Gender sensitivity in the studio

Being sensitive to gender identity in the classroom

Gender identity can be a sensitive topic. It is an evolving and ongoing conversation, and at Broadway Dance Center, it’s something that’s respected a great deal. BDC strives to make all its students feel comfortable as they step into the studio, honoring them in the way they wish to be seen, while simultaneously providing an appropriate setting to grow, discover and learn. 

We caught up with several BDC teachers to hear how they approach sensitivity to all their students in the classroom, and how that awareness can have an impact on the dance community at large. 

Hannah Molloy. Photo by Michael Mandolfo.

Meet the recipients of BDC’s Richard Ellner Scholarships 

If you don’t know the name “Richard Ellner”, you should. He is the man behind Broadway Dance Center and the reason why we’re able to enjoy dozens of fun classes with working choreographers and well-known teachers each week. Ellner was a life-long lover of the performing arts, although he didn’t take a dance class himself until the age of 52! He had visions of a home for dance in the heart of NYC, where dancers could receive diversified training from the best in the business, all under one roof. So, 35 years ago, in 1984, Ellner founded BDC. 

To honor Ellner’s legacy and contribution to the dance community, BDC has announced recipients of the Richard Ellner Scholarships, awarded to three students of BDC’s Professional Semester Program. The generous Scholarships will cover half and full tuition costs for these dancers. Here, get to know the scholarship recipients and why they’re so thrilled to be training at BDC. 

BDC Student Showcase

Student Showcase: A performance opportunity for all 

Sure, there can be so much fulfillment and joy in taking dance class. You can develop your technique, learn new skills, get a good workout, condition your body, meet new people. But how can you take your dance training to the next level? By taking your experience to the stage and performing. 

And performing doesn’t have to be solely for professionals. Broadway Dance Center celebrates that dancers of all levels and ages should have the opportunity to dance on stage, with lights, makeup, original choreography, the whole deal. Coming up this May 19, at NYC’s Symphony Space, is the BDC Student Showcase, a performance experience that is open to all students of all levels. 

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.

Give thanks, Go dance!

A happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Broadway Dance Center!  What better way to express your gratitude for dance (and dance off that turkey!) than to dance for a cause?

Next week (November 24-December 1) Broadway Dance Center will donate a portion of the proceeds from select classes to Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA).

Dancers Responding to AIDS is a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Funds raised by DRA are distributed through Broadway Cares to AIDS and family-service organizations nationwide and to the essential social service programs of The Actors Fund. The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS information below is inclusive of DRA’s efforts.

images1

Participating faculty include:

  • Justin Boccitto
  • Jamie Salmon
  • Dawn Hillen
  • Michelle barber
  • Bettina Sheppard
  • Diana Laurenson
  • Jeremy Miller
  • April Cook
  • Derek Mitchell
  • Ginger Cox
  • Aaron Tolson
  • Beth Goheen
  • Ephrat Asherie
  • Germaine Salsberg
  • Kelly Peters
  • Sue Samuels
  • Joanna Numata
  • Calen Kurka
  • SPEX
  • Holly Kerr
  • Cat Cogliandro
  • Heather Rigg
  • Natalya Stavro
  • Lenore Marks
  • Mark Albrecht
  • Matthew Powell
  • Heather Rigg

Check out the BDC website for specific class times!

DANCE-AID: A Benefit in Support of Vicitims of Hurricane Sandy

images2

Broadway Dance Center would like to thank all of the amazing teachers who hosted benefit classes in support of victims of Hurricane Sandy.

images1

  • Al Blackstone
  • Justin Boccitto
  • Jacob Brent
  • Chio
  • Cat Cogliandro
  • Jim Cooney
  • Ginger Cox
  • Ashle Dawson
  • Chris Erk
  • Brian Green
  • Jamie Jackson
  • Diana Laurenson
  • Matt Lopez
  • Kevin Maher
  • Lenore Marks
  • Michael Mindlin
  • Brice Mousset
  • Sheryl Murakami
  • Daniella Polanco
  • Q
  • Katherine Roarty
  • Neil Schwartz
  • Tracie Stanfield

Classes were $15 and all of the proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross.  In addition, BDC hosted a used clothing drive and donated 300 pairs of BDC sweatpants and 100 BDC T-shirts to the Salvation Army.

You can still donate to Hurricane Sandy relief on the American Red Cross website.

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, money, and clothing to this cause.  It is so inspiring to show the power of dance to make a difference in the world.

 

2012 Student Performance Showcase

The BDC community packed the house of the Symphony Space Theater for our annual Student Performance Showcase.  This is a tremendous opportunity for students to work closely with our esteemed faculty of teachers and choreographers.

Faculty Choreographers:

Justin Boccitto
Jacob Brent
Chio
Jim Cooney
Autumn Dones & Katherine Roarty
Jamie Jackson
Princess Lockeroo
Amira Mor
Q Pittman
Heather Rigg
Sue Samuels
Neil Schwartz
Bettina Sheppard & Diana Laurenson

The Showcase featured hip hop, contemporary, theater, tap, jazz, locking, and even singing and acting.  Princess Lockeroo choreographed a “Hunger Games” inspired waacking routine complete with waacking “battles” and fantastical costumes.  Q Pittman created a jazz funk/hip hop piece satirizing Alvin Ailey’s renowned “Revelations.”  And vocal teacher, Bettina Sheppard teamed up with theater teacher, Diana Laurenson to re-stage the original groovy Fosse choreography of Sweet Charity’s ‘The Rhythm of Life.”

Congratulations to all of the dancers and choreographers involved in this year’s Student Performance Showcase.  And a big “thank you” to April Cook for organizing the whole event.

Because of the great success of the Student Performance Showcase in the Spring, BDC is thrilled to announce the launch of a second Student Performance Showcase to take place in the Fall!  Stay tuned for more information!

2012 Choreographer’s Canvas

Last weekend’s Choreographer’s Canvas, produced by The Group Theatre Too, LLC (GTT) showcased choreographers and dancers of all ages and styles to a sold-out crowd at the Manhattan Movement Arts Center.  The evening also included a touching tribute to the late Tony Stevens.

The GTT, founded in 2003 by Michael Blevins and BDC’s own Justin Boccitto, aspires to “encourage diversity and the exploration of the human experience through theater, dance, and music.”

Broadway Dance Center was well represented at the show, not only in the audience but also on stage and behind the scenes.  Notable performances included works by BDC faculty such as Sue Samuels, Ginger Cox, Jared Jenkins, Crystal Chapman, and Lainie Munro.