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Summer Fever at Steps on Broadway

Larry Keigwin teaches at a previous Steps with Contemporary Masters class. Photo by Sofia Negron.
Larry Keigwin teaches at a previous Steps with Contemporary Masters class. Photo by Sofia Negron.

Steps on Broadway, founded in 1979, and regarded as one of the true epicenters of New York’s professional dance community, is gearing up for another feverish summer of activity in its studios.

In June, the Summer Study NYC program begins, the popular Steps with Contemporary Masters series launches, and the Steele Pilates Teacher Certification Mat Workshop takes place. In July, a new Accompanist Workshop will be offered, and the beloved Ultimate Intro series will return.

Patricia Klausner, director of marketing and special events, tells Dance Informa why dancers should be at Steps this summer: “Our dancers have told us that they define Steps as classic and full of passion and creativity. They get inspired by taking class every day with professionals.”

She continues, “So many dancers come from all over the world and have made Steps their home. I believe this is because of the wide range of class offerings for dancers at all levels, as well as the performance opportunities and educational events, such as the Steps Beyond Foundation’s Artists Talks.”

Steps class. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Steps class. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Summer Study NYC: A Contemporary Dance Intensive

Session 1: June 19—July 14, 2017 (Deadline to apply: June 1)

Session 2: July 17—August 11, 2017 (Deadline to apply: July 1)

Summer Study NYC (SSNYC) is described as a “total immersion in New York’s contemporary dance world.” This audition-based program presents intermediate to advanced U.S. and international dancers aged 18 and older an opportunity to study and perform under the direction of some of the best artistic directors and choreographers in the industry today.

Program Director Mindy Upin Jackson says, “SSNYC is an exceptional option for the dancer looking to propel his/her artistry and career. Within the quick four to eight weeks, students are exposed to so many valuable approaches to creative process and technical methodologies, which, combined with physical rigor, prepare them well for the professional lifestyle.”

Dancers learn from some of the best dance-makers through the Contemporary Masters series, as well as through the Creative Tools and Performance Skills classes, which teach the “necessary experience for movement generation and composition,” according to Jackson.

Current Work/Study student Emily McElwain came to Steps last year for SSNYC and decided to join Work/Study in the fall. She shares, “I had a wonderful experience with Steps’ Summer Study! As I was transitioning from college dance studies at the University of Iowa to the professional dance world in New York City, this program became a treasured stepping stone for me. I’ve built many lifelong friendships and developed great connections with current choreographers through Steps. I highly recommend this program! Dancers who are passionate about making dance their career and who strive for versatility, networking opportunities and intense training should check it out!”

Steps offers Morning Fit and Steele Pilates classes

Steps offers Morning Fit and Steele Pilates classes.

Steps with Contemporary Masters

June 12-August 25, daily Monday-Friday 2:30-4:30pm

Celebrating more than 20 years, this program once again presents one-week workshops in technique, repertory, movement exploration and creation led by different major artistic directors or contemporary choreographers each week.

Co-Artistic Director/Managing Director Diane Grumet comments, “The series gives dancers an opportunity to work with choreographers and artistic directors up close every day for a week – to be seen and understand the choreographers’ approach to the creative process, the material, the rep.”

She adds, “It is also mutually beneficial to choreographers in that they have a chance to see how dancers move in their movement style and work with them, especially if they hold an audition at the end of the week.”

The 2017 teacher lineup includes choreographic heavyweights like Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, Elisa Monte, Andrea Miller, Joshua Beamish and Sidra Bell.

Jackson shares, “The Contemporary Masters series is actually what brought me to Steps 10 years ago! The opportunity to work with artists for an entire week allows for richer understanding of the material and the ability to explore deeper.”

Steps offers Morning Fit classes and Steele Pilates classes

Steps offers Morning Fit classes and Steele Pilates classes.

Steele Pilates Teacher Certification Mat Workshop

June 19-30, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4-7pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-6pm

Teri Steele is the founder of the Steele Pilates Teacher Certification Mat Workshop. She is a Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) Certified Pilates instructor and PMA-CEC provider.

“I created my Steele Pilates Certification in 2005 with the mission to help dancers become stronger, more confident and financially secure by providing them with the tools, exercises and discipline to teach Pilates, deepen their understanding of the method and gain greater mastery of their movements and their lives,” Steele says. “I came to NYC luckily armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and fully certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a health/fitness instructor. This afforded me the ability to work in the field of movement and make consistent income in order to support my dance career.”

Many of her certification graduates have gone on to open up their own studios in a very short time in places like Sweden, Copenhagen, Norway, Japan and Israel.

“Pilates is very popular there, but the information is not varied, so when someone arrives from NYC with a new approach (and one that works well for people), their clientele grows and they can support themselves very nicely,” Steele says. “I am very proud of the work that my students have gone on to do, and I love hearing from them that they are able to afford themselves time to dance or do whatever it is that makes them happy in addition to working. That was my goal, and I am happy to be doing it!”

This year’s certification requirements include 20 hours of lectures and supervised teaching, 10 hours of self-practice Pilates Mat classes (to be completed by August 4) and an online exam (to be completed by August 4 as well).

Steps on Broadway Accompanist. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Steps on Broadway Accompanist. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Accompanist Workshop

July 23-27, Sunday 10-11am and Monday-Thursday 6-9pm

Brand new this summer is this workshop for experienced musicians who want to learn how to play for ballet classes. Grumet has spearheaded the new program, which will be led by Olga Bazilevskaya.

Grumet comments, “We are always looking for new, talented musicians to accompany our classes. The workshop offers accomplished pianists guidance and direction on the structure of a ballet class, the different tempos used. I see this workshop as a natural extension of the kind of work and aesthetic that Steps has to offer.”

Ultimate Intro Adult Dance Workshops

July 10-August 17, various times

After all these programs, dance newbies might wonder where they fit. Not to fear! Steps doesn’t leave out the adult beginners but rather presents a series of workshops just for them in ballet, hip hop, jazz and tap.

Adults new to dance can come experiment and reap benefits like improving their balance, flexibility, posture and more.

For more information on Steps on Broadway’s exciting summer programs, visit www.stepsnyc.com.

By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.

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