The time is quickly approaching for the dance event that dance teachers and students alike look forward to each year: DancerPalooza and the Dance Teacher Summit. Characterized as a “one-of-a-kind dance festival that no dancer can miss”, DancerPalooza is a week-long event that promises to offer the most comprehensive dance experience imaginable. Keeping in mind that great students grow from great teachers, the Dance Teacher Summit is an event that brings together dance teachers, studio owners, dance professors and educators to share in their desire for growth and further development for dance education. As a three-day conference, the Dance Teacher Summit is dedicated to sparking dance teachers’ passion not only for the art of dance but the business of teaching dance as well. These two events have some things in common, but there is one main factor that fuels the passion for dance that teachers and dancers possess: the classes.
Of the amazing staff members involved in DancerPalooza and the Dance Teacher Summit who are dedicated to innovating the dance experience, Mike Minery, “Tap Dance King”, will be on deck for both events during what will surely be an outstanding week of learning and growing in the art of dance. Gearing his focus more toward the kids, Minery tells Dance Informa about his contribution to DancerPalooza through SLIDE.
“I am the director of SLIDE, DancerPalooza’s tap event,” says Minery. “SLIDE is an all tap workshop that focuses on challenging the best young tap dancers in the world.”
For those who have the honor of participating in SLIDE, their whole week consists of classes and a show at the end of the event. This show is choreographed by world-renowned faculty, including Anthony Morigerato, Jason Janas, Ayodele Casel, Aaron Parkhurst, Nick Young, Lisa Minery and Minery. There is an array of activites that go on throughout this program, including improv workshops, Q&A sessions, trivia and video nights to teach the students involved about the history of such a great artform. But that is just the icing on the cake for Minery.
“The show is really the thing that puts the dancers to the test,” he explains. “Each dancer who participates is cast into two pieces that will be performed at the closing show. These pieces are full routines that need to be perfected in only six days.”
The urgency to not only pick up the choreography given but to also fine tune it in such a short amount of time is what forces the dancers to be pushed out of their comfort zone and improve along the way. If there is one thing for certain, those who walk through the convention center during DancerPalooza are guaranteed to see tap dancers practicing everywhere. For Minery, the ultimate goal within SLIDE is to reach the kids through the art of tap.
“SLIDE is an event that really focuses on the kids and not the faculty,” says Minery. “We are there to share our love of tap dancing and to teach them all the things we wish we knew when we were younger.”
SLIDE will be offered during DancerPalooza, July 31-August 6, in Long Beach, California. For more information, visit dancerpalooza.com/slide.
By Monique George of Dance Informa.