project

Performance Project, February 2012

A big “thank you” to all of the students who choreographed and performed in BDC’s February Performance Project.  Studio 5 was crowded with family and friends who came to watch our students showcase their original work in styles ranging from hip hop to vocal performance to contemporary.  We would also like to congratulate our three winners of the “Outstanding Student Award,” Malcolm Buchanan, Chris Stuewe, and Kyle Breen.“Being named outstanding student was such an honor, with all the hard work and dedication that each and every student puts into their classes and every day life to be pick out of such an amazing group is truly an amazing feeling. i can’t thank the staff and faculty of bdc enough as well as my friends for making these months what they have been.” – Chris Stuewe”I am humbled and honored to say that I was given the Outstanding Student Award for the month of March at my school (Broadway Dance Center). Yay!!! Unending thanks go to my fellow students who inspire me to stretch harder, balance longer, and take more classes; my many teachers who give me extra attention and push me in my abilities; my mentor Dorit Koppel who has been on me from the first class; and of course the administrators BonnieE, Autumn Dizzzzones, NikkiK, and Julie!!! You guys keep me going!!!” – Kyle Breen

For those of you who were unable to attend the Performance Project, take a look at some of the dances here:

Video 1 – Brazil
Video 2 – Dreamgirls Medley
Video 3 – Beyonce Hip Hop
Video 4 – Circus

The State of NYC Dance

Dance/NYC held the “State of NYC Dance” Symposium on Sunday, February 26th at Gibney Dance Center.  Our PR Director, April Cook, and our Marketing Director, Emily Bass, were two of the nearly two hundred industry attendees.  Several BDC students also volunteered at the event by checking-in guests and speakers, monitoring the panel discussions, and directing attendees to the various breakout sessions.

The jam-packed day investigated the current state of dance in New York City and provided panel discussions and networking opportunities for artists, advocates, funders, policymakers, managers, scholars, and audiences.  One of the six beautiful studios at the Gibney Dance Center housed Dance/NYC’s SmART Bars, 30-minute individual consultations with arts consultants regarding topics of business administration, technology, advertising, and fundraising.  The symposium also included movement classes with Andrea Miller, Sarah Donneley, Patrick Corbin, and Doug Elkins.

Dance NYC’s recent Symposium on the state of NYC dance was incredibly enlightening. It is so important for us to continue our efforts in the growth of our community and I am thankful to Dance NYC for providing the platform for related discussions and the building of relationships. Thank you to all who were involved!” – Emily Bass (BDC Marketing/Events Coordinator)”I greatly appreciated Dance NYC’s efforts and Gibney Dance Studio’s hospitality in bringing the dance community together to discuss current topics in our field. The “Meet the Press” panel was one of the highlights of the day for me. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to hear from dance critics and their views on what their roles and responsibilities are to the choreographer, the dancer and the audience member.” – April Cook (BDC Public Relations)

Visit Dance/NYC’s website to learn more about this year’s symposium and sign-up to volunteer or attend next year’s incredible event!